Wine is far more than a simple beverage. Some refer to it as a type of art that can tell a story based on many factors. A wine from a vintage year can tell a story based on the history of that time, for instance. However, it can also be a pretty smart investment to buy the right wine provided that you know what you’re doing. Alongside those, wine collecting can be a passionate hobby, a memorable souvenir, or even a decorative piece for some.
The point that is being made here is that wine can be an incredibly lucrative or meaningful investment. With so many reasons for a person to own wines of all types, the price is sure to climb pretty steeply. How expensive can wine be, though? For more insight, here are the top six most expensive wines in the world:
1. Chateau Lafite 1787: $156,450
This beautiful bottle has a bit of historical significance behind its price. Etched into the bottle are the initials of ThJ, otherwise believed to be short for Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States. Jefferson was an ambassador to France and supposedly spent a significant amount of time visiting Bordeaux and Burgundy vineyards in search of new additions to his collection.
While some people are skeptical of the ownership claim, the wine’s age would still call in a hefty sum when being sold. However, it was ultimately sold for $156,450.
2. Chateau Margaux 1787: $225,000
Another bottle sporting the initials of ThJ, this infamous bottle has a bit of a tragic story behind it. In 1989, the bottle was used in an insurance payout to a wine merchant who promptly took the wine to Four Seasons hotel in New York City.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, a server dropped the wine. As you can imagine, the drop quickly turned the bottle into the world’s most expensive puddle, leaving the merchant without his wine, and the server more than likely without a job.
3. Chateau Lafite’s 1869 | $230,000
$230,000 is a big chunk of change, but this particular bottle is only estimated to sell for about $60,000. The reason for the bottle being bought for almost 4 times its value is a simple bidding war between collectors.
Even if an auction can get a little heated on occasion, that’s still a massive price tag. For a bit of context on why the buyer went so far beyond the selling price, the wine was actually the missing bottle of a collection. Having already collected two of the three rare bottles, the collector was determined to get the third one for his collection.
4. Heidsieck 1907: $275,000
This wine was not involved with a bidding war or an insurance payout, but the price still outshines the previous two entries, but why? This champagne was involved in a shipwreck in 1916. Fortunately, an estimated 2000 bottles of the champagne were recovered in 1998. Even though there were thousands of bottles recovered, the historical significance and story behind them made the price of $275,000 a reality. At that time, it was considered the most expensive wine in the world.
5. Cheval-Blanc 1947: $304,375
The reason for this bottle’s extreme price comes down to classic wine knowledge. This lucky bottle was made with grapes from the timeframe of April and October of 1947. The time was significant as the grapes from those specific months are said to have been the best of the best and have even established a legendary status among connoisseurs.
As such, the wine was enjoyed by many people over the decades, leaving this sole bottle behind. Seeing as it was the last of its kind, the price climbed to be recognized as the most expensive wine in the world.
6. Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992: $500,000
Close readers may have noted that the last entry ended on a note of finality regarding the most expensive wine in history, so why is this entry here? Well, the details behind this bottle have been muddled by a slight technicality. Let’s try to clear things up a bit.
This particular wine was only available for a limited time in the mid 1990’s at a charity auction. Charity is great, and limited time sales bring out the collector in people, so this bottle was sold for a staggering $500,000, or so the price tag said.
The technicality comes in when you take into consideration that this was a charity sale. Even though it could have been the most expensive wine in the world, the price was knocked down quite a bit from $500,000. This wine is still significant, however, as it would have still sold for full price, and possibly even more in other conditions.