It probably has nothing to do with Covid-19, but suddenly we’re having a bit of a mini wine auction season. The first such event was the Old Johannesburg Warehouse (OJW) Sale in late April. Quite a lot of the stock offered by OJW is old and visibly unloved, but this doesn’t deter bargain hunters willing to take their chances with not-always-perfect storage conditions. I’ve shopped there over the years and had surprisingly few disappointments, and the satisfaction of picking up a few real gems. To know more about upcoming auctions go to (

It was followed by a line-up from the opposite side of the spectrum: a single seller sale that opened Strauss’s Johannesburg Live Virtual programme on May 16. Here the wines were some very impressive collectibles for the well-heeled with deep pockets. While there were a few bottles that had clearly been kept too long, most of the lots were properly collectible — though at prices that would...

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