10 Incredible Wine World Records

That people are willing to spend extraordinary amounts of money on wine should come as no surprise. Still, when private collector Christian Vanneque recently bought a bottle of 1811 Château d'Yquem for £75,000 (that's about $123,231), it did not go unnoticed. More precisely, it garnered a wave of international attention as the world's most expensive white wine sold to date.

Wine geeks are quick to explain the many factors that contribute to the bottle's lofty price tag — it comes from one of the most prestigious producers of sweet white wines, it has earned flawless ratings, and it was produced in the year of the Great Comet. And don't assume that the pricey bottle is going to remain hidden away in some great cellar, untouched, for another 200 years. In an interview with Reuters, Vanneque revealed that he plans to display the bottle at his Bali restaurant for six years before opening it to celebrate a special anniversary.

Naturally, this sort of news inspires curiosity about other impressive records that have made headlines in the world of wine. Below are a collection of record-breaking feats that range from the absolutely jaw-dropping to the truly impressive.


1. Most Expensive White Wine: £75,000 1811 Château d'Yquem

Watch and listen as Vanneque compares acquiring the bottle to "getting acquainted with a lady who is about 200 years old." Apparently it makes him "quite nervous." Still he's excited that, as someone with Napoleon's height, he now has something from the time of his reign.


2. Most Expensive Wine Sold at Auction: £192,000 1947 French Cheval-Blanc

In November of last year, an Impérial-sized bottle of the red wine — that's about eight standard-sized bottles — sold for £192,000 (or $304,580) at a Christie's wine auction in Geneva, Switzerland. (For you number-crunchers, that's nearly $51,000 per litre.)


3. Most Champagne Bottles Sabered in One Minute: 31

The art of Champagne sabering is said to be making a comeback, and as impressive as it is to watch on its own, there is nothing quite like seeing the practice performed at record speed. The current record for most Champagne bottles sabered in one minute is held by Zane Lamprey, who managed to open 31 bottles in a mere 60 seconds over Super Bowl weekend in Dallas just this past February. Check out the video below to watch Lamprey slash (literally) the previous record of 27 bottles. 


4. Tallest Champagne Glass Tower: 63 stories

One can only imagine the impeccable amount of precision, concentration, and patience it took for Luuk Broos of the Netherlands and his team to create what is currently the world's tallest recorded drinking glass fountain. Completed in January 2008 at the Shopping Center Wignegem, Belgium, the staggering tower stood a stunning 63 stories high and consisted of 43,680 glasses. (Click here for photos.)


5. Largest Cork Mosaic: 988 square-feet

This admittedly bizarre world record belongs to Albanian artists Saimir Strati who in September 2008 completed a visually stunning "Mediterranean-themed" mosaic made up of 229,675 wine bottle corks. The 988 square-foot piece of artwork took an impressive 27 days to complete and was on display at the Sheraton Tirana Hotel and Towers in Tirana, Albania.

6. Most Wine Glasses Held in One Hand: 39

Another odd title, this one belonging to Philippines native Reymond Adina, who on October 24th, 2007 successfully held a jaw-dropping 39 wine glasses in just one hand.


7. Largest Wine Flute: 4 feet

On January 14th, 2011, the Wine Council of Ontario successfully broke the world record for largest wine flute by filling a four-foot-tall wine glass (modeled after a design by Riedel) with 27.5 litres of Ontario icewine from 38 local wineries. Talk about a sweet glass of wine. 



8. Largest Wine Cellar by Number of Bottles: 1.5 million bottles

This incredible title was awarded to the Milestii Mici wine-making plant in Moldova in 2005, where 1.5 million bottles of wine are stored in an expansive cellar stretching 34 miles. While some claim the bottle count is now up to two million, according to records, the first bottle was stored in 1968, and new vintages are added annually. Now, if we're talking largest wine cellar measured by size, that honor goes to the cellars at Paarl of the Koöperatiewe Wijnbouwers Vereniging in Cape Province, South Africa. The cellar is recorded as covering 54 acres, which is about equal to the size of 40 football fields combined.


9. Largest Bottle of Wine: 12 feet and two inches tall

This record-breaking bottle, presented in Switzerland on July 9th, 2011, measures 12 feet and two inches tall, three feet and three inches in diameter, and contains almost 450 gallons of wine. Now just think about the mechanics involved in opening a bottle of wine that size — you definitely couldn't do it without a massive corkscrew to match.


1.2 inches

And of course, on the opposite side of the spectrum is this novel little item from Steve Klein of Klein Designs. And although the super-mini bottles may only contain 0.026 fluid ounces of liquid, they still fetch a good price: $20 to $90. The "How many bottles of this stuff would it take to get a buzz?" jokes write themselves. (Photo courtesy Guinness World Records).