$18,000 wine on the way to China thanks to French cuts

$18,000 wine on the way to China thanks to French cuts

PARIS - A bottle of 2004 Romanee-Conti from the French Prime Minister's cellar is on its way to China after fetching 10,500 euros (S$18,000) at auction here on Friday.

The highly-prized burgundy, one of 1,400 bottles put up for sale as part of government efforts to trim France's budget deficit, went for more than twice its guide price.

Huang Lishen, made the winning bid, but the 27-year-old revealed he would not be getting to taste the wine.

"I'm buying for a friend in China who imports wine," Huang told AFP.

Despite the hefty price tag for the most sought after item, Huang said prices were generally more reasonable for the prime ministerial bottles than they had been at an auction of stocks from the presidential cellar in May.

Chinese buyers were also prominent in that sale, at which the sale of 1,200 bottles raised 720,000 euros.

In both sales, the bottles were given additional value for collectors by the addition of special labels certifying their origin.

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