Monday, April 21, 2008

Billionaire drops $500,000 on 27 bottles of red

The global credit crunch has forced many people to rein in spending but one Beijing-based billionaire has splashed out a record $500,000 on 27 bottles of red wine, Antique Wine Company said Saturday.

The anonymous entrepreneur bought a mix of vintages of Romanee Conti, a Burgundy wine considered to be among the world's most exclusive with only 450 cases produced each year.
He bought 12 bottles of Romanee Conti 1978, two bottles of the 1961, 1966, 1996 and 2003 and single bottles of the 1981, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2001 and 2002.

"It is the highest price that has ever been achieved for a single lot," said Stephen Williams of Antique Wine Company. "I don't think he has bought this as an investment -- he has bought it to drink." The biggest previous purchase by this particular client was $59,880 for a case of 1982 Chateau Petrus. The highest prices paid for fine wines are for extremely special bottles, for example, those that reputedly came out of Thomas Jefferson's cellar. In his day, wine bottles were not labelled, so Jefferson poured the premium wines he imported in casks from Europe into bottles etched with his initials. Malcolm Forbes, the late publisher of Forbes' magazine, set a record in 1985 when he paid $162,750 US, for a 1787 bottle of Chateau Lafitte red.

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