What’s the most expensive wine?

I was thinking the other day about how much would be too much to pay for a bottle of wine.

Then I saw that 12 bottles of Romanee-Conti sold for $474,000–or $39,500 each– over the weekend. That was the most any case of wine has sold for at a Christie’s auction, according to Bloomberg.

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The case of 35-year-old Burgundy wine out-sold the last record-breaker: a $345,000 bid for a case of wine, at the Hong Kong auction.

The Burgundy is from the same winery that was in the spotlight in October after news broke of an international counterfeiting ring selling fake versions of the French wines.


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I can’t imagine bidding as much on a case of wine as the Chinese buyer at the auction–which I’m not surprised about given the location as well as China’s increasing thirst for fancy wine. China buys 6% of the world’s Burgundy, an increase from 1% in 2007, according to Quartz.com. I think the most I’ve ever spent for a bottle of wine was $40, and that was at a restaurant, splitting the bottle between four diners.

Obviously, I’m no high-roller, but even if I was, would I spend nearly a half a million dollars on a case of wine, even if that wine was from one of the top wineries in the world, made in 1978 and tasted so good it “should be censored?”

According to Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Wine, the wine is “wild,” “incredible” and is reminiscent of a “glorious raw black truffles bouquet.”

Still, I don’t think I could ever spend that much money on wine, but that choice has more to do with my values, than my love for wine.

I believe you can be a wine lover, even a wine expert, without dropping a boatload of cash at an international auction.

What’s the maximum you’d spend on wine? How much is too much?