If aliens from outer space had a quick squiz at what some earthlings are prepared to pay for a good bottle of wine these days, they'd never guess there was a recession on.
Although I'm always careful to review wines representing different levels of affordability, people certainly aren't backward about coming forward if they think I've been ignoring the cheap and cheerful in favour of the pricey but nicey. I wonder what those readers will make of the news that an Asian buyer set a record for the most expensive bottle of wine sold at auction when purchasing three bottles of Chateaux Lafite-Rothschild 1869 for $303,761 each at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong.
Now if the buyer decides to share one of these bottles with seven of his closest friends then he'd better hope that they'll be as generous in return because they're being treated to a $37,880 glass of wine. Boil that down even further if you want by stinging your friends for $2600 a sip.
Bear in mind this enormous outlay sets only an auction record - there may possibly be more expensive wines sold privately where no records are kept.
The demand for high-end wines is being driven by Asia, in particular, newly wealthy Chinese buyers. The three 1869 bottles came directly from Domaines Baron de Rothschild; giving them "perfect provenance" which in wine speak means there simply is no better proof of the way they'd been stored and cared for.
A total of seven bottles at the same auction hit more than HK$1 million ($162,000) each, proof that it's the dragon dollars that are turning up the heat on prices for those prestigious first-growth wines.
Sadly, it's unlikely the buyer of those record-breaking bottles of Lafite will ever drink them, as the article in the Wall Street Journal suggests, it's more likely they were purchased as investments or super-flash show-off centrepieces for the cellar.
Bigger is better ...
If you want to make a name for yourself when it comes to breaking wine records, but you don't happen to have millions of dollars, then you could simply adopt the Lebanese attitude - who needs expensive when you can have enormous.
At 2.4m tall and 1.65m wide, Lebanon has laid claim to having the world's biggest glass of wine.
Organisers of a wine festival in Beirut poured around 100 bottles of Lebanese wine into the giant glass.
Lebanon managed to steal the 12-year-old record from Portugal and was officially confirmed by Guinness World Records adjudicator Liz Smith.
In a bid to promote Lebanese wine, a concoction of dozens of red, white and rose-style wines were poured into the glass - although I hardly think the brew would win any awards.
Lebanon has a proud tradition of creating records as far as culinary extremes go and over the years there have been claims lodged for the world's biggest servings of kibbeh (torpedo-shaped croquettes made from bulgur wheat and minced lamb), tabouleh (parsley, mint, spring onion and bulgur salad) and of course - the world's biggest bowl of hummus.
A couple of years ago though, the Italians decided that you can also be big - and classy.
They set a Guiness World Record on the evening of May 31, 2008, in a town called Spoleto, for the largest glass of sparkling wine. It was set during the celebration of the annual international wine event Vini nel Mondo.
The creator of the largest champagne flute in the world was the artist Massimo Lunardon. Holding a massive 16.5 litres of sparkling Italian wine, the record-breaking 2.03m-tall flute was made of pure glass in only a single mould blow following old artisan techniques.

It's not like the old days

All this talk of record-breaking glasses lends an altogether elegant air to the Guinness book, whereas in the old days it was all about the drinking.
In the 1955 edition of Guinness World Records Dionsio Sanchez of Spain is cited for consuming 24 pints of beer in 52 minutes and 40 pints of wine in 59 minutes.
I'll not even attempt the maths because the drinks-per-minute ratio is far too scary. "We're not going to encourage that sort of thing today," said Guinness editor-in-chief Craig Glenday recently.
"That's how people get hurt."
But if getting hurt doesn't faze you then perhaps you may want to take on Mr Scott Murphy, a martial artist who currently holds the world record for smashing more than 10 bottles of wine (yes they were full) in less than 30 seconds using only his bare hands. Check out http://preview.tinyurl.com/2doal5a to see how it's done.

A matter of scale

The smallest bottle of wine for sale (for those looking for that perfect dollhouse accessory) was made by Steve Klein of Encino, California who produces hand-blown miniature wine bottles that stand only 3.2cm tall.
Each bottle is corked, sealed and labelled.
The wines come from all over the world, they are very real and his production run is limited to only 1000 bottles per type of wine. Each issue is accompanied by a formal certificate of authenticity.
But if it's size and scale that really excites you, then this will definitely impress. The world's largest wine cellars exist at Paarl in South Africa, at the Koperatiewe Wijnbouwers Vereniging also known as KWV.
The cellars cover an area of 22ha of bottles and barrels which contain a mind-boggling 121-million litres of wine - that's more than 48 Olympic-sized swimming pools full of vino.