An insanely wealthy French restaurateur just picked up the world's most expensive bottle of wine (white, for those curious), a 1811 Chateau d'Yquem dessert wine that retails for, oh, about $117,000.
Christian Vanneque, a former sommelier and wine expert who now runs a wine bar in Bali (of course), unveiled the bottle at a press conference yesterday. Naturally he's not going to uncork it yet, but plans to use it to lure customers to a new restaurant he plans to open later this summer. “It will be featured and displayed in a bulletproof showcase, like a painting, so people can see it easily,” Vanneque said. “This showcase will be temperature and humidity-controlled. It’ll be a mini-Fort Knox, impossible to open.” Not until 2017 will he open the bottle, to celebrate his 50-year career.
When Vanneque does finally pop that cork, he'll be in for a treat—1811 was the year of the Great Comet, which wine enthusiasts believe was an auspicious sign for an excellent production year, and the high sugar concentration in the Chateau d'Yquem has helped it maintain a long shelf life. The previous record holder for most expensive wine was also a Chateau d'Yquem, from 1887, that sold for a cut rate $100,000. "Quaffable, but far from transcendent."