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World's Most Expensive Wine and Spirits Slideshow

World's Most Expensive Wine and Spirits Slideshow

A shot of one of these is worth a small fortune

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10) 1811 Chateau d’Yquem — $117,000

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Christian Vanneque, who runs SIP Wine Bar in Bali, Indonesia, paid $117,000 for this bottle of 1811 Chateau d’Yquem. The Wall Street Journal says that this is the record payment for a bottle of white wine, surpassing the previous record of $100,000 held by a bottle of 1787 Chateau d’Yquem.

9) 1907 Heidsieck — $275,000

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This staggeringly pricey champagne is the most expensive in the world for both its quality and intriguing journey. Expensive Champagne reports that the highly prized bottles of champagne were discovered in 1998 among the shipwreck of the Swedish freighter Jönköping, which sank in the Gulf of Finland. The ship was chartered to deliver alcohol from Sweden to the Imperial Court of Czar Nicholas II of Russia, but it never made it to its destination after it was torpedoed during World War II by a German U-boat. Thankfully, most of the bottles on board were preserved, including the 1907 Heidsieck cuvée.

8) 1947 Château Cheval Blanc — $304,375

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This exquisite bottle was auctioned at Christie's in Geneva for $304,375. The auction house's wine expert, Michael Ganne, had nothing but effusive praise for the wine, saying it was "without doubt one of the greatest Bordeaux of all time, not only for its rare quality but its longevity, in that it can still be kept for another 50 years without any problem." Note that he neglected to say whether it was worth the staggering price.

7) The Macallan 64 Year Old in Lalique — $460,000

ID 143712994 © Rosaline Napier | Dreamstime.com

Who doesn’t love scotch on the rocks? At $460,000, this exquisite scotch is almost a bargain when you consider the sleek crystal decanter it comes in. Pretty cool.

6) Screaming Eagle — $500,000

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Even the winemaker of Screaming Eagle, the California cult wine whose 6-liter bottle recently sold for $500,000, couldn’t fathom its value. Per Time Magazine, "It’s wild," she said. "You drink it, and it’s gone. My brain doesn’t get it."

5) Mendis Coconut Brandy — $1 million

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This clear brandy, which is matured for at least two years in Hamilla wood casks, launched in 2007. Considering the second bottle was given away for free in a contest, it only adds up to about $500,000 a bottle. Quite affordable, really.

4) Scottish Diva Vodka — $1 million

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In case you have a spare million floating around, this inordinately expensive vodka comes in a bottle stuffed with crystals and gemstones.

3) Henri IV Dudognon Heritage — $2 million

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Trend Hunter reports that the Henri IV Dudognon Heritage is the world’s most expensive cognac. The $2 million bottle is packaged by jeweler Jose Davalos, and is reportedly dubbed the "DNA" of cognacs. The ultra-expensive liquor has been produced since 1776 and is aged in barrels for more than 100 years. Then, the liquor is bottled in a bottle that is dipped in 24-karat gold and sterling platinum and decorated with 6,500 brilliant cut diamonds. The 8-kilogram bottle is filled with just 100 cl. of the decadent drink.

2) Pasión Azteca, Platinum Liquor Bottle by Tequila Ley — $3.5 million

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The new Tequila Ley Pasión Azteca bottles are once again a bonus to the top-shelf liquor inside — they're made of engraved platinum by Mexican artist Alejandro Gomez Oropeza. Burning question: Does the 1800 Tequila guy, who has immeasurable distaste for poser tequilas, approve?

1) D’Amalfi Limoncello Supreme — $44 million

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At more than 11 times more expensive than second place, you know D’Amalfi Limoncello Supreme is legit. Let’s say, hypothetically, that you are thirsty, have a weak moment, and drink the contents. What do you do with the bottle, which has three single cut diamonds totaling 13.5 carats and an 18.5 carat single cut diamond? Put it on display? Make a couple of rings?


