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France

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy brings star power to wine auction

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-11-19

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy made an auspicious debut in the wine world on Sunday, overseeing bidding at annual charity auction Hospices de Beaune. France’s former first lady auctioned off the most coveted barrel for 270,000 euros.

France’s wine world got a generous sprinkle of political stardust on Sunday, as former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy held the hammer at the Hospices de Beaune, a charity auction that is an annual highlight for the gastronomically renowned Burgundy region.

Bruni-Sarkozy’s appearance proved a boon for the event, with bidders reaching deep into their pockets and the auction attaining record sales of roughly 6 million euros.

Bruni-Sarkozy was on hand notably to preside over bidding for the highly coveted “pièce du president” (the chairman’s item), a 350-litre barrel of Corton Grand Cru (Cuvée Charlotte Dumay).

The proceeds for the barrel are to be sent to Bruni-Sarkozy’s own foundation, which is dedicated to facilitate access to culture for underprivileged children, as well as to a charity that aids epileptic children.

“At 200,000 euros, I’ll deliver the wine. At 250,000 euros, my husband [former president Nicolas Sarkozy] will deliver it with me,” Bruni-Sarkozy joked to the crowds.

The teasingly delivered proposition paid off. Last year’s “pièce du president” was auctioned off for 100,000 euros. This time, it went for a whopping 270,000 euros to Ukrainian businessman Igor Iankovskyi.

The event, now in its 152nd year and run by British auctioneer Christie’s, draws wine lovers from around the globe and is considered an important indicator of the health of Burgundy’s wine business.

Bruni-Sarkozy was seen as a fitting choice to help host the auction: she has been to known to enjoy a relaxing drink, admitting while pregnant with her 1-year-old daughter Giulia that she was looking forward to picking up a glass again after giving birth.

And while she no longer lives in the Elysée Palace, Bruni-Sarkozy, a former model and pop-folk singer, remains a popular subject of speculation in French magazines. Having recently lent her face to an ad for French mobile device maker Parrot, and her voice to a duet on the new album from French-Algerian singer Enrico Macias, Bruni-Sarkozy appears to be wading back into the entertainment industry.

In the meantime, Bruni-Sarkozy can consider her foray into the wine industry a success: Sunday’s auction saw the average price per bottle rise by 54% compared to last year, reaching 380 euros.

 

Date created : 2012-11-19

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