Talk to any upscale, London-based wine merchant and he’ll tell you two very important things about his rich Chinese clientele.
First, money is no object. Sotheby’s recently reported, for instance, that a vintage bottle of 1869 Chateau Lafite sold for more than £130,000 to a Chinese buyer.
And that’s for drinking now by the way: not to lay down in a cellar. ‘What we’ve seen emerging in the past year are people paying virtually any price for wine,’ said David Elswood, Christie’s head of wine. ‘That is not investment: that is just uncontrolled spending.’