By Jim Boyce | Saw this ’82 Lafite at Lufthansa Center in Beijing a few days ago. It was in a case with a few dozen other Lafite bottles from different vintages near the fancy packages of sea cucumbers and mushrooms that are priced higher than most people’s monthly rent.
That particular tag seems to date to about three years ago, before the government austerity campaign, when such bottles were far more popular and far easier to move. CNY99,480 translates to USD 15,100 or EUR 13,900, enough money to buy a fleet of scooters or easily pay a year’s rent in most parts of Beijing or enjoy about 1000 delicious lunches at most excellent mid-day spot Migas. (Saturday brunch is tasty there, too.)
When I posted the photo of that ’82 Lafite on social media app weixin, wine trade people cited the current price as between rmb20,000 and rmb40,000. One person, from one of the city’s top hotels, said its bar lists ’82 Lafite at rmb72,000.
Online, wine-searcher turns up a China listing with ’82 Lafite from rmb58,000.
Meanwhile, ASC, a major importer / distributor here, has bottles at rmb48,000:
Not surprisingly, given its duty-free environment and status as a wine hub, Hong Kong has it for far less:
But if you do find yourself in Lufthansa Center, itching for Bordeaux but with much less than rmb100,000 in your pocket, you can always try a less expensive option:
Check out the new online China Wine Directory. And if you’d like to get the free Grape Wall e-newsletter, sign up below.
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