NYWines Christie’s Plans Robust Offering Of Rare Spirits
In First Auction Since Prohibition
NEW YORK – Liquor connoisseurs will soon be able to bid on rare distilled spirits from around the globe at auctions in New York, legalized yesterday by Governor Eliot Spitzer, according to the Distilled Spirits Council, which lobbied for the bill.
Christie’s, the world’s leading art business and a supporter of the new law, immediately announced plans to hold the first liquor auction in New York through NYWines Christie’s. This will be the first such auction in New York since Prohibition began in 1920.
“Having followed the passage of the bill very closely, we are now able to formally announce our plans for an auction to include collectible spirits this December. We are currently accepting consignments of vintage cognac, armagnac, Scottish, Irish and American whiskies, bourbon and other traditional spirits,” said Richard Brierley, Head of Christie’s Americas Wine Sales. “Christie’s is pleased that the efforts of the Distilled Spirits Council have resulted in this positive change in New York State law.”
The Distilled Spirits Council estimates that millions of dollars in exclusive spirits sales have been lost to London, Paris, Glasgow and other auction centers around the globe because spirits auctions have been against the law in New York, costing the state large amounts in lost sales taxes.
“New York is the global trend-setter, and it’s entirely fitting collectors have the ability to conduct business in New York,” said Distilled Spirits Council President Peter Cressy.
“Not only will this accelerate the consumer trend for super premium spirits products, but it will bring new revenue to state coffers. We commend the legislature for passing the bill and Governor Spitzer for signing it into law.”
Cressy noted that the new law also allows spirits tastings at the auctions, just as it is already allowed for wine auctions. Nationally, seventeen states permit wine auctions, but New York becomes only the eighth state to authorize spirits auctions.
The legislation, Senate Bill 3606, was sponsored by Senator George Winner and passed the Senate 58 to 1 on June 19th, and unanimously passed the Assembly the following day. The bill takes effect sixty days after the Governor’s signature.
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is a national trade association representing the leading brands of distilled spirits. Council member products include the full spectrum of quality distilled spirits such as Bourbon, Scotch and other whiskeys, vodka, gin, tequila, rum, brandy, cordials and liqueurs.
The distillers take special pride in their products as well as in their commitment to encourage responsible beverage alcohol consumption by adults who choose to drink. If you choose to drink, consume sensibly and responsibly. An important part of responsible drinking is understanding that a standard drink of regular beer (12 oz.), distilled spirits (1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits) and wine (5 oz.) each contains the same amount of alcohol.