London wine writer Tim Atkin recalls watching four cigar-smoking east Europeans order two bottles of first-growth Bordeaux and one of Chateau Petrus at the Michelin-starred Hakkasan in London one night in June. Two of the men proceeded to dilute their wine with Diet Coke. Hakkasan sells the 1996 Chateau Petrus for £1,560 a bottle. "I've heard of it happening in China, but I'd never seen it in this country. I think in China it's a prestige thing... people like the idea that they are drinking a first growth or, in the case of Petrus, a top Pomerol, but they don't actually like the taste of it that much, so it's all about image," he says.
(from the FT magazine)