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What Is a Wine Cave and Why Do so Many People Think They’re Evil?

Ever since the December Democratic debate, when Sen Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass accused Mayor of South Bend Pete Buttigieg of consorting with the evil rich in a wine cave with crystals and $900 bottle refreshments, people have had one question in their minds. What is a wine cave?

People have, at least, heard of wine cellars. They may have seen one in a movie when the lord of the manor asks his butler to fetch another couple of bottles. But wine caves are something new. The Washington Examiner explains.

“A wine cave is an underground storage area for barrels of wine to age. Wine ages best underground because of the cool temperatures and high humidity. The structures have become very popular in California, but they have been around in the state since the 1860s.

“Although a wine cave can just be a barren storage area for barrels of wine, some have morphed into top-dollar wine tasting areas and the perfect location for ritzy events. Buttigieg earned the scorn of Warren because his fundraiser, which was held in Napa, California, included more than a dozen wealthy donors and zero reporters to relay what promises the candidate was making.”

One of the attendees at the Buttigieg fundraiser was Netflix honcho Reed Hastings.

Wine caves come in all sizes and price ranges. Generally, every vineyard has one to help age their product and to provide event space, such as special tastings and, in the case being discussed, Buttigieg’s fundraiser. But anyone who visits a vineyard can take a peek at the wine cave. They are not, as Warren seemed to imply, top-secret lairs where the rich gather to plot to take over the world and influence politicians. The one that Buttigieg was in is one of the more expansive, swankier ones.

Understandably, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and his favorite future cabinet secretary, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. D-New York joined in the pile-on of Buttigieg over his soiree down in the Napa Valley wine cave. They harangued a crowd on Venice Beach near Los Angeles about the issue, according to Fox News.

“We don’t have a Super PAC, we don’t want a Super PAC. We don’t go to rich people’s wine caves,” Sanders told the crowd.

One can only presume that Sanders, who is a multimillionaire with three homes, does not have a wine cave at either of them.

Pete Buttigieg is Getting the Full Class Warfare Treatment at the hands of the two socialists in the race, Warren and Sanders. As Buttigieg noted in his response to Warren’s jibe, he was the only person on the debate stage that evening who was not particularly wealthy. He noted that Warren had been known, at least before her presidential run, to have hobnobbed with the rich and was, therefore, imposing a “purity test” that she could not pass.

Slate notes that some of the attendees of the wine cave fundraisers came to Buttigieg’s defense. Bill Wehrle, who is the vice president of a healthcare company, noted that the wine he drank came from a $185 bottle and not a $900 one. He also noted that the event did not consist of “billionaires in a wine cave.” Wehrle says that he is not even a millionaire.

Indeed, as The Week notes, some of the other attendees included, “a professor at a community college. Also in attendance, Wehrle said, were a dean from another local community college, a flight attendant, a local city councilwoman, and a college student.”

Craig and Kathryn Hall, who own the wine hall in question, also noted that they do carry a $900 bottle of wine, but it is extra-large, holding about the same amount as four regular bottles. The most expensive regular bottle wine comes to $350, which they did not serve at the fundraiser.

The topics of conversation did not include how a President Buttigieg could benefit the tech industry or how much he would deal with taxes and regulations. They did include, “primary care for the uninsured, getting out of Afghanistan, and how he plans on combating hate speech.”

In other words, the Buttigieg event was not quite as nefarious as Warren and Sanders suggest.