The World's Most Expensive Wine and Spirits


To impress the most discerning dinner party guests, a host needs to go all out. And to really knock their socks off, make sure everything is top shelf.

(Photo Credit: © MostExpensiveCognac)

The cheapest liquor on this list, an 1811 bottle of Chateau d'Yquem, recently sold for $117,000. The buyer, the French-born Christian Vanneque who has spread his love for wine to Bali, Indonesia, plans to keep the bottle on display in a bulletproof showcase -- like a "mini Fort Knox" -- until he drinks it in 2017 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his clearly illustrious career. Quite the present to oneself -- how disappointing would it be if it didn't end up being any better than a bottle of two-buck chuck?

Many of the bottles on this list are priced so high for reasons that go far beyond their exquisite taste. For example, 1907 Heidsieck, which goes for a cool $275,000 a bottle, costs so much because the bottles were discovered in 1998 as part of the exploration of the shipwreck of the Swedish freighter Jönköping, which crashed in the Gulf of Finland.

Others lack the historical relevance, but because of bling that would make even the most fresh-to-death rappers blush, their prices skyrocket. The top four most expensive bottles of liquor in the world -- ranging from $1 million to $44 million -- are all outfitted with precious jewels and/or metals that vastly outweigh the contents of what's inside.

Whether engraved in platinum or containing more diamonds than De Beers, these bottles probably aren't ever getting thrown out -- even when the alcohol inside them is gone.


The great wine fraud

T he world’s biggest wine forger started small. It was the early 2000s, and a young man who went by the name of Rudy Kurniawan began to make a name for himself on the Los Angeles scene. He had swept-back hair and a hearty laugh. More importantly, he had pockets of seemingly infinite depth, so his new friends overlooked his mysterious origins. It was said he came from a wealthy Sino-Indonesian family, living large off handouts. But nobody pressed too hard as long as the dinners – and booze – kept flowing.

Kurniawan also had a palate of rare finesse, better than most at identifying the characteristics of different vintages. Or at least, that’s what the people he fooled said. At first he was interested in Californian wines, in particular pinot noir, but soon developed a taste for Burgundy, made mainly from the same grape but far more glamorous. In Burgundy’s Byzantine system of appellations, Kurniawan sensed hard profits. He became a major player at auctions, buying – and selling –some of the 20th century’s greatest wines. He bought so much Domaine de la Romanée-Conti he became known as “Dr Conti”, which presumably later amused some of those he defrauded.

In one auction at Acker Merrall & Condit in 2006, Kurniawan sold $24.7m of wine, beating the previous record by $10m. These were the days of the first dotcom boom, when Silicon Valley had more money than sense, a combination which has always been drawn to fine wines.

Corked: foil capsules, labels and corks that were used as evidence in the trial of Rudy Kurniawan. Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

In time, however, discrepancies appeared in the market. Bottles of Clos St Denis from Domaine Ponsot, of vintages between 1945 and 1971, started to turn up. Laurent Ponsot, the head of the house, found this surprising as his family only started making the wine in 1982. He set out to investigate.

Around the same time Bill Koch, an American billionaire who found fake bottles in his collection, hired private detectives and filed a lawsuit. Authentication experts saw more and more dodgy consignments emerging from these record-breaking auctions. At last the FBI got involved. In March 2012 they raided Kurniawan’s house in Arcadia, California. They found a fully equipped counterfeiting workshop, complete with corking tools, labels, empty bottles and extensive tasting notes. Kurniawan had been taking cheaper wines – though still better than you will find in your average off-licence – and putting them in more expensive bottles, or altering bottles to appear more valuable.

The most expensive wines are so rarely drunk few can claim to be expert on how they taste. On the occasions they are opened, it is usually courtesy of a generous host. It is poor guestmanship to lob aspersions on any proffered bottle, let alone one that cost as much as your car. What’s more, several scientific studies have shown that even professed experts are hardly better than chance at identifying different wines. The entire industry hangs on the word of the critic Robert Parker, whose scores are a benchmark against how wines are priced. A Princeton economist came up with an algorithm based on weather data from the grape crop’s growth period that nearly exactly mimicked Parker’s scores.

