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The $558,000 Bottle of Wine

A bottle of French wine has fetched a record-breaking $558,000 (£424,000) at an auction in New York. The 1945 Romanee-Conti sold for 17 times its upper estimate of $32,000 at Sotheby's in New York on Saturday.

The previous record for a standard wine bottle was $233,000 - an 1869 Chateau Lafite Rothschild sold in Hong Kong in 2010. But the record for any size is $310,700 for a three-litre 1945 Mouton-Rothschild in 2007.

The 1945 bottle is one of just 600 made that year by Romanee-Conti, considered to be the best Burgundy wine. It is produced in the Cote de Nuits region in a vineyard spanning less than four acres (two hectares) and producing fewer than 6,000 bottles per year. Super scarcity and the current global thirst for Burgundy, especially DRC, make them pretty solid investments, though there’s no guarantee other collectors would be willing to pay quite this much.

In another record-breaking sale later in the auction, The Macallan 1926 whisky sold for $843,200 (£641,000), the highest price Sotheby's has achieved for a single spirit. It was also the top auction price for a spirit sold in North America, although it failed to beat the world record of $1.2m set earlier this month by Bonham’s at an auction in Edinburgh.

The Macallan sold on Saturday was one of 12 specially commissioned by English pop artist Sir Peter Blake, was signed by him and released in 1986.



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