While the global credit crunch has forced many consumers to rein in spending, one Beijing-based billionaire has splashed out a record $500,000 on 27 bottles of red wine, London-based Antique Wine Company said on Saturday.
The anonymous Chinese entrepreneur bought a mix of vintages of Romanee Conti, a Burgundy wine and considered to be among the world's most exclusive with only 450 cases produced each year.
The client bought 12 bottles of Romanee Conti 1978, two bottles of the 1961, 1966, 1996 and 2003 and single bottles of the 1981, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2001 and 2002.
"It is the highest price that has ever been achieved for a single lot," Managing Director Stephen Williams of the London- based Antique Wine Company told Reuters on Saturday. "I don’t think he has bought this as an investment -- he has bought it to drink," he added. "The fine wine industry is completely immune from the global credit crunch."
The client's biggest previous purchase was 30,000 pounds ($59,880) for a case of 1982 Chateau Petrus. Williams believes the Romanee Conti sale marks a significant change in Chinese wine buying habits.
"Our leap in sales of Domaine de la Romanee Conti to mainland China this year is indicating a broadening of its fine wine education and appreciation to the more complex wines of Burgundy.”