Caught red-handed: bottles being prepared att Kurniawan’s California home Photograph: pr

The feeling of being scammed will be familiar to almost anyone who has ordered wine in a restaurant: Kurniawan simply scaled it up. In 2014 he was sentenced to 10 years in a California prison, the first person to be convicted of wine fraud.

A new documentary, Sour Grapes, revisits the story. It came about after two directors met by chance at Kurniawan’s trial. Jerry Rothwell, an Englishman who had been working on a film about the founders of Greenpeace, was following Laurent Ponsot on the trail of his faked wine. Reuben Atlas, an American, was coming from the opposite view. Having read about the arrest in New York Magazine, and not being a wine buff himself, Atlas thought Kurniawan sounded like a Robin Hood figure, taking only from those who could afford to pay.

“We were always at the back of the line for interviews in court, so we ended up talking to each other a lot,” says Rothwell. “Pretty quickly we worked out that we could work together, and given the nature of the story it was helpful to have someone in Europe and someone in America. It’s like the opposite of an Agatha Christie story, where there is one detective and multiple suspects. Here there were multiple detectives.”

The tale is told through a mixture of interviews and archive footage. A film crew had followed Kurniawan for a few days early on, for a pilot of a food and wine show that was never made. These scraps let us see Kurniawan as he must have appeared to the world he conned: boyish, charming, evasive. “Can we put the cork back in the bottle,” he jokes at one point. Knowing how his story ends, it is compelling, and very funny. Like Atlas, you cheer along as he toys with his new friends. One group calls itself the Angry Men because of the way they feel when they take a good bottle to a party and find everyone else has bought plonk. At Angry Men dinners, $200,000 might be drunk in a night.

Spot the difference: three bottles of wine used as evidence in Rudy Kurniawan’s trial. The magnum dates from a time when magnums were not available Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Atlas and Rothwell tried in vain to secure an interview with Kurniawan. Once they knew they wouldn’t have time with him, the nature of the film changed. “It became a film about being conned, rather than the conman,” says Rothwell. Even then it wasn’t easy to get hold of the collectors: few want to admit they have been duped.

Ponsot was essential to Kurniawan’s unravelling. Unlike many in the wine community, he does not take himself too seriously. Above a well-kept grey and black beard, his eyes have a Gallic twinkle. He saves seriousness for the concept of Burgundy. “The fakes are like a piece of dirt on the name of Burgundy,” he says. “I wanted to wash it off.”

From the American end, the pursuit was led by Bill Koch, brother of Charles and David who run Koch Industries and are part of a vast oil and gas dynasty. With an estimated fortune of $2bn, Bill left the family firm and became a collector of sculpture, ancient Greek coins, model ships, real ships (his team won the America’s Cup in 1992) and impressionist art. Interviewed in front of a wall of Monets in his Florida mansion, he comes across like a teddy bear with a temper.

“I hate being cheated,” he says. “There’s a code of silence in the wine industry – I was not going to take it. With super-fine wines you can taste the love the vintner had in making it, and that to me is almost a religious experience. We collectors like precious things. What price can you put on love?” he says, before correcting himself. “Well, when you get divorced you can.”

“In some ways Bill had more resources than the FBI,” says Rothwell. Without Koch, the trial might never have come to pass. He hired Brad Goldstein, a private investigator who prefers beer and clearly finds the whole wine scene preposterous. Goldstein had spotted a magnum of Pétrus from 1921, a time when they made no magnums.

Those duped were almost exclusively male. These were men showing off, including Jay McInerney, the Manhattan literary enfant terrible who has mellowed into a wine critic. There is “Hollywood” Jef Levy, a red-nosed sunglass-clad producer of films you won’t have heard of. There’s a drawling suit-clad investor, swirling a glass in a taxi across town. “Buy ’06 Champagne,” he tells us. “If you can’t afford that, buy ’02. If you can’t afford that, drink fucking beer.”

