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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
21 Sep 2010

Well, well, well! In a bold move, auctioneers Sotheby's have today launched a retail and online wine business in the US to which they are fully commttted. This replaces the old Aulden Cellars retailer, which was more of a legal requirement to allow them to trade as auctioneers. In their announcement, Sotheby's claim this makes them the 'only major global auctioneer also offering fine wines at retail and online'. (Wonder what Acker have to say about that?)

Sotheby's claim further that the 'level of care and expertise that has previously only been available for those wishing to bid at auction can now be used by anyone throwing a party, selecting a gift, putting together a collection or just planning dinner. This full service store, which has been designed by Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt of St Louis-based Kuhlmann Leavitt Inc, offers a range of wine at competitive prices from $13.95 to $40,000 per bottle. Sotheby's Wine is now fully open at 1334 York Avenue on Manhattan's Upper East Side or at'

Jamie Ritchie, 'President and CEO, Sotheby's Wine, Americas and Asia', said: 'We have been planning this business for a long time as we often speak to people who would like to buy wine from Sotheby's but who want more flexibility and immediacy than bidding in our auctions. With the launch of our retail wine business we can now offer a complete service to anyone with an interest in wine. Because of our decades of experience working with wine makers and collectors from around the world, we are uniquely placed to help wine lovers get the most out of one of life's great pleasures. Our team source and taste constantly, so all our wines are of high quality, typical of their region and offer good value for money. Our selection includes the best producers, but also our favourite wines that may be less well known and which are sometimes exclusive to us in the United States. It's an exciting time to launch this business, with the combination of our new retail store and website-technology is playing an ever bigger role in how people purchase wine and we are keen to see how user-friendly our new website is in helping them find their favourite wines and make new discoveries.'

Amazingly, you can follow Sotheby's Wine on Facebook and Twitter. Next up, Serena tweeting about what she and David had for dinner last night?