Wine - Most Expensive Wines by Category of All Time

Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation of unmodified grape juice. The natural chemical balance of grapes is such that they ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes or other nutrients. Wine making has been around for centuries and wine collections can be worth millions of dollars. At auction one bottle was sold for $160,000, however at a charity event a bottle was sold for $500,000. Below we present the most expensive wines by category of all time.

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1. Most Expensive Regular Sized Bottle

Chateau Lafite 1787

- sold at Christie's London in 1985 for $160,000. This wine bottle was purchased for a private collection and prominently features the initials of Thomas Jefferson etched into the glass. This practice was not unusual in the 18th century when large purchases were made directly from the Chateau.

2. Most Expensive Fortified Wine

A Jeroboam (5 liters) Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1945

- Wine enthusiasts consider this selection to be one of the finest of the great vintages of the 20th century. It sold at Christie's London for $114,614.00 in 1997. Of the 20th century, 1945 is considered to be one of the exceptional vintage years. The buyer of this wine remains anonymous.

3. Most Expensive Lot of Wine Sold At Auction

1775 Sherry from Massandra Collection

- This classic wine sold at Sotheby's London for $43,500 in 2002. The Massandra winery is located 4 kilometers from Yalta and it is frequently honored as the finest in Russia. The winery's cellar contains well over a million bottles of both Russian (with the Imperial seal), and Western European wines. The oldest in their collection was the Sherry.

4. Most Expensive Lot Of Wine Sold At Auction

Fifty Cases Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1982

- Fifty cases or six hundred bottles were sold by Christie's / Zacky's New York in 1997 for $420,000.

5. Most Expensive White Wine

Chateau d'Yquem 1784

- A bottle of this wine sold for $56,588.00 in 1986 at Christie's London. As with the Chateau Lafite 1787, this bottle of wine also has the initials of Thomas Jefferson in it.

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6. Most Expensive Dry White Wine

Le Montrachet, DRC 1978

- Seven (7) bottles of this wine sold at a Sotheby's New York auction for $167,500 or $23,929 a bottle in 2002.

7. Most Expensive Single Bottle of Red Burgandy

Romanée-Conti, DRC 1990

- Six (6) Magnums of this fine wine sold for $69,600, or $5,800 a bottle.

8. Most Expensive Lot Of Burgandy

Methuselah's of Romanée-Conti, DRC 1985

- Set of seven of these bottles sold in 1996 at Sotheby's London.

9. Most Expensive American Wine

Screaming Eagle 1994

- Three bottles of this wine sold in 2000 at Christie's auction for $11,500 or $3,833 a bottle.

10. Most Expensive Bottle of Wine Ever Broken

Chateau Margaux 1787

- During a dinner, this bottle of wine was knocked over by a waiter before it was opened. Fortunately for the owner it was insured and the insurance company paid out $225,000.

11. Most Expensive Wine Ever Sold at a Charity Auction

An Imperial of Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992

- The wine was sold in 2000 at the Napa Valley Wine Auction for $500,000. Chase Bailey, a Cisco Systems executive purchased the bottle, technically making it the highest price ever paid for a bottle of wine. However due to the fact that the bottle was purchased at a charity event, a significant portion of the price must be discounted due to the charitable contribution.


Wine enthusiasts agree that what makes these selections so valuable is their scarcity of quantity. Americans and foreigners alike enjoy collecting old, rare things and wine is no different. The Honus Wagner baseball card is a perfect example. As more and more people drink wine prepare to see the prices of the collectibles skyrocket.

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lipotrophic rabies

lipotrophic rabies


I worked at a high end restaurant that had an extensive wine collection. The most expensive wine i remember ran around 15 grand. 160 grand is just outrageous! I dont miss the wine migraines.


There are thousands of people that end up in an alcohol rehab because of too much wine in their system. We have a joke about alcoholics: Instead of asking an alcoholic about how much alcohol he has in his blood stream, we ask how much blood does have in alcohol?

Wine Baskets

I love the look of wine gift baskets, check out this site for wholesale baskets that would look great for a wine gift basket.


What is a Jewish princesses favourite w(h)ine?


The greeks did not practice

The greeks did not practice pederasty as is commonly believed. The Japanese, however, were the originators of the practice. Again, nothing to do with wine, just a little historical clarification. Though the greeks did perform sex acts were the peinis was placed between the thighs of another man, there was no penetration par se.

'45 Mouton is not fortified,

'45 Mouton is not fortified, idiots

It is amazing what someone would spend on a beverage

It is mind blowing. I wonder how many of these bottles have been drank yet?

