What makes fine wine diférent ?

Not a Sure Thing - Why fine wine really is different 

Matt Kramer
Posted: March 15, 2016


Recently I was doing a signing for my latest book. While scrawling an inscription inside, I was chatting with the person, who waited patiently for me to finish. He flatteringly commented that he had read my columns over the years with enjoyment and then said, “You know, I’ve always wondered what, exactly, makes a wine fine?”

I started to reply by citing features such as finesse and nuance and harmony. But then I stopped. These values, among others such as layers and even a sense of surprise (never mind somewhereness), are all certainly elements that collectively make a wine “fine.” But I stopped because, suddenly, I felt that I was missing the point.

I said, “You know what really makes a wine fine? The root is: It’s not a sure thing.” He looked a bit puzzled, which was understandable. I didn’t have the time to explain it more fully, but I thought it worth mentioning here.

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You can make money investing in red wine futures

NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - If the stock markets' wild ride this January is starting to make you sick, maybe it's time to consider a little "winevesting," i.e. investing in wines. At Sherry-Lehmann on Park Avenue in Manhattan, you can put your money in Bordeaux wine futures, buying the 2015 vintage straight out of the barrel before it's bottled and shipped.

In April of every year, Chris Adams, the CEO of Sherry-Lehmann, travels to Bordeaux with other wine merchants and the press to taste barrels of the previous vintage. This April they'll try the 2015 vintage, harvested last fall. They'll share their opinions on the wines and prices will be set. Those 2015 wines will be available for investment this summer, then will be bottled in 2017, and shipped in 2018.

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Wine investing: When it’s time to sell

Posted by Will Lyons on December 2, 2015

Buying wines is exciting. Selling is less so. But it’s an important part of the investment process. If you don’t sell from time to time you’re not a wine investor, you’re just a wine-drinker with a very expensive cellar.

So who determines the value of your wine? It is a combination of factors, including the quality of the year it was produced, the reputation of the estate, its age and maturity and the opinion of critics, the most influential of which is the American Robert Parker. Underpinning all this is supply and demand, like other tradable commodities such as gold and oil – scarcity increases value.



The Growing Demand for Whisky in Asia

The whisky market is following wine in Asia. A growing demand from China’s burgeoning elite has led to dedicated auctions and a whisky-investment fund based in Beijing. As prices rise, the country’s love affair with single malts is extending to more exclusive bottlings of both Scottish and Japanese spirits

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Wine investing: laying down your cellar

Posted by Will Lyons on November 11, 2015

You’ve made the decision to invest in wine. You have done your research. And you have got your funds together. Now for the fun part – laying down your cellar.

For the budding collector there are several ways of buying wine and the market has changed dramatically in the past few years. Some are very hands-on, others reduce wine to an abstract investment where you can have investment exposure and never see a single bottle.

Perhaps the least efficient is the old way of paying a visit to your local wine merchant and buying a few bottles for your portfolio. Some traditional wine merchants still exist but, these days, there are a plethora of options from wine brokers, auction houses, investment funds and even fintech in the shape of peer-to-peer trading platforms.

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Wine investing: A beginner’s guide

Financial News & Wine investment process : Posted by Will Lyons on October 26, 2015

Fine wine has always been a tradable commodity. We know that the ancient Greeks and Romans regularly shipped it with olive oil and in the medieval period such was its importance to the city of London that an association of wine merchants was created called The Vintners’ Company as far back as 1363 – its headquarters can still be found on the north bank of the Thames.

But it wasn’t until the 19th century, with the invention of bottles and corks, that speculation really took off. Then fortunes were made and lost as wine merchants speculated on harvests and the changing prices of fine wine.

In the 21st century fine wine has provided a reliable long-term investment, outperforming inflation and, in some cases, equities. Relatively easy to trade, it also benefits from being a perishable item so any gains are not subject to capital gains tax. According to Liv-ex, the London-based fine-wine exchange, the long-term compound average return for a portfolio of Bordeaux fine wine, based on its Investables Index (which tracks over 200 wines from 24 top wine estates) is around 12% a year.

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Wine investing: The bottles worthy of being in your portfolio

Financial news : Posted by Will Lyons on November 4, 2015

A good, well-managed cellar means much more than always having a good bottle on hand. If managed well, it can generate good returns – at the very least it should generate enough profit for the collector to rebuy and effectively drink for free. But it’s only going to do that if the wines are chosen wisely.

An investment-grade wine needs to possess three components:

• an ability to age and improve over a time span of between 15 to 25 years;
• a solid demand on the secondary market; and
• a powerful brand.

Sadly, that dusty old bottle of red you have squirrelled away under the stairs in all probability is worth very little. Measured against these three criteria, there are two regions that outperform all others: the very best wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy.

In Bordeaux we can narrow the choice down still further to the top eight, the classified first growths (premier crus) of the Medoc: Châteaux Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Margaux, Mouton Rothschild, Haut Brion, and a small number of wines from the Right Bank, notably Pétrus, Le Pin, Cheval Blanc and Ausone. With the exception of Le Pin, all these wines have the benefit of being produced in large enough quantities to trade.

It is always good to invest in something where there is strong demand. As such, brokers say if you are buying into the Bordeaux market now, the best value at the moment is to be found in back vintages, notably 1982, 89, 90, 95 and 2005.

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