It’s striking how easily those in the boys’ club were prepared to believe in the character of Kurniawan – an ingenue immigrant with plenty of cash, who wanted to be part of their gang. “Everyone in the story could play themselves in the Hollywood movie,” says Atlas. “They were all so perfectly cast: you pick up on who they are very quickly.”

The effect of the rogues’ gallery is that Kurniawan comes across as a more sympathetic figure. As with a diamond heist, you root for the plucky conman rather than the rich victims, and like any great forger, Kurniawan is a skilful artist himself. Part of the reason it took so long for the fraud to emerge is that as long as a bottle of fake wine is passed from cellar to cellar, nobody loses out. In one of those gleaming snippets of old footage, Kurniawan tells his fellow diners to beware of online auctions, where you can’t be sure of the wine’s provenance.

“When we started out I thought: ‘Here’s a guy who’s sticking it to rich people, and good on him,’” says Atlas. “But as I got to know the people involved, and understand the process of wine-making, I became less sympathetic. My perspective changed.”

Kurniawan’s was the first case of wine fraud to be successfully prosecuted in the US. But the government did not chase the paper trail back to Indonesia. There are signs he was not acting alone. Ponsot believes it would have been impossible for one man to produce so many counterfeit bottles, and also that wine fraud is a much bigger problem than has been acknowledged. In a recent interview he said he suspected 80% of the Burgundy allegedly from before 1980 is counterfeit.

“Rudy is by no means the only faker,” Rothwell agrees, pointing to the stories from France about “wine terrorism”, where a group of activists has taken to smashing up vineyards and storage facilities, partly out of fears over cheap Spanish imports.

Kurniawan’s family is tantalising, and in the far reaches of his story lie implications darker than the cellars of a few movie moguls. The investigators allege that Kurniawan’s real name is Zhen Wang Huang – “Rudy Kurniawan” is a compound of two famous Indonesian badminton players – and he was denied a US visa in 2003. The documentary traces his mother’s brothers, Hendra Rahardja and Eddy Tansil, back to an infamous bank fraud, where $800m was stolen and has not been recovered. Tansil is still at large, supposedly in China. In 2007 alone, Kurniawan wired $17m to his brothers in Hong Kong and Indonesia. And although email documentation shows Kurniawan was often desperately short of money, he still lived in a mansion and drove a Ferrari.

It’s clear that some of his friends from the wine world still don’t want to believe what Kurniawan did. Hollywood Jef slips between the past and present tenses talking about his old friend, incredulous that this could have happened. “I still don’t know whether Rudy got into wine and then saw an opportunity, or saw wine as the opportunity from the start,” says Rothwell. “Anything that depends on what people want to believe is a complex area.” When rich men want to spend money, they’ll find a way to do it, in other words. To prove the point, a market has already emerged for Kurniawan’s wines – both the unadulterated bottles in his collection and also the fakes that survive.

Bad bottles: a magnum of Pétrus 1947 from the trial… only it isn’t. Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

“Taste is obviously really subjective and contextual, and it’s hard to put into words,” says Rothwell. “But with wine it’s not as simple as saying it’s the emperor’s new clothes, or that this was a victimless crime. There are bigger questions of authenticity, which is why Ponsot is so important to the tale. This reaches deep into French soil and French history, and for him is quite abstract. Whether you’re into wine or not, it’s a story about human fallibility.”

Whose, though? Wine is meant to bring people together, in warmth, conversation and laughter. Beyond this we add history, mystique and science, mainly because they are fun. The spirit of wine frolics around naked it is not a suited accountant. Few drinkers, as they uncork an £8 bottle from Tesco, think in terms of investment, or the authenticity of the bottle. Rudy Kurniawan broke the law, but Dionysus would surely have chuckled.


