Tools of James Suckling's trade: black briefcase, 4 glasses, $8,500

Wine critic James Suckling, who has tasted 160,000 wines, always carries a briefcase that holds four glasses

Picture yourself, wine aficionado, carrying this sleek, hand-crafted leather briefcase from Salvatore Ferragamo outfitted with Lalique crystal wineglasses. Nice. 

Wine critic James Suckling of (and before that, Wine Spectator’s longtime European correspondent) created both the glasses and the briefcase for what he calls a 100-point lifestyle. If you have to ask what the 100-point lifestyle is, you probably can’t afford it.



An earlier version of this post said the starting price for the Ferragamo briefcase was $6,800. It is now $8,500.


At any rate, Suckling debuted the “Lalique 100 Points by James Suckling” -- universal wine glasses from the fabled French crystal house -- last year. This year he's teamed up with the equally fabled Italian house of Salvatore Ferragamo to deliver a handmade leather briefcase to hold those very same glasses.

When they become available in November, they'll start at $8,500. 

In a statement, the wine critic says, "You might find it strange that everywhere I travel, I take a small, black leather case full of crystal wine glasses. It isn’t much larger than your average briefcase, but it always holds my four Lalique 'James Suckling 100 Points' universal glasses.

"Over my four-decade career as a wine critic, I have tasted some 160,000 wines. And so I always feel I need to have my same wine glasses and briefcase on hand wherever I am in the world. Think of them like a concert violinist’s Stradivarius or a professional tennis player’s prized racket -- they are the tools of my trade, but more importantly they enhance any wine-drinking experience, whether tasting or just drinking as a wine lover.”

With this leather briefcase handmade in Ferragamo’s workshops in Florence — and four "James Suckling 100 Points" stems, you, too, can make like an international wine critic. Picture your entrance at the latest downtown L.A. hot spot with one of these babies in hand. No drinking out of jelly glasses or bulletproof stemware for this connoisseur.

Question is, can you sully the glass with a less-than-100-point wine? Or will it break into a thousand pieces at the affrontery?

Order the "100 Points" briefcase in black lined with red or in a special all-black edition, limited to 100 pieces, which includes two black-stemmed "100 Points" glasses and two 100-point bottles of First Growth Bordeaux.

Spittoon not included.

Start writing your letter to Santa now.

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