Wine caves became an unexpected topic of conversation at Thursday night’s Democratic debate in California, where Presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren slammed fellow candidate Pete Buttigieg for recently rubbing elbows with billionaires at one of the subterranean events.
Continue Reading Below
“So, the mayor just recently had a fundraiser that was held in a wine cave full of crystals and served $900-a-bottle wine,” she said during the sixth Democratic debate in Los Angeles, “Think about who comes to them. He had promised that every fundraiser he would do, would be open-door. But this one was close-door.”
Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., and known as "Mayor Pete" on the campaign trail, attended the fundraising event at the Hall Rutherford wine cave in Napa Valley, which was decorated with an onyx and cherry wood table, a chandelier adorned with 1,500 Swarovski crystals and cabernet sauvignon that costs up to $900 per bottle, The Associated Press reported.
The event was hosted by Craig and Kathryn Hall, the winery’s billionaire owners, according to an invitation obtained by the outlet.
During Thursday’s debate, Warren added: “Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States.”
A representative for Hall Rutherford did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for information about pricing.
While no specific price tag has been placed on Buttigieg’s Hall Rutherford get-together, dining — or even just drinking æ in a wine cave isn’t an experience only for the billionaires.
California offers a vast selection of reasonably priced wine cave events.
Inglenook, which is also in Napa Valley, was founded in 1879 and is owned by American filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola and his wife, Eleanor Coppola. The winery offers a seated wine tasting inside a cave as part of the “Inglenook Experience,” for $65 per person. Inglenook also offers more private winery experiences through the caves, that range between $125 and $150 per person.
Sonoma’s Buena Vista Winery opened its doors in 1857 and offers wine cave tours and tastings ranging from $40 to $125 per person. Prices are lower for wine club members. The winery’s caves have been named historical landmarks, according to VisitCalifornia.com.
Los Gatos’ Testarossa Winery hosts events, including weddings, inside its wine cave, which boasts vaulted ceilings and stone walls and can accommodate at least 40 people, according to its website, which does not appear to list a price.
And wine caves are not limited to the West Coast. Rails Steakhouse in northern New Jersey boasts a wine cave that offers private parties lounge-style and also large-table seating.
Mike Mulligan, the restaurant’s executive director, told FOX Business the per-person price to dine in the underground case, which also features a wine cellar, varies based on “what kind of party you want to have.”
“The average person down there probably spends $100 a head, $75 to $100,” he said, adding that the price has been as low as $25 per person.
Rails typically hosts three private events in the wine cave each week, depending on the season, Mulligan added. The steakhouse has hosted stars, including Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Jonas and NFL players. It stocks approximately 3,400 bottles that account for 175 different vintages of wines, according to Wine Spectator, which has lauded its wine selection for the past five years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.