What You Get When You Buy a $168K Bottle of Wine
...more than just the wine
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2012 11:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – Last year, Australia's Penfolds released a wine that cost a hair over $1,000. That's chump change compared to the going rate for its latest luxury offering, a 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon priced at $168,000. What makes the wine worthy of such a lofty price tag? The Wall Street Journal takes a look. For one, it's made from what Penfolds touts as the world's oldest continually producing Cabernet vines (in action since the 1880s).

The wine, which has received at least one 100-point rating (from critic James Suckling) is housed in a master craftsmen-designed vessel made from hand-blown glass and called an ampoule, or tube-shape vial. That is suspended inside another piece of hand-blown glass called a bob. All that is housed in a cabinet adorned in rhodium, a precious metal that's pricier than gold. And then there's the exclusivity factor: Only 12 were made, and only one is still available. Should you manage to snatch it up (the Journal explains who to call with such an inquiry), a senior Penfolds winemaker will travel to you to open it. Click for more chi-chi details.

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Aug 26, 2012 7:10 PM CDT
A Darwin award?
Aug 26, 2012 5:08 PM CDT
I like wine... I've visited a number of wine growing areas, tasted, learned, and educated my palate. I've taken courses... And you know what? Almost no one, and I mean NO ONE including blind tastings by experts, can tell the difference between a well made wine costing oh.... $50 to $100 and a bottle such as the one being touted in this article. The key is blind tasting. All the pomp and exquisite bottling for this unspeakably extravagant wine in the article is hype. It's a free enterprise system and there are suckers born every minute, so I say... let them have their fun, but no one should pretend it's anything other than a giant con game. Blind tastings, time and time again, prove that even experts may fall for the hoopla of famous vintages but when push comes to shove, can't distinguish one decently good wine from another, within types.
Aug 26, 2012 4:17 PM CDT
This is the proper way to take money from the rich - free enterprise, not by the government.