The Wine Chronicle 《品醇集》



By Susan Lewis


A Chinese gambler splurged almost AUD 190,000 in cash on more than 200 bottles of heritage-listed Penfolds Grange and other fine wines in a shopping spree to Penfolds’ cellar door after winning big at the Adelaide Casino.

The businessman was said to come from Shanghai. He was accompanied by three friends in his visit to the acclaimed winery’s Magill Estate retail shop last weekend, the Australian newspaper The Advertiser reported.

The final bill was an eye-watering AUD187,750 paid entirely with AUD 100 bills after a night out at the casino’s high roller room.

The Advertiser quoted witnesses as saying that the businessman, aged in his early 50s, pulled 18 bundles of green notes from a plain black plastic bag, just after midday last Sunday.

He was said to have told staff that he had “won fresh from the Casino” – believed from playing the popular Baccarat card game, which is favoured by Chinese gamblers because of the better odds and the hours they can sit gambling. It was understood that he didn’t want to send the money home.

His collection included 40 bottles of 2009 vintage of Penfolds Grange, which received extensive international acclaim, as well as cases of its popular 2012 and 2013 vintages.

He also purchased a collection of “vertical vintages” – dating back to 1963, as well as 16 Grange 1500ml magnums. He also splurged on a smaller collection of highly regarded Penfolds iconic reds including 2004 Block 42, which has a price tag of AUD 1200 each and 1945 Grandfather tawny port.

There pocketed some non-Penfolds bottles as well, including several of the finest vintages of St Henri made over the past 50 years.

It was understood that he asked for his trophy wines to be shipped to Hong Kong. Wine experts said his collection included some of the best Australian wines produced this century.

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