Wine Tips & Tricks

How Does The Most Expensive Wine Taste?

One percent of the wines in the world are called icon wines and they are the most expensive wines in the world. We found one of these icon wines in an old cellar and decided to drink it. Watch the video below to find out what the most expensive wine tastes like.

A Market Based on Prestige

Bordeaux wines were classified in 1855 and the first growths (the “first growth” wines aka premier cru) of Bordeaux have skyrocketed to about one thousand dollars a bottle. The demand is based on the prestige of the wine. On a recent visit, Madeline found a bottle of 1990 first growth Bordeaux in her grandmother’s cellar. So she did the only reasonable thing to do – she drank it.

We taste-tested a bottle of 1990 Château Haut-Brion we found in our grandmother's basement.
How Much Does The Most Expensive Wine Cost?

If you read the post on wine prices, you’ll discover that wine doesn’t really need to cost too much more than $80 a bottle (on the high side). Demand and prestige make the most expensive wines cost upwards of $5,800 a bottle for specific producers on excellent vintages. The very expensive wines around the world include:

  • Grand Cru Burgundy (pinot noir from France) $400-$5800
  • First Growth Bordeaux (Cabernet-based blends from France) $400-$2600
  • Vintage ‘tete a cuvee’ Champagne $400-$3000
  • Italian Barolo (a Nebbiolo-based wine) $400-$2000
  • Culty Napa Cabernet Sauvignon $350-$800

Hey I’m Madeline and my grandfather got me into wine. I’m visiting my grandparent’s place in Tennessee; he’s long since past but I went down to his cellar and I fonud a bottle of this. That is Chateau Haut-Brion 1990. And it’s been sitting in there for 20 years. I can’t believe us open it, that’s unbelieveable. I also kept a glass off to the side so I could tell you what first growth Bordeaux actually tastes like.

Well we opened this bottle and let it decant for about 2 hours. This wine tastes a lot like many other fine Bordeauxs that I’d tried…that may be less than 700 hundred dollars a bottle.

First growth Bordeaux is kinda like scotch. It’s very smoky. I taste redwood, eucalyptus, tobacco, black cherry. The finish is long but the wine itself is pretty light. It’s only about 13 percent alcohol. The tannins are pretty fine-grained so it’s not like a massive Napa Cabernet. I can drink it on it’s own and just relax… It doesn’t need food, it doesn’t need anything.

With every single sip I take I can’t help but think: I just drank 30 dollars. What the hell.

Hey Grandma! Goodnight! She liked the Malbec better.

About Madeline Puckette

James Beard Award-winning author and Wine Communicator of the Year. I co-founded Wine Folly to help people learn about wine. @WineFolly

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