Aiding Hurricane Sandy Victims with Wine

Members of the wine trade are launching an all-star online auction to support the continued storm-relief efforts.

Photo by Jeff Schnorr/Sotheby’s

It’s been more than four months since Hurricane Sandy pummeled the U.S., and victims continue to need support as they struggle in the storm’s wake.

To aid the continued relief efforts, restaurant entrepreneur Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) is launching DeVine Intervention, a charitable online wine auction. From March 25–April 7, the public will be able to access the auction at and bid on approximately 250 specialty lots, featuring notable bottlings like Krug’s 1990 Clos du Mesnil, Huet’s 1939 Le Haut Lieu Demi-Sec and Domaine de la Romanée Conti’s 2005 La Tâche. Also up for grabs is an all-inclusive trip to Napa Valley and Washington state, as well as a series of private dinners with wine industry luminaries.

“All too often, after the initial outpourings of support, the need for help slips off of the front pages even though the need still exists,” says John Ragan, master sommelier, wine director of USHG and the event’s organizer. “The food and wine community was incredibly generous in the days following the storm, and we wanted to try and find a way to keep the support from our generous community flowing,” he says.

With more than 100,000 expected to visit the site and 30,000 bidders, DeVine Intervention hopes to raise nearly $250,000, according to Ragan.

Various members of the trade donated all of the wines that will be auctioned. With no overhead expenses to pay off, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, a nonprofit group that will distribute the earnings to efforts and organizations that benefit the cause.

Sponsoring the event is wine merchant and auction house Sotheby’s, digital solutions firm Vortex Solution, and wine-and-spirits storage transportation company Western Carriers.

“So many around our country have close ties to New York,” says Ragan. “It is amazing how many want to ‘log on and chip in’ to help our neighbors get back to normal. By doing it online, it’s not just a New York event.”

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