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How outrageous was Johnny Depp’s $30,000-per-month wine habit?

Photo: Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images
Photo: Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images

Much more exciting than the release of Donald’s Trump 2005 tax return was the release of Johnny Depp’s accounts by his business managers a few months ago. Now, there were some fun details, like the fact that Depp spent more than $3 million to blast the ashes of the late writer Hunter S. Thompson out of a specially made cannon. The accounts also mentioned that Depp spent $30,000 a month on wine, a cost that some found even more extravagant than the cannon, causing the Wall Street Journal to ponder, “Is $30,000 A Month Too Much To Spend On Wine?”

The answer, for the average American who may or may not have health care in the foreseeable future, appears to be pretty simple: “Yes.” But surprisingly, the WSJ article leads us to believe, “Maybe not?” Writer Lettie Teague swept her immediate circle of wine dealers, aficionados, and sommeliers, and found that some of these oenophiles could easily spend five figures on a single bottle. Teague states, “Was Jack Sparrow’s wine budget really so big after all? Some wine collectors I talked to didn’t seem to think so.”

Granted, some of these experts included Brad Goldstein, a spokesman for billionaire Bill Koch, who sniffed at Depp’s comparably paltry sum:

““Bill Koch sold a case of 1945 Mouton Rothschild at auction last year for $400,000,” he said. If Mr. Depp’s agents were “trying to show excess, they’re in the wrong place.”

But even Teague’s contemporaries admitted to splurging on a $350 wine bottle they felt strongly about, or trying to limit their wine spending to $2,000 a month (a price similar to some mortgages), estimating their annual wine budget to be in the five figures. Granted, Johnny Depp’s a millionaire, while these people are likely not, so perhaps the percentages are similar if we could do math and calculate their wine consumption per capita. But even without math, it seems clear that wine is a pretty expensive hobby for something so easily and deliciously consumable.

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