Home > News of the moment > The truth about the EU court’s €70,000 wine cellar.

The truth about the EU court’s €70,000 wine cellar.

by Justin Stares  25th April 2012.  Find Full Article Here:-


The European Court of Justice has built up a wine collection of almost 4,000 bottles worth at least €70,000 but denies claims judges are spending public money on their favourite vintages

Given the savage budget cuts across member states, it is not surprising that the European Court of Justice is reticent to reveal details of its Luxembourg wine cellar. According to the rumour mill, the 27 senior judges quaff quality vintages in a dining room to which mortals have no access. Some say they intervene personally to decide which wines should be purchased with public money every year.

Is this true? The initial responses from the court are non-committal. The institution has a “functioning wine cellar”, not a collection of fine and rare wines, the press and information unit underlines. “Like all the EU institutions, the court carries out a number of protocol activities, including welcoming various dignitaries, some of whom are provided with food and drink as appropriate,” the press department tells PublicServiceEurope.com.

It adds: “This wine is purchased in accordance with the EU’s financial regulations and the principal reason for the court having a wine cellar built up over the years is to allow the court to save money, as you can imagine buying the wine as and when needed from a supplier would cost considerably more.” There is evidently no court sommelier, merely staff well versed in wine.

After two months of gentle and then less gentle prompting, the court agrees to release further details. There are 3,729 bottles currently in the cellar, of which 2,920 are red and 809 are white. The average red was purchased at a price of €21.82, while the average white was worth almost €12. The entire collection, therefore, has a price tag of around €70,000, though some of the bottles are sure to have increased in value over time. Purchases are made via tender once a year. On one recent occasion, only white wine was required as the cellar was considered too heavy in reds. The court spends, on average, around €15,000 a year on wine.

Can we see the wine list? Unfortunately not. Making the list public, according to the court, is not possible as it would in some way compromise the tender process. Is this a satisfactory answer? We leave it to our readers to decide. As a compromise, court officials did agree to release details of what they say are the oldest bottles in the cellar. These include: two bottles of Rioja Marques del Romerol 1988; three bottles of Rioja Prado Enea 1991; 23 bottles of Pomerol Bordeaux Chateau Bellegrave 1998; 14 bottles of Nuits Saint George Bourgogne Les Vaucrains 1999 and eight bottles of an undefined “Barolo 1998”. Among the whites, the Bourgogne Puliguy Montrachet 2000 is said to be the oldest, of which there are also eight bottles.

Categories: News of the moment
  1. Clemente Tellier
    July 16, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Having a wine cellar at home is great. My grandfather have a wine cellar at the comforts of his home and he is really happy having his wine collections. ‘*:”* Warmest wishes healthmedicinelab

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