Caught on Video: 6,810 Wine Bottles Destroyed in Shelf Collapse

Oct 21, 2011 12:58pm

It’s a wine connoisseur’s worst nightmare: 6, 810 bottles of vino crashing to the floor of a Sheboygan, Wis., liquor store–all captured by the store’s surveillance video.

The accident happened in July, but for insurance purposes the store could not release the video of a sea of wine filling Superior Discount Liquor until now.

A connected line of shelves spanning 78 feet pulled away from the wall in a domino effect, sending bottles of vin ordinaire priced from $2.99, to $149.00 bottles of Dom Perignon, crashing to floor in an instant. The store isn’t releasing a dollar amount of damage.

The owner’s son Peter Guske was at the back of the aisle doing work when he looked up and saw one of the shelves pull away from the wall and the other shelves in line continued to do the same.

The shelving unit had been intact for 31 years; the maker of the shelves say each four-foot long shelf can hold up to 500 pounds. There were 17 sections of the shelving units, stacked five shelves high. The store owners say they aren’t sure why the shelves suddenly collapsed.

“It was like I was watching it in slow motion. I didn’t know what to think, it was unbelievable,” Guske told ABC News.

A wine salesman, seen stocking shelves in the video and later running away, said it sounded like a train was coming through the store.

The store manager, Lori Gregoire, said it was shocking at the time, but now they can laugh about the disaster of nearly an inch of wine standing in the 8,000 square foot store.

“Wine was coming out the front door, it was coming out the back door,” Gregoire told ABC News.

The store called in 24 people to help clean up the shattered mess, bringing in wheelbarrows, shovels and shop-vacs. Some employees already at work for the day were wearing flip flops, but Gregoire said they cleaned up the mess anyway.

“We had several people with red-stained feet for a week,” she said.

The accident happened at 9 a.m. but by 5 p.m. the employees worked to have all of the glass and most of the wine picked up without even shutting down the store.

Guske said they were sad to see so much wine no one would ever be able to drink, “There were a lot of jokes about getting out the straws.”

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