Chapter 6

Quantifying Value

In July 2011 two bottles of liquid treasure, in this case French champagne, crossed half the globe, from The Åland Islands off the coast of Finland to a Russian restaurant in Singapore—Buyan Haute Cuisine and Caviar Bar. The restaurant paid $78,400 (or 54,000 €) in an online auction for these two special bottles, planning to display them in its wine museum, which already houses other rare wines. Why did the restaurant pay so much? Well, therein lies a tale, which explains why value truly is in the eye of the beholder.

“Come Quickly, I Am Drinking the Stars”

Champagne, which technically refers only to sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France, has been a favorite of the upwardly mobile for centuries. ...

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