World's Most Expensive Wines

When an enterprising young man named James Christie opened his sales rooms in London in December 1766, his first auction consisted of the estate of a "deceased nobleman" containing "a large Quantity of Madeira and high Flavour'd Claret." The records don't relate how much these delightfully described "high Flavour'd clarets" fetched but as the whole sale realized a grand total 𧵧, it is a sure bet that if Christie had known that two hundred years later, in 1985, his now famous auction house would sell one bottle of wine for 𧴡,000, or $160,000, he might have held back a bottle or two to enrich his future heirs.

This bottle was a Bordeaux, a 1787 Chateau Lafite, and, according to The Guinness Book of World Records, 18 years later it still is the world's most expensive bottle of wine. Its great age alone would have ensured a good price but what gave it its special cachet, especially to American collectors, and ensured the record price tag were the initials Th.J. etched in the glass.

The bottle had belonged to Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States and one of the most revered of its founding fathers. A philosopher, scientist and statesmen, the aristocratic Jefferson was also an avid oenophile. When he was ambassador to France he spent much of his time visiting the vineyards of Bordeaux and Burgundy, buying wine for his own collection and on behalf of his friends back home. He is also associated with two other bottles of very pricy wine, a 1775 Sherry ($43,500) and the most expensive white wine ever sold, a 1787 Chateau d'Yquem ($56,588).

Of course none of these wines are actually drinkable now it is unusual for even the best Bordeaux to last more than 50 years, and 200 years is beyond any wine's limit. The allure of these high-priced bottles of vinegar, and other wines of its ilk, is purely in the joy of collecting, not consuming. The 1787 Lafite was explicitly bought as a piece of Jefferson memorabilia, not as a bottle of wine, and it now resides in the Forbes Collection in New York. These wines are rather like old stamps, something to be collected, horded but never used, and they command such high prices not because of their utility but because of their scarcity and consequent appeal to collectors.

Compiling a list of the World's Most Expensive Bottles of Wine is not as simple as it might first appear. How do you compare the price paid for a double magnum--that's four bottles--to a single bottle? Do you rate them on the same scale or do you divide the price of the big bottle by four in order to determine its per-single bottle price?

So, rather than compiling a league table we determined 11 separate categories, then sought out the most expensive bottle in each category, and a pretty interesting search it turned out to be. One of the first things you'll notice is that all the wines on the list were sold at auction, because, except in rare occasions, the seller knows that the publicity surrounding a special bottle, and the heated atmosphere of competitive bidding, often results in even higher prices.

The world's most expensive bottle of wine that could actually be drunk today is also the most expensive wine ever sold in America, a Montrachet 1978 from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti that was hammered down at Sotheby's in New York in 2001. The lot of seven bottles fetched $167,500, or $23,929 per bottle. This is an extraordinary price for a white wine, even in the rarified world of wine collecting. What happened was that two avid collectors were bidding against each other and got carried away, each refusing to yield as the price rose through the stratosphere.

Michael Broadbent Michael Broadbent

, the former head of Christie's wine department, relates a similar story concerning the sale of the Jefferson Lafite. As the bidding approached 𧴜,000 for this unique bottle, he changed bid steps, that is the amount the bids increased by. One of the two remaining bidders was

Marvin Shanken Marvin Shanken

, publisher of the Wine Spectator, and according to Broadbent, he didn't notice the change until, to his very obvious horror, he realized that he had just offered to pay 𧴜,000 for one bottle of wine. As he sat there ashen faced a great hush fell over the packed auction room as everyone waited to see if the other bidder, Christopher Forbes, would come back in. He eventually did, at 𧴡,000, much to Shanken's very palpable relief.

