Apparently there's a raging war going on between auction houses in Hong Kong and New York over the soaring prices of vintage wines - and the battle between Chateau Lafite and Chateau Margaux rages as well, competing to be the most expensive wines in the world.
Thanks to a recent episode of the Filthy Rich Guide on CNBC, Chateau Margaux has hit the news and I thought it would be fun to take a closer look - especially if you're looking for the perfect Christmas gift for that certain billionaire in your life.
It's an ancient winery in the Bordeaux region of France dating back to the 12th Century, but it wasn't until the 16th Century when the wines produced there came into prominence. Indeed, one of their wines dating from 1771 was the first claret ever to be sold at Christie's auction house.
During the late 1700's one of the winery's owners, Elie du Barry, was rounded up along with thousands of other rich people and sent off to the guillotine in the somewhat excessive French Revolution. But following a turbulent and bumpy ride thereafter, Chateau Margaux came back into prominence and survives to this very day. In fact, Ernest Hemingway was such a big fan that he named his daughter after the winery - the renowned and beloved actress Margaux Hemingway.
As you probably know, Thomas Jefferson was a connoisseur of fine vintages and served as wine adviser to President George Washington and successors James Madison and James Monroe. The wines from his famous cellar in Monticello (including Chateau Margaux) have been auctioned over the years in the hundred-thousand-dollar categories!
There's a darkly amusing story about an unfortunate fellow named William Sokolin who claimed he owned a bottle of Chateau Margaux from Jefferson's cellar worth half-a-million dollars! For bragging rights he took it to a Margaux party at the Four Seasons Hotel. But a clumsy waiter broke the bottle before it could be served and the insurance company only paid Sokolin $225,000 - making it one of the most expensive wines never tasted! This event was mentioned in the Filthy Rich Guide episode, and detailed in an article in The Telegraph.
But don't despair. While Chateau Margaux prices can range from the tens-of-thousands down to the mere hundreds, there's also a low-end range where you can have the famous Margaux label (and all the bragging rights) on your dinner table for as little as twenty bucks. Here's a link to Wine Searcher for the best possible prices.
Hope this has been helpful in organizing your holiday shopping list - and as always thanks for dropping in this evening,