What do you have in your cellar? One French connoisseur had three Gautier Cognac bottles dating to 1762, one of which recently sold at Sotheby’s auction house for $146,000. The bottle was the oldest vintage ever sold at auction. It was bought by a private collector in Asia. One of the other two bottles is in the Maison Gautier museum in France, while another sold for £48,000 (around $75,000) at a New York auction in 2014. The former owner said the bottles were brought back to his great grandparents by their adopted son, Alphonse, who had been working in the Cognac region in the 1870s.  
 
The big question: Is the cognac drinkable? According to a Sotheby’s Spirits specialist, it is. But because of something called the “old bottle effect,” it could have a taste varying from “tropical” to “porridge-y.” 
 
Brandy has to be made in the French region of Cognac to bear the name, like the sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France.  

Photos: Sotheby’s

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