What’s the most expensive bottle of wine in the world? While there’s no official ranking, Hungarian winemaker Royal Tokaji claims to hold the top spot. A bottle of its 2008 Essencia will set you back a cool $40,000 USD — and 11 bottles of it have sold already since it launched in 2019.
Royal Tokaji produced just 20 1.5 liter magnums of the luxurious wine, with the bottle designed by Hungarian-based glass artist James Carcass. Essencia is a sweet wine made of high-quality aszú grapes, and requires specific weather conditions and intense labor in order to be produced — hence the high price tag. The 2008 Essencia was matured in the bottle for 10 years before going to market.
Tokaji wine has a long history of cultural references, having been favored by Pope Pius X and mentioned in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The wine hails from Hungary’s Tokaj wine region, a popular tourist destination outside of Budapest. The expensive bottles are also particularly unique for their large size, as Royal Tokaji had to obtain permission from the Hungarian government to produce the 1.5 liter magnum bottles.
Among the first buyers of the 2008 Essencia was London‘s Fortnum & Mason department store, as well as a wine collector from Beijing. Royal Tokaji expects that the wine’s price is likely to increase over time, though the winemakers encourage purchasers to drink it rather than save it.
“You’d want to save this one for a special occasion” How Hungary produced the 'world's most expensive wine' | CNN Travel https://t.co/NH10Lo8y1d
— Royal Tokaji (@Royal_Tokaji) January 7, 2020