Man Suing Storage Facility Claiming His $300K Worth Of Wine Is Basically Being Held Hostage

We want what we want when we want it, and in the case of one Manhattan man who stored his $300,000 wine collection at a fancy facility designed for just that purpose, he wants his stuff back immediately. But the company says it can’t do that just yet, after flooding from Hurricane Sandy flooded the warehouse’s temperature-controlled cellars.

The man, a real estate investor who says he’s spent a$40,000 in fees to store his 198 cases of rare and fine wine since 2005 at the facility, says he’s been refused access to his collection. So he’s suing.

In emails to the man, the company said that many bottles had to be moved because of the damage done by Sandy, but that “at least 95% of the wine we are storing is fine.” However, the facility is claiming that the arduous process of moving all those cases is something that can’t be hurried. In addition, it’s not going to put the wine back where it was until the areas are “certified safe.”

Many of the man’s wines are fragile and easily damaged if they’re not in the right environment, say court papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court. He’s asking for the court to order the storage company to cough up details on where his wine is, how much of it damaged and what’s being done to make sure it stays in tip-top condition.

He’s peeved because he says he needs his wine for holiday parties, writing in an email: “Telling me you have ‘absolutely no idea’ when I will have access to my inventory is beyond troubling.”

The company replied in another email that it’s “still recovering” and stating again, that it will take time to sort everything out, “until we start scanning wines to our shelves it is impossible to find wine much less give accurate dates for its release.”

We understand his frustration — it’s his property and he has a right to it. But then again, there were plenty of other businesses unprepared for the havoc Sandy wreaked, so it’s tough to say whether or not this is a case of neglecting the customer or simply, confusion.

While the company is likely reeling from having to sort the mess out, “we don’t know how much of your wine was damaged and no idea when or if you’ll ever get it back” isn’t a reassuring answer.

Damaged by Sandy, WineCare Storage refuses access to man’s $300,000 wine collection [New York Daily News]