Thomas Jefferson loved wine

Thomas Jefferson was a famous wine lover. He was also a homosexual and his love of young boys was famous throughout the land. His dedication to their education and grooming was legendary. Thomas developed a taste for homosexual pederasty while visiting the Arab peninsula. Arabs perfected the art of man-boy love for thousands of years, before and after Mohammed.

how exactly did u go from

how exactly did u go from jefferson being a wine lover to him being a homosexual and how is this at all relevant to wine which is the theme of this page... he could have been a one legged 7 foot giant with half a face and three eyes but what does it have to do with wine?

I repied to the wrong post, but you are confusing the arabs

You are confusing the arabs with the greeks, the arabs have had a longstanding ban on homosexuality of any kind, man on man, woman on woman, man on boy, woman on girl. I think the current penalty is still getting stoned to death. Ouch!

You, sir, are incorrect about the arabs

Dear Glas,

However, I must agree with you about the Greeks.

Please review these links if you are unsure of the Arab culture which I mentioned:

Thank you for your comment, I hope you find these links interesting.

Mitch Haase

To hell with wine and all

To hell with wine and all the bullshit.
Whisky is the only thing to drink. __Hic __


A lot of people were buying the Thomas Jefferson wine from Christies for over $100k. Both Fred Koch ("coke") of Koch Industries and Chris Forbes of Forbes magazine spent egregious sums on the bottles, but Koch's research discovered that the wine may not actually be Thomas Jefferson's after-all, though definitely from the chateau. Some middle eastern guy bought the $160k bottle I think. An article was in this week's NewYorker.

you spelled Burgundy wrong

you spelled Burgundy wrong you goofball!

BTW the Jefferson bottles are most likely fakes
Read the article in the current New Yorker Mag.

2. Most Expensive Fortified Wine
A Jeroboam (5 liters) Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1945

FWIW, that is not a fortified wine


If I had the dough, I would buy all the Jefferson bottles and smash the fuckers, just to piss off every fucking snob in the land... go fuck yourselves you pretentiously bored fucks.

No Wonder You're "Anonymous"

With reasoning like yours, I suppose you'd masturbate just to piss off your girlfriend.

jealousy + insecurity =

jealousy + insecurity = incoherent, frothing rage

Whatta maroon ;-)


Wine gets better with age, to a point. They start to decline after a period of time, depending on the wine (tannin etc.), even when stored properly. I don't think that you buy a 300 year old bottle of wine to drink it anymore than you buy a $2.8 million Wagner baseball card to play with it. It's collecting, not consumption.

Old wine

I don't know much about wine but the part that makes my head spin is the fact that if you really enjoyed the 300 year old (or however old) wine, you must know that at that last sip you will never experience that taste again. Seems crazy.

#8 is missing a price...

#8 is missing a price... nice list though. Innerestin.


Nice quick read, thanks! Ignore the people that obviously have no taste (literally or figuratively) in wine.

Re: You are right...

OK, Dipshit.

"You are right. It is absolutely ridiculous to by those old bottles of wine. Wine is meant to be drank while it is still fresh."

1. It's "buy"
2. Drunk, not drank
3. Wine is *not* meant to be consumed 'fresh'. It is *supposed* to be aged. Wine, like a lot of alcoholic beverages, if stored correctly, gets better with age.

Continue drinking your juice box wine.

Actually, there are some

Actually, there are some types of wine that are meant to be drunk fresh. Truly exceptional wine gets better with age, but many of the average bottles you buy at the corner liquor store are often meant to be drunk relatively soon after being bottled.


Wine isn't meant to be drank when its fresh. Wine is better when it ages lol and a 17th century bottle i bet is pretty potent.

Only if..

I would only spend that money if Thomas Jefferson actually jizzed in the bottle, so that I could take his DNA and create an army of aging white men whose distinct party mannerisms would cause all to follow me.

Thomas Jefferson's Initials

If I had $50,000,000, I would pay $100,000 for an 18th century bottle of wine with Thomas Jefferson's initials. That would be pretty awesome, I think. I probably wouldn't drink it, either.

You are right. It is

You are right. It is absolutely ridiculous to by those old bottles of wine. Wine is meant to be drank while it is still fresh.


I can't image 300 year old wine would still be good to drinnk

After 300 years that wine is

After 300 years that wine is not meant to be drunk, it is meant to be admired. If you were to drink that it would more than likely be very offensive to anyone's palate.


Think they drank that shit?