A countersuit filed last month against actor Johnny Depp by his former business management group revealed that — according to the management firm’s attorney, Michael Kump — “Depp lived an ultra-extravagant lifestyle that…cost in excess of $2 million per month to maintain….” Examples offered by Kump included an $18 million luxury yacht — and a $30,000 a month wine bill.
What did Depp — who famously had one of his tattoos changed from “Winona Forever” to “Wino Forever” upon his breakup with actress Winona Ryder in 1990 — spend all that wine money on? In 2013, in the Underground Cellar blog, he didn’t mention any specifics, but noted that he drank “half a bottle” every day (marking him, if true, in the wino amateur column).
Other sources over the past decade or so have identified Depp’s favorite wine as the legendary Château Pétrus, the current average price for which is $2,675 a bottle (if he drank half a bottle of that every day, his monthly wine bill would be well over $40,000); Château Calon-Ségur a much less exalted but always good third-growth Bordeaux that’s practically given away at an average price of $112 a bottle; Castello di San Sano Chianti Classico (a mere $16 on average); and a similarly priced Provençal rosé called Château de Pourcieux.
How many of these wines Depp actually drinks (or genuinely considers a favorite) is unclear. In 2010, blogger Erik Vidal reported being in the Manhattan wine shop Sea Grapes and noticing an empty wine bin. An employee told him that it had contained bottles of a rather ordinary red wine that they kept marking down, from $18 all the way to $9, without selling much. Then they had the bright idea of upping the price to $24 and affixing a sign reading “This is Johnny Depp’s Favorite Wine!” — and it quickly sold out.