1811 has special significance in the wine world. It was a great vintage for Bordeaux, but is also known as the year of the comet. That year, a comet formally known as C/1811 F1 was visible for a record-setting 260 days. This spectacle, along with great harvest all over Europe, created a great marketing opportunity as many producers bottle their wines as comet wines or "Cuvee de Comete," a strong marketing term, indeed, in those more superstitious and mystical times.
This new Guinness-confirmed World Record price smashes the old record, which not surprisingly was also for a bottle of Chateau d'Yquem, though an example from 1787 that fetched $60,000 or 31,402 British pounds at the time. The most money ever spent on a bottle of wine continues to be a bottle of 1869 Chateau Lafite sold at auction in Hong Kong last year. That rare gem cost its anonymous bidder $233,973!