Is Russian cell phone oligarch Evgeny Chichvarkin (below), seigneur of Mayfair’s latest wine shop Hedonism, related to SA wine identity Dave Hughes? They both have beards and while Dave mismatches his socks, Evgeny seems to mismatch his boots. Coincidence? I don’t think so!

20121126 161620 Hedonism

It’s a real treat to read John Stimpfig’s gush for Hedonism in the Weekend FT’s How to Spend It supplement. But does John really think anyone will buy wine priced in telephone numbers sourced “from producers, importers, auction houses and private collections” in these days of rampant fakirism, on his recommendation? Wine selected by a former employee of Harrods working for a glamorous CEO called Tatiana Fokina, a real James Bond femme fatale if ever there was one.

Not a sausage on what precautions are taken to ensure authenticity of the offerings. The only surprise is that la Jancis Robinson, the FT’s first growth wine columnist, didn’t write the story, well experienced as she is with fake wine from her tastings with Hardy Rodenstock. As they say in the classics, its caveat emptors all round.