The wine auction business is going strong and looking forward to a profitable 2011, after the year in which three bottles of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1869 sold at Sotheby's in Hong Kong for an incredible $698,076 (£452,308).
Wine magazine Palate Press reports that Hong Kong has become the epicentre of the wine auction world, after New York and London, following a surge in demand from Asian collectors for big-name reds - particularly Chateau Lafite Rothschild.
More auction houses are springing up all the time and online auctions are becoming increasingly popular, boosting trade for businesses like Acker Merrall & Condit.
Dan Rhodes, a specialist at auctioneer Spectrum, said an online auction is ideal for collectors looking to sell their entire cellar at once.
"It's also great for the buyer because it's an opportunity for them to buy something that isn't a whole case – or if the import labels are mismatched, it's okay," he told the publication.
"You can find things that are a little bit more boutique, a little more interesting."
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that the unprecedented Asian demand for Chateau Lafite Rothschild and other prestige wines may risk causing a price bubble as speculators, rather than consumers, begin to dominate the market.
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