DVD Review: Red Obsession
My first thought in the opening scene of Red Obsession, when Russell Crowe begins the narration, was; what the hell is Maximus doing in this documentary? It was, I believed, a documentary about how China’s economic growth had made it into one of the biggest wine buying nations, not a documentary about the Roman Empire.
But Maximus aside, I was slightly mislead, as this is more about the wine making region of Bordeaux and it’s desire to keep prices rising at an astronomical rate by courting China after pricing American out of the market.
Normally wine is wine and though Bordeaux’s unique stony vineyards do make the best around, its only once or twice in a generation that you get a superb vintage. One that people covet. Add to that the reputation that Bordeaux has, and the consumer driven market for luxury goods, and wine has become over priced and a collectible commodity. So when 2009’s superb vintage was followed by 2010’s even better vintage, it was up to the richest people in the world to become obsessed.
And obsessed they did, with China’s sex toy king Peter Tsenge having a wine cellar filled with 50,000 bottles of wine, worth over US$60 Million.
But it’s not just wine, it’s what’s on the label as China’s status symbol obsessed elite weren’t necessarily buying the wine to drink, but when they did, even the empty bottle could be sold for up to US$500 to feed the booming counterfeit trade.
And of course, the one thing those lads in Bordeaux didn’t factor when trying to court stupendous prices for wines, is that China itself would soon see the immense economic potential of making it’s own wine.