Skip to content

This Historic Bottle of Wine Just Sold for $30,000

It's over 200 years old and it's still drinkable.

How much would you be willing to spend on a bottle of wine that was, say, intended to be a gift for an emperor?

For a good bottle of wine at a reasonable price point, wine experts recommend spending between $15 and $25 on a bottle. That's for the average person, though. And while some may be tempted to spend between $50 and $200 on a single bottle for special occasions, there are few who purchase ones that come with price tags equivalent to those you'd see on a new car or even a house. But private collectors do exist and are constantly on the lookout for rare finds.

RELATED: This Is the Real Difference Between Pinot Noir, Cabernet, and Other Red Wines

So, now that you know a market like this exists, it's probably not that surprising to hear a bottle of wine (known as the Grand Constance 1821) recently sold for $30,000? This particular bottle was reserved for Napoleon Bonaparte, however, he died before he even had the chance to try it.

emperor napoleon

The Grand Constance 1821 is believed to be one of the dozen (or fewer) 200-year-old bottles of wine that still exist today. According to the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction (CFRQA), where the wine was sold to its delighted new owner, Grand Constance is allegedly one of the most coveted wines of its day, as Food & Wine reports.

Produced at the Groot Constantia vineyard in South Africa, the sweet red wine was recorked in 2019 and is considered to be drinkable even after two centuries. And believe it or not, $30,000 isn't even close to the bids some rare, vintage bottles of wine get.

For example, at the 2018 Sotheby's auction of fine Burgundy, a private collector bid $558,000 on a single bottle of 1945 Romanée-Conti—shattering the world record for the highest price for any bottle of wine to ever be bought at an auction. How did it manage to be worth over half a million dollars? It's extremely rare, with only 600 bottles of the French wine made that year, and very few remain to this day. In addition, after the harvest in 1945, the vines were ripped out and the vineyard was completely replanted, meaning there's no wine quite like that vintage gem.

For more, be sure to check out The #1 Reason You Shouldn't Be Drinking Wine Every Day.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the former news editor of Eat This, Not That! Read more about Cheyenne