Then there is the strange case of the most expensive bottle of wine never sold. In 1989 William Sokolin, a New York wine merchant, had a bottle of Chateau Margaux 1787, also with Jefferson's initials, on consignment from its English owner. He was asking $500,000 for it but had had no cash offers when he took it along to a Chateau Margaux dinner at the Four Seasons restaurant. (Why would it cost so much more than the 1787 Lafite? It didn't cost more than the Lafite, just that Sokolin was asking $500,000. I don't think he expected to get this much and had had no offers by the time of the accident. However, just by asking such a huge sum he generated a lot of publicity, which some people speculate was the whole point of the exercise. He did however get $225,000 from the insurance company which he claims, with some justification, makes it the world's most expensive bottle, even if it was never sold. Besides everything else it's a fun story about a very expensive bottle however you rate it.)

At the end of the evening he was getting ready to leave when a waiter carrying a coffee tray bumped the bottle, breaking it. Luckily, Sokolin had the foresight to insure his valuable vin, and shared the $225,000 payout with the owner, which makes this the world's most expensive broken bottle of wine. History does not tell us what happened to the unfortunate waiter.

What all these wines have in common, whether it's the undrinkable 1787 Lafite or the eminently drinkable 1945 Mouton, and what makes them command such astronomic prices, is their scarcity value.

The world seems to have an ever-increasing appetite for collecting unusual old things, be they baseball cards, 1950s Formica furniture or steam train memorabilia, and it's only natural that rare wines are subject to this same collecting mania.

Now, with more and more people discovering the pleasures of drinking wine, especially the newly rich of China and East Asia, the prices of all fine wines will continue to rise and it will only be a matter of time before Mr. Jefferson's bottle, and several others on our list, see their formally eye-popping prices surpassed as ever richer and ever more determined collectors compete for that one, must-have bottle of wine.


Best Semi-Sweet: Peter Lauer Barrel X Riesling

Skeptical about sweet wine? Start off with a semi-sweet bottle, like this affordable gem from Peter Lauer. Lauer is one of Germany’s most highly-regarded producers, though this entry-level wine receives just as much love as his high-end cuvées. Notes of sweet citrus, lime juice, petrol and a touch of honey dominate this refreshing wine. Pair with spicy takeout favorites and get ready for an eye-opening sipping experience.


World Wine Guys Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jensson

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, also known as the World Wine Guys, are wine, spirits, food, and travel writers, educators, television presenters, emcees, and hosts. They are award-winning journalists as well as best-selling and award-winning authors. Mike and Jeff are the Entertaining and Lifestyle Editors at Wine Enthusiast Magazine and Media Company. They have been featured guests on The TODAY Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Better TV, and the CBS, FOX, Hallmark, WGN, and NBC networks. DeSimone and Jenssen are the authors of five books (so far) including Wines Of California: The Comprehensive Guide, Wines Of California: Special Deluxe Edition, Wines Of The Southern Hemisphere, which won the Gourmand International Award for Best Wine Book in the USA and RED WINE with co-author Kevin Zraly, which won the Gourmand International Award for Best Wine Book in the World and was honored at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and the Alfred NOBEL House in Sweden. They are also the authors of the Fire Island Cookbook.

1. What were your first jobs as writers?

We first started writing for International Living about life in Spain. We bought a house on the Costa del Sol in 2004 and began writing articles about life in southern Spain. The pieces focused on holidays, how we spent our free time, and the quality of life there. Because they were always written in first person, the articles were published under only one of our names at a time, although we worked on them together.

2. What led you to becoming wine writers?

Although we previously had other careers and began writing while still holding other jobs, we are both immensely attracted to the wine lifestyle and to the people who make wine and the places where grapes are grown and wine is made. Mike studied journalism in college, and Jeff worked as a sommelier while he was in grad school, and we combined our passion and talent to forge a path on which we could work together. We love telling the stories behind the wine and getting other people as excited about what’s in their glass as we are.

3. What kind of reader do you have in mind when you’re writing?

It all depends on what we are writing and where it is being published. Some of our articles are basic “Wine 101,” aimed at people who are somewhat new to wine and are trying to improve their knowledge base. We also write articles that include recipes and pairing advice for those who enjoy drinking wine but want to be more comfortable with choosing the right wine to match the dishes they are serving. When we are writing our own books, we try to keep the language engaging and lively while addressing a variety of readers. We have heard from beginning wine lovers and Master of Wine candidates alike that they enjoy our books and use them to increase their knowledge.

