Did you know the story about the most expensive bottle of wine ever broken? Well, here it is…..
In 1989, William Sokolin, a New York wine merchant, was asked to sell an extremely rare and sought after wine on consignment. The wine was a 1787 Chateau Margaux and engraved with the initials “Th.J.” believed to be the initials of Thomas Jefferson, third President of the US and an avid wine collector. In 1985 another Thomas Jefferson bottle of wine had sold at auction for $155,453. Sokolin initially priced the wine at $250,000 but after attending an auction where he had seen a “footstool that looked like it would fall apart” sell for $290,000, he raised the value to $519,750 and in doing so, gained a considerable amount of publicity.
When Sokolin was invited to a black tie dinner to celebrate the latest release of Bordeaux wines, he realised his marketing opportunity, as the attendees would be the who’s who of New York’s wine elite. Taking the wine bottle along, he proceeded to make his rounds showing off the prize wine. As he was striding across the room, he accidentally knocked the bottle against a metal topped serving table and to his absolute horror, the bottle broke and his prized wine puddled on to the floor, with People magazine calling it “the world’s most expensive puddle”.
Word is that it may well have been a bogus bottle, but in any event, it was insured for $200,000 and the insurance company paid out.
What is the moral of this story? Always minimize the chances of breaking a wine bottle (especially an expensive one) by decanting the wine as soon as possible!!!