They Spent What?!? – The Most Expensive Wines of All Time

We all love wine. Its complexity, the variety of flavours, and tastes from around the world make wine a fantastic way to enjoy the evening.

Then there are those people who spend insane amounts of money for a single bottle of wine. In some cases, these bottles are being purchased for their historical value. In other cases, it’s the vintage that makes it expensive. Nonetheless, spending a month’s, a year’s, or a lifetime’s salary on a single bottle of wine might seem a bit crazy.

Chateau Lafite 1787

There is nothing really special about the vintage or the vintner other than that they are old. The value in the most expensive bottle of wine (well, vinegar really) ever sold is in its intended recipient: Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America and one of its most important founders.

Publisher Malcolm Forbes paid $156,450 for a single bottle. The authenticity has been challenged, but it remains the most expensive bottle of wine ever purchased.

Chauteau Margaux 1787

This might not belong on this list. This bottle of wine was valued at $500,000 by the man who owned it, a wine merchant named William Sokolin. The value, just like the Chateau Lafite above, was created by the fact that it was originally owned by Thomas Jefferson.

It never sold. Instead, it was the most expensive waiter mistake in history: Solokin took it to a Margaux dinner in 1989 and a waiter knocked the bottle over, breaking it. Solokin had 500,000 reasons to cry over spilled wine.

Heidsieck Champagne 1907

During World War I (The Great War), a ship bound for the Imperial Court of Czar Nicholas II of Russia was torpedoed by a German U-boat.

In 1989, 2,000 bottles were recovered and have sold at auction ever since for $275,000 per bottle.

Cheval Blanc 1947

Only two merlots in history have been given a Class A status in the Classification of Saint-Emilion wine. In 2006, a single 3-litre bottle was sold for $135,125. This makes it not only one the best wines in history, but also one of the most expensive.

Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1945

In the 20th Century, there are a handful of wines that are considered extraordinary and the Rothschild 1945 is one of them. $114,614 per 750ml reflects this acknowledgement of the vintage and the house that created it.

Chateau d’Yquem 1787

This is the most expensive white wine in history at $100,000 per bottle. It also belonged to Thomas Jefferson, who apparently bought a lot of wine, but didn’t drink it. Note that Jefferson died in 1826 so he might have owned this wine for nearly 40 years. That’s alright, someone is making a great deal of money out of his wine cellar.

Massandra 1775

This is the least expensive wine on the list, but the most expensive sherry. As the oldest known bottle of sherry from Russia’s Massandra winery, this bottle sold at auction for a mere $43,500. Oh, to own a really old bottle of vinegar.

If you don’t own any of these wines, no worries. Buy a lot of wine today, found a nation, and leave it all in the cellar. Your ancestors will become quite wealthy by it.

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