4. Where is the most magical place your wine writing has brought you?

Without a doubt, Rangiroa, a coral island near Tahiti in the South Pacific. There is a winery there called Vin de Tahiti, and the vines are grown atop a coral atoll. Grapes are grown in some of the most beautiful places in the world, but this is a truly extraordinary location. The vineyards can only be reached by motorboat, and you cruise across a shallow, turquoise-hued lagoon under the bluest sky you have ever seen.


4. Chateau Lafite’s 1869 – £136,000 ($230,000)

/>In 2010 three bottles of Chateau Lafite’s 1869 vintage sold for $230,000 each making it the world’s most expensive standard sized bottle of wine ever sold. All three were bought by the same buyer at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong which saw almost 2,000 bottles of Lafite shipped in to be sold. The oldest bottles, from the 1869 vintage, were estimated to sell for up to HK$60,000 each (£4,599), which makes its eventual selling price all the more remarkable.


#6 Armand de Brignac Midas Liquor

Armand de Brignac Midas was sold at a staggering amount of 215,000 dollars making it one of the most expensive liquor bottles in the world. Inspired by the myth of King Midas this champagne bottle weighing 45 kg was handcrafted by eight artisans. It is considered a premium champagne bottle in the world of luxury alcoholic drinks.

There are only six limited edition bottles in the world of most expensive liquor Armand de Brignac Midas. It is produced with the help of old-world techniques to give it an authentic flavor in Chigny-Les-Roses in France. This full-bodied and complex alcoholic drink is considered both lively and fresh as it has light-floral notes. The blend is a mixture of 20% Pinot Meunier, 40% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir. Creamy texture, fruity aroma, sumptuous palate, and silky finish make it one of the most coveted and expensive alcoholic drinks in the world.


#5 Chateau Margaux, $225,000

Chateau Margaux is still producing wines to this day. They’re known for good, expensive wines and their reputation in the wine industry is one of the best. With the average bottle costing at least $1,500, they’re definitely not something you’d pick up on a whim.

In 1989, wine Merchant William Sokolin suffered the greatest loss the win industry has seen so far. Discovered in 1985, a bottle of 1875 Chateau Margaux Wine that belonged to Thomas Jefferson was discovered behind a wall in a Paris cellar. At a party with the then owners of the Chateau, he went home to show them the crown jewel of his collection that he’d personally valued at $512,000.

Making his rounds around the room with this treasure, all was going according to plan when the worst happened. The bottle hit the corner of a chair and fell straight to the ground. The old glass held and the bottle itself didn’t shatter. However, two good sized holes did appear and the wine leaked all over the floor. Sokolin was so upset, he left the party with his now worthless bottle forgetting of all things- his wife. A puddle of the 114-year-old wine left on the counter of the coat check was tasted by restaurant manager Julian Niccolini. Unsurprisingly, his review was one word: “Yuck.”

Despite the high evaluation, the insurance company only paid out $225,000 for the ultra-rare bottle of wine. This was still more than it sold for, as at Auction it only sold for a measly $155,453.


10) Great Wall

A famous Chinese wine brand, Great Wall is a unit of the state-owned COFCO group and established in the year 1983. The main office of this company is located at the foot of the Great Wall of China besides the Guanting Lake. The company is estimated to have about 74.8 hectares of vineyard that are mostly seen in Shandong.

Almost 10 varieties of grapes are grown in their vineyard. It is known for their modern winemaking process to produce high-quality wines. The winemaking equipment is imported from other countries like Germany, Italy, and France.

It makes red, rose, white, sparkling, sweet and fortified wines and sells their products in across 20 countries. It also offers dry wine, half dry wine, sweet and half sweet wine, sparkling wine, distilled wine, and fortified wines. Due to their various products, Great Wall is considered as one of the top wine brands in the world.


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