Relatable moment: You finally find that super fancy, high-end bottle of wine that you’ve been looking for for years. And, the best part–it’s only priced at $1000! No way! That’s almost too good to be true. You want to take advantage of this opportunity, so you buy it on presale, despite your colleagues’ suspicions.
Fast forward six months: you still don’t have your wine. What gives?
Sound familiar? No? Well, this is exactly what happened to over 5,000 people who bought bottles of wine from Premier Cru, a wine retailer in Berkeley, CA. The shop, which is now closed, just filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, after this news broke. What’s the damage? More than $70 million in debt liabilities. And no, that’s not a typo. The shop promised customers a wide range of wines, ranging in price from a modest $100 to over $100,000 EACH. And what’s the worst part? Many of these buyers will never see their wines, and it’s unlikely that they’ll even get their money back.
While this incident is tragic, it is likely record breaking as the biggest wine fraud in U.S. history. Lesson learned: be careful of too-good-to-be-true sales. Wine is expensive-deal with it.