Whoops! $1 million worth of wine spilled
More than 5,000 bottles of Australian wine won't be in glasses after a forklift accident Thursday.
July 22nd, 2011
08:00 AM ET

Whoops! $1 million worth of wine spilled

A malfunctioning forklift dropped 462 cases of wine in Australia on Thursday, a spill with a price tag of more than $1 million.

The 5,544 bottles of 2010 Mollydooker Velvet Glove shiraz, with a price tag of $185 a bottle,  fell almost 20 feet to ground of a wharf in Port Adelaide as the forklift was loading it for shipment abroad, according to media reports.

"We just couldn't believe it," winemaker Sparky Marquis said in a report on Adelaide Now. "As you can imagine, this wine is our pride and joy. To see it accidentally destroyed, and not consumed, has left us all a bit numb.

"The container manager said that when his team came and told him what had happened, he was looking around for cameras to see if it was a 'gotcha' hoax. He realised it was serious when nobody was laughing," Adelaide Now quotes Marquis as saying.

Marquis told ABC.net that only one carton among the 462 was undamaged. His staff was searching through the others to see if any other bottles may have escaped.

"All of the bottles are in the cool store and we're just having to go through every single bottle, check it first of all to see if it has any cap seal damage to it, in which case it just gets immediately discarded," ABC.net quotes him as saying.

The lost wine represents a third of his company's output for a year.

Brett McCarthur of Kerry Logistics, the company which operated the forklift, told Adelaide Now his company moves tens of thousands of heavy containers each year.

"We move hundreds of pallets a day filled with sand and even stuff that it wouldn't matter if you dropped it from 50 feet in the air, but the only premium container had to be the one," McCarthur was quoted as saying.

Marquis said he was working with insurers to get compensated for his loss.

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Filed under: Agriculture • Australia • Food
soundoff (216 Responses)
  1. perchonthis

    How bout some cheese with that whine........

    July 22, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. bobcat2u

    They said they were numbed by the accident. Why ? The shipment was probably insured fot twice its value.

    July 22, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • mr geezer

      Only people can be insured for more than their value, not things.

      July 22, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • CaliBay

      Yes, involvement in the wine business is just that, business. That said, it is a passion and an art. Imagine if a famed painter watched his latest work destroyed enroute to the customer. Sure, he might get his money back. But his passion and art are not able to be shared, which is as important as the dollars and cents.

      July 22, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Jmiker

      Bob, people that make such a small amount of wine per year – aren't in it for the money. A third of their soul fell that 20 feet...

      July 22, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • VegasRage

      A good alcoholic is always numbed by the loss of their drink.

      July 22, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Some guy

      True, it probably was insured for 100% of the value but it's not all about $. Winemaking is a business, but it's an artform too. Just because a person sells a product doesn't mean it's all about business to them. If you worked on something for a year or more for people to enjoy and it was destroyed and insured, you'd probably feel a little numb too. :0\

      July 22, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Judy

      Hey, idiot, you must be a real insensitive jerk.

      July 22, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric Jensen

      Indeed but, if the wine is good enough to be sold at $185 a bottle, it is the type of wine that can make your label famous. Producers want to share it with the world, get the money and prestige. Getting money out of an insurance settlement is anti climactic.

      July 22, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Yeah, because insurers would really insure something for twice its value, risk means nothing to an insurance company, right?
      There is a reason that you get paid squat and businessmen make good money. It's the difference between ignorance and education.

      July 22, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Imbicile's Guide to Morons

      Hey, Judy, I resent that...uh, wait, just which idiot are you calling a jerk?

      July 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Scottish Mama

    Job opening.

    July 22, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. susan

    Moral of the story: Don't put all your wine in one 'basket'

    July 22, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • GuyWhoLaughedAtSusansJoke


      July 22, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. Blaqmajik

    just up the price for the rest of the bottles, and call it "reserved"...that will make up your lose. LOL

    July 22, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • marty

      You mean "reserve" and at $185 a bottle it likely already is. You cannot just add words to a wind bottle without the words being true; simply adding "reserve" to non-reserve wine is illegal.

      July 22, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Another idiot spouting off about things he knows nothing of. Reserve is a wine of higher quality than usual. Hence, at that price per bottle, it may well be vintage or reserve. Shiraz wine isn't exactly high priced, NOWHERE $185 per bottle for regular or even many vintages, as opposed to reserve, which commands the higher price.
      Of course, that all means nothing to someone who drinks mad dog 20/20.

      July 22, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  6. jessicaber

    Would have been fun to take a shower in that.

    July 22, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe here in Colorado

      You and me. 😀

      July 22, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • 3 is better than 2

      All three of us 🙂

      July 22, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    A real shame, that's a really good wine. I guess the price just went up for the rest.

    July 22, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. citizenUSA

    I hope they broke out the straws.

    July 22, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. Padmanabham

    Sometimes valuables things have to travel through less secure and fragile routes.

    July 22, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mordechai

    And to think, they were just trying to raise their spirits....

    July 22, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |

      Good one Mordechai

      July 22, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. Randall

    Who cares about the money, but THE WINE !!!!!

    July 22, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. ps

    $185 a bottle for a shiraz? And a 2010, at that? No way. Not worth it.
    Still – it would hurt seeing all that wine pouring out on the cement....

    July 22, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. Matt

    And for once, Paul Ryan sheds a tear. 😉

    July 22, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |

    I dropped my bottle of Boone's Farm SanGria last week and it broke. I cried all the way to Wal-Marts until I got 4 more bottles.
    Luckily I had a gallon jug of Bali-Hai to sustain me until I got to the store.
    I save my MD20/20 for special occasions.

    July 22, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. Georgia101

    You know the workers going through every bottle for damage are probably drinking some of it before it's "immediately discarded" (to the breakroom)

    July 22, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Why not? *I* would, if it's at least partially sealed. If I were the owner, I'd give my blessings to them taking the damaged bottles too, rather than see it wasted. Shiraz wine is GREAT with certain foods.

      July 22, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
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