Sure, a person can almost always find an exquisite wine when traveling. But for Lee Perlman 'almost always' isn't enough.
A person can almost always find an exquisite wine when traveling. For Lee Perlman, however, "almost always" isn't enough. Perlman, chairman and CEO of New Age Electronics Inc., is so passionate about his 1,500-bottle wine collection that he would not think twice about carting 18 bottles out of the country to hold him over for a couple of weeks. "That way I know what I'm drinking," he explains. A lot of places offer good wines, he says, "but they still don't come close to what a serious collector might have." Of course, hauling champagne and Bordeaux across borders isn't common. It's not easy, either. Customs restrictions vary from country to country, and one trip to Jamaica cost Perlman $2,000 in fees for two cases of top-notch wine, port, and cognac (worth a whopping $25,000). Still, it's a game he learned to play long ago, with no regrets. "This is an art for me," he says. "It's important to the quality of my life."