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Tokaj winemaker offers vintage bottle for USD 40,000

A Hungarian winemaker in the Tokaj region (230 kilometers east of Budapest), known for its golden dessert wine, is selling a vintage wine for USD 40,000 a bottle, news wire reported. 

Winemaker Royal Tokaji says the USD 40,000 edition is the world’s most expensive wine on release. Other rarities may fetch higher prices at auction. The bottle is a 1.5-liter hand-blown magnum with a special cork made in Portugal after laser-scanning the neck. It sits in a lacquered black box, which shines light through the bottle at the press of a button. A longer maturation period adds hints of green tea and rose hip to the flavor.

There are only 18 bottles being offered for sale, with the prospect of an increase in value, as the wine will keep maturing in the bottle for decades or longer, according to wine expert Mátyás Szík.

“This is what significantly increases the value of this wine as an investment, as the time to deal with these wines in earnest will come 30, 40, or 50 years from now, either to taste or to trade,” he said.

The first buyer did not wait that long. Shortly after placing an order, an unnamed Chinese investor threw a party for clients where the wine was promptly uncorked, said General Manager Zoltán Kovács.

The high cost of the wine is also due to the scale of manual labor involved. The grapes were hand-picked one by one for a daily harvest of just 8-10 kgs. They are stored in containers where they produce a rich must.

“If we take this bottle, it required 180-200 kgs of shriveled grapes to produce the 1.5 liters. So, all in all, it takes about a ton of green grapes to make this bottle of wine,” Kovács added.