Wine and the Elite: Who Owns, Sips and Collects?
Few beverages sound classy and elite like wine, so it should be no surprise that the wealthy and famous sip, make or collect these bottles of luxury. Here are some newsworthy standouts.
Jay-Z – The Sponsor
Rapper, producer and blossoming fashion designer Jay-Z hasn’t gone “big pimping” in a long time. He is, after all, married to Beyonce. (Did you see that unbelievable VMA performance last month?) Still, back when he used to flash his party antics in music videos like other hip hop stars, Jay-Z boldly traded in the genre-favorite champagne Cristal for Armand de Brignac, which he calls “Ace of Spades.” The unofficial endorsement caused a spike in the line. Some said it was undeserving, going as far as saying the champagne is “terrible.” This controversy only got worse when an article in The Atlantic revealed that Jay-Z had a business arrangement with the company and made money off the skyrocketing champagne sales!
James Stunt – The Collector
No music video endorsements here, just classic oenophilia in a surprisingly young package! When you think of the “elite wine collector,” it is easy to picture the likes of men and women in their 50s, 60s, 70s, etc. That isn’t true with British billionaire James Stunt. The mining and gaming industry mogul and private financier has a wine collection that includes well over $700 million dollars of primarily burgundy and Bordeaux wine. His collection includes most expensive list topper names like Petrus and Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Stunt also owns the largest allocation of 1982 Petrus in the world. Why? His father purchased all of them because it’s the year Stunt was born! (We told you he was young.)
Bill Koch – The Mark
Poor Billy boy. Bill is one of the infamous billionaire Koch brothers. (In case you didn’t know, they own practically everything.) Like many elites, Koch wanted to add some wine to his wealth. He ended up getting caught in the middle of one of the biggest wine frauds of all time, prompting a lawsuit that few felt sympathy for (because he’s a Koch brother). Long story short: He purchased $5 million in wine. You know, your normal Bevmo purchase. He later discovered a con artist in Los Angeles made the wine! That’s right. He bought very expensive vinegar.
Brangelina – The Couple
Can this couple get any more amazing? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are one of the quintessential elite couples in Hollywood. Not surprisingly, they are also wine lovers! The couple bought the lovely Chateau Miraval in France—the site of their recent wedding. For wine lovers, the location is old news, because it’s also where the power couple produced their 2013 rose Miraval. It was among the top 100 wines last year according to the 100 point Wine Spectator Scale.