October 13, 2007

A MAN OF HSUPERIOR TASTE:

Disgraced Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu had a well-known affection for fine living and all things Clinton. And his collector’s taste and eye were on display Wednesday, when federal authorities unsealed documents showing they had seized more than 180 bottles of pricey wine from Hsu’s New York apartment, as well as a saxophone believed to have been autographed by President Clinton.

Experts valued the wine collection — which includes dozens of bottles of Chateau Lafite Rothschild and vintage Cristal champagne, as well as California wines such as Opus One — at up to $100,000.

“I wish I had this collection,” said Robert Yetman, a wine-industry consultant and professor at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. “It’s a little showy, but nice.”

Per Holmberg, director of acquisitions for Vinfolio, a San Francisco company that sells fine wine to collectors, called Hsu’s selections classic — the choices of “a true bon vivant.”

Until recently, Hsu, 56, traveled in glittering circles as one of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s most prolific supporters, raising more than $1.2 million for the New York Democrat and other Democratic candidates in the last three years.

Still not much evidence as to where his money came from, though.

UPDATE: Bill Quick finds Hsu’s taste a bit nouveau:

This “collection” sounds like something thrown together by a guy who walks into BevMo and says, “What’s the most expensive champagne you got? Cristal? Great. Gimme a couple of cases. And some of that Rothschild stuff, I hear about that all the time. How about domestic red wines? Opus One? Fine. Three cases of that, too.”

Ouch.

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