Big auction houses, spearheaded by Zachys, have been pushing prices to nonsensical levels.
Their last NYC catalog ("The Fall Auction") even advertises a $1000 BYOB dinner (yeah, $500 tax deductible, but c'mon, still 500 a head for a BYOB???) for Nov. 30th.
Not to speak of actual hammer prices for the wines themselves. Just to quote a classic: a 1982 Mouton Rothschild has gone from the mid $400s to close to $1000 since 2003, that's about 50% per year for the last 3 years. So ridiculous are these prices, that most buyers nowadays are not even wine colectors, just speculators hoping to make a quick buck reselling next year the stuff they are buying today. And then you have all the schmocks out there paying $600+ for a 2005 bordeaux future they'll put their hands on 2 years down the road, with the expectation it'll sell for a profit.
For God's sake, gimme a break!