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This Week’s Wine Wisdom

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Expensive WineHow much are you willing to spend on a bottle of wine?  Here’s an great list of the world’s most expensive wines from

Most Expensive Regular sized Bottle: Chateau Lafite 1787 sold at Christie’s London in 1985 for $160,000. Bought for the Forbes Collection, this bottle of Lafite bears Thomas Jefferson’s initials etched into the glass, a practice not that unusual in the 18th century when large purchases were made directly from the Chateau.

Most Expensive Big Bottle: A Jeroboam (5 lovely liters) Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1945–considered one of the great vintages of the 20th century–sold at Christie’s London in 1997 for $114,614. One of the great vintages of the 20th century was 1945, and although the buyer remains anonymous, if he decides to sample it, please know that I am available to help him evaluate its drinkability.

Most Expensive Fortified Wine: A 1775 Sherry from the Massandra collection, sold at Sotheby’s London in 2001 for $43,500.

Most Expensive Lot of Wine Sold at Auction: Situated 4 kilometers from Yalta in the Crimea, the Massandra winery was considered the finest in Czarist Russia. Its cellar contains over a million bottles of both Russian, some bearing the Imperial seal, and Western European wines, the oldest of which was this Sherry.

Most Expensive White Wine: A bottle of 1784 Chateau d’Yquem sold at Christie’s London in 1986 for $56,588. This bottle also bears Thomas Jefferson’s initials.

Most Expensive Dry White Wine: Seven bottles of Le Montrachet, DRC 1978 sold at Sotheby’s New York in 2001 for $167,500 or $23,929 per bottle.

Most Expensive Single Bottle of Red Burgundy: Romanée-Conti, DRC 1990 6 magnums at Zachy’s New York in 2002 for $69,600, or $5,800 per regular bottle.

Most Expensive Lot of Red Burgundy: Set of seven Methuselah’s (6 liters or eight bottles) of Romanée-Conti, DRC 1985 sold at Sotheby’s London in 1996 for $224,900.

Most Expensive American Wine: Three bottles of Screaming Eagle 1994 sold at Christie’s Los Angeles in 2000 for $11,500 or $3,833 per bottle.

Most Expensive Bottle of Wine Ever Broken: Chateau Margaux 1787 insured for $225,000.

Most Expensive Wine Ever Sold At a Charity Auction: Imperial of Screaming Eagle Cab 1992 sold at the Napa Valley Wine Auction in 2000 for $500,000. Bought by Cisco Systems executive Chase Bailey, this is technically the highest price ever paid for a bottle of wine but as it was at a charity auction, much of the price must be discounted as a charitable contribution.