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Irish government plans wine sell-off

Days after the Elysee Palace wine auction in Paris, the Irish government plans to sell off some of its wines.

Double your money…Lynch Bages 1998

Foreign Affairs minister Eamon Gilmore has decided to sell off wines worth over €30, according to Irish news reports.

Just over 2,340 bottles in the government’s cellar have been valued at €77,767; the department of foreign affairs hopes to make €40,000 for the taxpayer by selling off the wine.

Although a government spokesman could not say if the wines would be sold back to suppliers or sold at auction, some examples of bottles cited in media reports suggest that it may not be so easy to make money.

For example, 22 bottles of Château Léoville Barton Second Growth Saint Julien 1997 had cost €75 per bottle, but can be bought today for about the same amount, if not less.

And 33 bottles of Château Kirwan Third Growth Margaux 2000, which were purchased for €65 apiece, now cost about the same if not less on the market.

But the state collection includes 31 bottles of Château Lynch Bages Fifth Growth Pauillac 1998 which had been purchased for €58.56 each, but are now worth about double that price.

In a statement to Decanter.com, a government spokeswoman confirmed news reports as ‘accurate’. Philip Grant, press and media relations director for the Department of Foreign Affairs, also acknowledged government plans to sell off state wine, though he said reports had been ‘overstated’.

Written by Panos Kakaviatos

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