Could the record-breaking winning bid on a super lot of Pinot Noir signify better times on China’s horizon?
The world record for the most expensive lot of wine ever sold has been broken as of Saturday with the former price of $1.05 million (USD) being replaced with the new figure of $1.6 million. The wine was sold by Sotheby’s and consisted of 114 bottles of Romanee-Conti from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. The lot was made up of six bottles from each vintage from 1992-2010. The buyer’s name has not been released.
Experts wonder if this could signify better times ahead for the Chinese economy. Chinese wine drinkers have been purchasing cheaper wines due to the country’s austerity measures and a crackdown on lux living for officials. Over the past few years the property and other markets have been down, with a decrease also scene in the gambling scene – a significant indicator of the economy in the region of Macau where gambling is high. After three months of a revenue decline in gambling things are on the upturn. This is good news for wine sellers as Chinese gambling revenues and the price of French wines increase together – the Chinese gamblers have a taste for good French wines.
The gambling culture of Macau is evident during the auction with buyers showing up to bid in person unlike at many other auctions worldwide where bidding is more often absentee or by proxy. The atmosphere at the Hong Kong auction was charged with a love of the drama that goes along with high stakes auction bidding.
Tastes in wine are changing with Burgundy being the new favorite of Chinese drinkers – who are driving the prices up considerably. Bordeaux, the old favorite, remains available below its peak prices. China continues to keep the world of wine on its toes and watching for the latest news out of a region not synonymous with wine culture.