Huang Nubo, the Chinese poet-tycoon who has spent three years unsuccessfully trying to buy a certain plot of Icelandic land, has set his eyes on a more modest acquisition: a bottle of wine. He’s offering $200k, enough to buy just over 770 hectares in Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum. The wine in question, from 1653, is inside a barrel declared Unesco World Heritage in a cellar under the town hall in Bremen. Huang has recently started a ten-year world trip during which he intends to visit all Unesco heritage sites, and, apparently, ingest some of that heritage. Other than the cellarmaster and the mayor of Bremen, who enjoy the prerogative to sample the wine, only one person in recent memory is reported to have tasted it: Queen Elizabeth, and just a thimbleful at that.
Once he tries it, Huang might very well report about the wine in his poetry. His verses have already featured the word ‘Lafite’, or a quite close spelling of it, in the past, as I took the trouble to quote last year.