Sotheby's extends its brand-reach into the wine business

Sotheby's is now in the wine business.

Known as one of the premier auction houses, and the seller of high-end real estate, the Sotheby's brand has now extended into the wine retail business.

It isn't as odd as it sounds.

Since Prohibition, the rules around the buying and selling of wine have been complex, and varied state-to-state.

Sotheby's, selling wine at auction for years for their customers, adjusted to antiquated laws that required auction houses to partner with a store that had held a state liquor license.

Sotheby's first partner was Sherry-Lehmann, but that relationshipended in late 1999, Sothebys found another licensee and the resultingstore was named Aulden Cellars located on the ground floor of Sotheby's headquarters at 1334 York Avenue on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

Now, Sotheby's has bought out Aulden Cellars, and branded the retail shop "Sotheby's Wine."  The new store offers a wide range of wine from $13.95 to $40,000 per bottle. There's also an online shop that can ship to some states in the U.S. that allow interstate shipping of wine--about half he country still has those antiquated Prohibition-era laws.

Sources: Luxist and Reuters

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