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investing in wine?

Today at Decanter.com http://www.decanter.com/specials/104729.html

Before I make any complaints let us be clear: there is a lot of useful/good advice in “Decanter’s wine investment guide in association with Berry Bros. & Rudd” Now I’ve said that let me take one excerpt from this ‘advice’:

Investment grade wine is also an improving asset. As fine wines mature they become more desirable and therefore more valuable. At the same time, as the wine ages and comes into its drinking window, it begins to be consumed making it even more rare, which in turn adds yet more upward pressure on prices.

I suppose that on the positive side, it’s unlikely that those that cannot afford it will lose in this type of investment. In recent years the investment bubbles have been popping all around us, yet here we find sage advice on why we should invest in a product(s) that is trading at an all-time high and where entry prices of the latest vintages are already cutting off an old (drinking) clientelle. It sounds like another bubble – and I’m not talking Champagne!

Few and far between are the people that annually have access to case quantities of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Petrus, Le Pin, de Vogüé etc. – and they don’t need the money – perhaps ‘investors’ might be offered timeshares in a case? Given the non-availability of these ‘blue chip’ cases what will you actually be allowed to invest in then? Overpriced Figeac or overvalued Vosne?

The only way to get a positive return is if you invest in a cellar with your intended return being years of drinking pleasure. If some of your well-chosen bottles appreciate in value – lucky them, lucky you!

On a last note, let us consider one of the cornerstones of investment – impartial advice. Who here is providing the advice for us? A wine magazine and a merchant – I guess there are parallels to brokers – they make money if the prices go up or down! Though on reflection, perhaps I should have bought that case of 1999 Romanée-Conti from Berry Bros a few years back – it was only £25,000…

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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