World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 at 12:00 am

chateau lafite 1787Giving the honor for what should be considered as the world’s most expensive wine may not be as easy as one would think. There are certain factors that need to be determined before any bottle of wine may be considered for the title. Of, course there are a couple or even more that may benefit being called as the world’s most expensive wine, but this might depend on what certain wine experts have in mind.

There are wines that are considered expensive because of their rarity. There are a number of wines out there that can fetch quite a high price even though its contents might not be drinkable anymore. These wines are being bought solely for their history that may be quite a find for an avid wine collector’s extensive collection of vintage wines. For such kinds of wines, the most expensive in the world today is the 1787 Chateau Lafitte.

The 1787 Chateau Lafitte, a Bordeaux variety, is considered as the world’s most expensive wine by the Guinness Book of World Records. It became such during an auction at the famed auction house Christie’s in 1985. It was bought by Christopher Forbes during that year for a staggering price of US$160,000 for a single bottle. Aside from its age, which  in itself may already justify this wine having such an exorbitant price, this 1787 Chateau Lafitte was highly sought after by serious wine collectors because of the initials "Th J" that is etched in its bottle.

The "Th J" stood for the name of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and one of its most respected founding fathers. Pres. Jefferson was also known as an avid wine connoisseur and has been known to have provided the Presidential residence at that time with an extensive collection of wines from all over the world. The 1787 Chateau Lafitte is believed to belong to this collection and so has become quite a find for many avid wine collectors.

The 1787 Chateau Lafitte may have commanded such a great price, but its contents unfortunately may no longer be fit to drink. The best Bordeaux wines, such as the 1787 Chateau Lafitte, can only last for about 50 years at best before it can be considered undrinkable. Considering its age of over 200 years, the 1787 Chateau Lafitte may also be considered as the most expensive bottle of vinegar. Its high price tag is due to its appeal as a rare collectible. Forbes bought it at the auction as a valuable memorabilia, a rare piece of history rather than just an extraordinary bottle of very old wine.

Such wines may be considered as the world’s most expensive wine today although it may no longer be drinkable. But some people may just be looking for the most expensive drinkable wine in the world. That, in itself may belong to a different category. So in essence, there can be several wines out there that deserve the honor to be called as the world’s most expensive wine. And so the search still continues.