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The Bottom Fisher

The Bottom Fisher is out there, right now, scouring the web for deals. His desk is covered with every back-issue of every catalog from every mailing list in the country. An archaeologist would take a year to get to the bottom of all this crap. His in-box is full of emails from the Garagiste and Zachy’s and Premier Cru, advising him of the latest offerings and the new items on sale. He is going to get the best price or die trying.

There are two kinds of Bottom Fishers: Rich ones and Poor ones. Rich ones are better by far. The Rich Bottom Fisher is more interesting because he doesn’t need to save any money. He’s got plenty of that. What gets him off is stealing some wine for two-thirds of its market price. He has a list of everything he wants and the price he wants to pay, then he hunts it down with single-minded devotion like Elliot Ness.

He hangs around and like a pedophile at a playground to see if he can sneak in bids with two minutes to go before the auction closes. He knows the guys at auction houses and picks up the lots that didn’t sell for the reserve price—below the low estimate.

The Poor Bottom Fisher is someone to avoid with prejudice. He’s got one hundred or one thousand bottles of wine, and none of them are any good. Instead of scouring the Internet (he’s not going to pay for shipping), he spends his weekends scouring end-of-bin sales at liquor stores. He’s always trying to introduce you to a fantastic six dollar bottle made from grape varietals you’ve never heard of—or from a country you didn’t even know existed. “Really, I didn’t think Petite Verdot would grow in Uzbeckistanislav.”