What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single bottle of wine? What made you decide that this particular wine was worth the investment? Did you happen to find it by accident at an auction, or sitting on a shelf in some obscure wine store, or was it a bottle you hunted down for months or even years?
Let us know in the comments your story of how you acquired your most prized bottle! And here’s a look at some of the most legendary wines ever—sort of a wine hall of fame:
This coveted and controversial Chateau Lafite 1787 Bordeaux once allegedly belonged to founding father Thomas Jefferson, purchased when he was ambassador to France. Were you to ever uncork the bottle, you would likely discover that the wine has since turned into an undrinkable vinegar—Bordeaux doesn’t last more than 50 years—but the mystique of owning this bottle is really its own reward. This bottle sold at Christie’s auction house of London in 1985 for $160,000, and was recently at the center of controversy when it was claimed that the wine was a forgery (last year, the former director of Christie’s wine department won an apology in court from his accusers).
The most expensive bottle of champagne in history, this 1907 Heidsieck Monopole isn’t just valued because of its advanced age, but because for 80 years of its life, it was on the bottom of the Baltic Sea along with the shipwreck of the Jonpoking, which had been carrying the bottles to Tsar Nicholas of Russia. Recovered by divers in 1997, these bottles fetch an asking price of $275,000 apiece and can only be enjoyed at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow—finally having arrived at their destination.
Another wine connected to Thomas Jefferson, a bottle of this Chateau Margaux 1787 has the dubious distinction of being the most expensive bottle of wine ever broken. Destined for the auction block, the bottle met with its tragic end at a restaurant, when a waiter accidentally bumped into the bottle with a coffee tray and knocked it to the floor. Fortunately, the owner had had the foresight to insure the bottle for $225,000 beforehand…which was probably a more satisfactory conclusion to the whole affair than it would have been to garnish the hapless waiter’s wages for the next hundred years.