At $2.5 Million, This Is The World's Most Expensive Bottle Of Champagne

CORRECTION 7/18/22: A previous version of this article stated Giovanni and Piero Buono were able to keep the NFT and the champagne bottle. This is incorrect, the Buono's did burn the NFT in order to receive the bottle of champagne, the NFTs they are in possession of now are physical versions of the art, printed on the bottle.

A bottle of champagne just sold for a whopping $2.5 million, reports The Wall Street Journal. However, the unprecedented price tag has nothing to do with any historical value of the wine or the quality of the wine itself. Instead, the reason for this record-breaking sale is that the champagne was sold in conjunction with a non-fungible token (NFT). 

In June, Champagne Avenue Foch, a new luxury champagne brand, explained in a press release that it had commissioned an NFT of a magnum bottle of champagne. The bottle bears an illustration designed by the artist behind The Bored Ape Yacht Club and The Sneaky Vampire Syndicate, two of the most popular types of NFT cartoons.

Unlike Pringles' attempt to ride the NFT wave with their virtual-only CryptoCrisp (via HypeBeast), the champagne does actually exist. According to the press release, it was produced with 100% Premier Cru grapes in the Champagne region of France. The point of the NFT is to serve as a kind of digital coupon to claim the wine, explained Shammi Shinh, the entrepreneur behind this endeavor. "As it is sold as an NFT, I expect it to be traded a few times in the marketplace before the physical bottle lands with the right individual who will HODL (Hold On for Dear Life), said Shinh. "In order to receive the physical champagne bottle, the buyer will need to burn the NFT. The champagne itself is a work of art and unmatched quality."

It's an investment, not a luxury

One particularly unique aspect of this sale: the bottle of champagne is not to be enjoyed as champagne itself. When asked by The Wall Street Journal whether they would crack open the bottle now worth more than diamonds, co-owner Giovanni Buono said, "I don't plan to drink it. I think it will be a good investment." He continued to explain that the investment world is undergoing turmoil, so he is storing his wealth in a bottle of champagne with an NFT attached. Italian brothers Giovanni and Piero Buono bought the bottle for $2.5 million in cash.

Whether this will work as a long-term investment is still unclear. NBC News notes that despite exploding into the public consciousness as a way to gain obscene money, the number of accounts actually trading NFTs almost halved since the beginning of 2022, from just under a million to 491,000. This could represent a leveling off in interest after the initial hype. However, it also means that there a fewer NFT traders to make an investment of millions in a bottle of champagne worthwhile. As the Buono's burned the NFT to receive the physical bottle of champagne, this adds an interesting twist to the saga.