Two Hands’ Twelftree: ‘Flip Away’
Flipping – buying allocated wines from the winery and then reselling them at a big markup – is a hot topic in the wine world, and was the subject of a recent Wine Spectator story. Two Hands proprietor Michael Twelftree has a strong view on the subject, as expressed in a letter published in the April 30 issue of the Spectator:
I believe that once the wine is sold it is the property of the owner, as with all other purchases in life. I think for a winery to dictate what a customer should do with his or her wine is pretty wrong; they asked a price and somebody paid for it. End of story.
I think an equally interesting question is what is fair when balancing out your cellar. Say you buy 24 bottles of Sine Qua Non every year for five years. You now have 120 bottles, but you only drink six a year. You know have 90 bottles in the cellar. You want to stay on the list, but also want to even out your cellar, especially if you have tasted one of the bottlings and have not particularly enjoyed it. I believe mail list exhaustion is a major issue. At the end of the day, the market is the market, and it has to find a fair equilibrium. If someone make a few bucks along the way, good for them.
I hear stories about some of my better bottlings being flipped all the time, and I have the same answer every time: “I just hope they went to a better home.”
Flipping does the utmost by helping wineries build and maintain their image. It also gives others access to these wines; many even end up on NYC and Las Vegas wine lists. Flip away.