Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rudy K's Quick Web Saga

When news broke late Thursday on the FBI bust of renowned billionaire wino, Rudy Kurniawan, it triggered an unprecedented flash reporting on the web. The establishment press, the wine media, and the elite wine bloggers and tweeters all piled on the story. It has been an exhilarating and fast-moving 36 hours, going from Rudy being nabbed to revelation of incriminating photographs of his wine counterfeiting operation in his L.A. apartment.

Rudy's arrest may just be the tip of this counterfeiting exposé. Insinuations are flying that the rise of U.S. auction houses--and their surpassing venerable U.K. rivals, Sotheby's and Christie's--has been partly fueled by fake wines sold by the likes of Rudy in a then celebrated, now possibly infamous, sale.

By the time the feverish web reporting finally subsided, the consensus was that Rudy's saga needs to be properly immortalized on film. Parallels with Mr. Ripley have been mentioned. Also, author Jay McInerney, who wrote the aforementioned piece on billionaire winos, tweeted that he will include that piece on his upcoming book The Juice. Jay might have another winner here since "Bright Lights, Big City",  and perhaps a movie deal for an expanded script.

It's said that Rudy favors silk shirts and big sunglasses. For some reason I envision this guy playing him: