BevCo International's Wine Hit Pretty Hard by Hurricane Ike

We here at Eating…Our Words hate to see good wine go un-drunk. But that’s exactly what’s happening to thousands of bottles of wine stored at wine importer/wholesaler BevCo International’s warehouse.

On Saturday after the storm, owner David Baird headed over to the space. “When I opened the door, there was a sound like Niagara Falls,” he says, “and I looked to the back of the warehouse and what I saw was water cascading over the entire back of the warehouse wall like a waterfall.” The storm had blown off part of the roof of the temperature-controlled warehouse. The building was heavily insulated, and the insulation was filling with water and exploding, making a sound like a balloon popping.

“I’m standing there,” says Baird, “and you’re almost physically sick, thinking, ‘oh my God, what are we going to do?’” A massive recovery effort is underway at the warehouse, with employees pitching in and “water mitigation” workers coming in from out of state to help out.

Luckily, the climate-controlled a/c protected the wine from heat damage. But Baird estimates that around a quarter of his inventory has lost its labels due to water damage, and TABC rules don’t allow wine to be relabeled, meaning – gulp (or not) – that the bottles will probably end up destroyed.

“The wine itself inside those bottles is really high quality wine,” says Baird, “but because of some of the things that we aren’t allowed to do, eventually we’re going to have to dispose of that wine. I’m sure you could have all sorts of parties with it.” You don’t say. – Cathy Matusow


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