Culture | July 18, 2014 9:00 am

Sedimental Value

By The Editors

Have you ever, dear sir, been to a wine auction?

Where rich burgundies, disinterred from “natural earth subterranean cellars,” mingle neck-to-neck with bottles of bin-soiled ‘45 Château Latour unearthed from the basement of Chez Denis, Paris?

No? Well we beseech you, go! It’s like shopping the hand-me-downs of the 1%.

So gather the folds of your petticoat and enter the Bonhams Fine & Rare Wines auction, gaveling in SF on the 26th.

On the block: a century-spanning assortment of bottles from the storied cellars of private collectors and speculators in the highly volatile market of bottled gold.

As in: Burgundy by the score from labels like La Tâche, Richebourg and Romanée-Conti. There’s even a turn of the century port, though age isn’t king with these valuations.

Luckily, even the uninitiated can find plenty to enjoy in the auction catalog, care of the individual collection descriptions.

They range from the simply nostalgic (“The property of a lady from Connecticut. A favorite vintage of her father’s.”) to the amusingly plutocratic:

“Previous gems include full cases of ‘59 Lafite and Haut-Brion (the consignor’s personal favorite) which were gladly opened for lucky guests and friends.”

So dig in and pick a few ponies.

After all, you’re not just buying a bottle. The pomp is part of the deal, too.