Colgin Cellars - Press - Town & Country - Up for Bids

Town & Country - Up for Bids

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Ann Barry Colgin has been on both sides of the auction paddle. She worked for Sotheby's and Christie's before establishing her own Napa Valley-based winery in 1992, Colgin Cellars - where her 100 percent-estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignons can sell for $275 a bottle.

For women unused to bidding at auctions, why is wine the best item with which to start learning?
When you're a novice at auctions, you can't begin by buying valuable Impressionist paintings. But wine allows you to start simply and build a good collection.

Can you suggest some tips for the first-time bidder?
Set a financial limit, and do your homework, such as learning in advance the provenance of the wine. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the auction, and it is only human nature to want to win, so stick to your set limit. This advice especially applies to wine, since most bottles are not one of a kind.

Are there certain wine auctions where particularly good values are found?
Some of the best auctions are benefits for schools. Napa Valley, for example, has a number of schools where winemaking parents generously donate large-format bottlings. The events are not expensive to attend, and you can pick up some rare finds. At noncharity auctions, though, I think California wines can be a good buy, as well as some Italian wines.

 By Karen MacNeil