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Drinking wine in hard times


     Feeling flush? Here’s an extravagant gift for that wine lover who has everything. Sign him or her up for the program at Grand Cru Estate winery in Oregon to make his own wine. The recipient will travel to Oregon in the fall to choose the grapes, in the winter to make the wine and in the spring to bottle and label it.

     It’s $20,000 for a full barrel, which is about 300 bottles; $10,000 for a half-barrel of 150 bottles and $6,000 for a quarter-barrel of 75 bottles, says spokeswoman Elizabeth Schock.

     “The idea is sort of a gentleman-farmer’s club for wine,” she says.

     Feeling flushed? In the spirit of making chicken salad out of you-know-what, a San Francisco winery called Crushpad is offering a wine with an built-in hedge against stock market gloom. For $39, you buy a bottle of Napa cabernet sauvignon that hasn’t been made yet.

     Here’s how they explain the rest:

     “The day people buy their Bailout Wine we peg their purchase to the closing value of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  When the wine is bottled on Aug. 14, 2009 we'll take the closing value of the Dow, subtract the value at which the wine was purchased and cut an economic stimulus check for $2 for every 100 point drop.  For example, if the Dow is at 8800 at purchase time and it closes at 7300 on August 14, 2009, then the cost is only $9 per bottle.  If the ending Dow is greater than when they purchased the wine, the most they'll ever pay is $39 – still a great deal for a wine that typically sells in the $75 to $125 range.”


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