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Suck it, baby ... and Happy International Woman's Day!Stucco housing tracts, evil investment banks, ugly big-box retail strips, dumb show-off high-rises, land-raping golf resorts, Hummers — the nation’s financial collapse has taken down so many awful trophies of American Culture, we should probably send it a Thank You note, maybe with a Linens ‘n Things gift card. But who can afford a card, or postage, when we’re all either out of work or making a lot less money or barely hanging on to some diseased sham of a career that probably never should’ve been a career anyway? What is next for this nation’s Shame Parade? Foreclosures of Napa vineyards and wineries, that’s what.

The Bloomberg Terminal reports:

In California’s Napa Valley, producer of the most expensive U.S. wines, 2010 may be a vintage year for foreclosures as the industry is squeezed by falling land values and a consumer shift to cheaper brands ….

More than 30 wineries are for sale in California, Oregon and Washington, the most ever, according to Rob McMillan, executive vice president and founder of the wine division of Silicon Valley Bank, a unit of SVB Financial Group in Santa Clara, California. The properties have too much debt, were new arrivals to the wine market or have owners who are looking to retire as competition rises and profit margins fall, he said.

Some Napa land deals that were never publicly disclosed or confidentially recorded at the county assessor will unravel this year and in 2011.

The best selling wine in America is the “Franzia Box,” made by a Central California industrial winery. But for a few weird years, people with more money than they ever deserved were dropping $500 or $750 a bottle for “cult wines” because, well, they are stupid, tacky people. Also, they could afford it. But no longer.

The definition of “decent bottle of wine” has dropped for all of us, with a 15% decline in sales of over-$30 wines and a 10% decline in bottles over $15.

And that is your wine-foreclosure report for this day in 2010. Soon you’ll be making “prison beer” with orange peel in milk cartons, in jail. [Bloomberg]

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83 COMMENTS

  1. Fortunately, this will not affect the production of Boone’s Farm, since the closest that this chemical amalgam comes to grapes is when its railroad tankcars pass through Yountville.

  2. I makes my prison hooch from canned fruit cocktail, in a plastic bag hung in the toilet tank, its the traditional way, and good stuff, too, except for the raging headaches.

    That young man’s halloween costume, and especially the “spout,” it is FTW.

  3. I know when I’m down to the bottom of my boxa’wine, I shamefully remove the bag on the inside and drain the sac, as it were. Per that photo, it appears I’m not alone.

  4. [re=527018]JMP[/re]: I loves me my $30 riojas, but then again, for plain-old swilling, wino-style, the Carlo Rossi Paisano, oh, the joys of wino-hood.

  5. Sideways is probably to blame for the explosion economically unfeasible, super-expensive wineries. But won’t someone please think of the pretentious wine snobs?

    [re=527017]Red Zeppelin[/re]: [re=527020]memzilla[/re]: [re=527029]Advocatus_Diaboli[/re]: [re=527048]queeraselvis v 2.0[/re]: Good to see that, while many of us had the same thought, we all had different brands of swill.

  6. I know this is an important part of American history, but this is really disturbing. I wish you had chosen another image.

    ok ok i can’t say that with a str8 face hahahahahha….also.

  7. [re=527078]proudgrampa[/re]: This is completely true, for reds anyway. I actually can’t stand most red wines, but Argentinian and Chilean Malbecs are deeeeee-licious. Whites, there’s some good bargains from Aussieland and from the Pacific Northwest, too.

    I’m one of those cynics who thinks anyone who spends more than $25 on a bottle of wine is just pissing his money away, though, since most of what I buy is in the $8-15 range and I can’t differentiate it from $100 bottles.

  8. [re=527082]Mad Brahms[/re]: “I’m one of those cynics who thinks anyone who spends more than $25 on a bottle of wine is just pissing his money away…”

    I’m a member of that club, too. I reserve my liquor budget for Grey Goose and Bombay Sapphire.

  9. Hey, as long as Trader Joe’s has their broad selection of drinkable wine under $8, I don’t see any problem, except for the kind of assholes who borrowed $100 million to start yet another pretentious Napa winery. I’ll get around to weeping for them when I finish the deep depression the inheritance tax causes me.

  10. I thought a “cult” wine was what they served everybody in the house just before the spaceship was supposed to land. If only the tasteless rich had been paying $500 a bottle for that.

  11. [re=527030]Mr Blifil[/re]:
    “For every oenophile lost, a sternophile is gained.”

    I don’t want to be one of those people who go around correcting other people’s poetry on the internet, but I’m having trouble with the rhythm. Probably just me.

    For ev’ry oenophile that’s lost,
    A sternophile is gained.

    It’s got the apostrophe in the middle thing going on, but the “that’s” strikes me as not beautiful. I don’t know.

  12. [re=527057]EdFlinstone[/re]: HAha. Big win there, buddy.

    All you guys with your France vs. California vs. Spain vs. Argentina vitaculture; that’s all a buncha nanny-nanny-boo-boo. You can grow great wine grapes just about anywhere it’s not too cold year round. Embrace the whole world of wine (why not, prices are coming down fast?)

  13. That Napa shit is good, though. Glad prices are going to fall through the floor. Just bought 35.00 bottle of St. Supery Merlot for 10.00. Better lay in a case or two at this price before they go belly-up. Now I can use the good stuff for my Hot Times Get Drunkee Fruit Punch! Tastes better if you stick your pinkie out.

  14. [re=527088]whiskey tango foxtrot[/re]: Yes. Shouldn’t someone young enough to have had facebook in college be off at, oh, whatever websites (besides facebook) today’s children like, and watchin’ the MTV and Nickelodeon and listenin’ to the hippity-hop? And they should get off my lawn, also.

  15. [re=527018]JMP[/re]: Only if you get a good solid hook with your index finger and prop the base solidly in the crook of your elbow before you tip that shit up.

  16. Some IT entrepreneur should find a way to purge the interwebs of indiscretions like this picture and the still-life, “Girl sitting on toilet drinking a pitcher of beer,” I’ve see on Jim’s or Ken’s posts. There’s a fortunte to be made, young nerds. One of the only advantages of growing up in the 70s wasteland: no incriminating cell-phone pics.

    Actually, am I the only one who found the 70s boring? People are so much funnier today.

  17. not to get all serious and NIMBY up in here but the surge in wine production in napa and sonoma county is the worst thing that has happened to the intrinsic beauty and ecology of the landscape in northern california in forever (aside from that whole deforestation bizness). it’ll be a long battle but if some of this land returns to the less ecologically destructive uses of sheep and cattle grazing i’m all for it. with all due respect to the workers who will be losing their jobs. also, bottle shock was a really shitty movie.

  18. Pricey Oregon Pinot Noir is next on the Vin de America Demand Destruction Lolapalooza Tour 2010!

    Salut! Bon sante!

    Robert Parker can bite my left nad, also.

  19. [re=527079]nappyduggs[/re]: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! i dont want to be an asshole who tries to tell others they look fugly while my looks faded in the early 90s while trying to channel Simon Cowell.

    [re=527272]nightshift[/re]: Those two little scheming bitches!!!!!!

  20. “… or barely hanging on to some diseased sham of a career that probably never should’ve been a career anyway”

    How did you know I was a journalist? And that I like wine? IT’S LIKE YOU’RE READING MY MIND, MAN.

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