Is wine an investment?

by Eve Resnick on December 19, 2008

in General

A few months ago, an article on wine as investment in Decanter Magazine raised all hell between pro- and con wine investors. Today, the subject is back on Bloomberg under the title: “Fine-Wine Investors Raise a Glass as Petrus, Margaux Lure Fund”. Robert Lench, manager of the Vinum Fine Wine Fund in Guernsey off the coast of Normandy, buys the most famous wines, such as Haut-Brion, Lafite or Petrus, for his fund and says it attracts many customers who are looking for tangible goods to invest in.

That is the paradox of the wine investment: scared by the volatility of the stock exchanges, people with cash buy real estate and… wine. What if the value of the wine goes down? Drink it, is the general advice. It is true it’s easier to drink a bottle of good wine than to sell a piece of real estate. And seeing the level of your bottle going down is less traumatic (and more pleasant) than watching the decreasing curve of your investments!

More seriously, according to Bloomberg journalist Adria Cimino, “Vinum’s Lench says historical wine data shows its value as a long-term investment. The top price at auction for 1996 Vintage Chateau Haut Brion jumped 89 percent from 1999 to 2007, according to Sotheby’s. The 1996 Vintage Chateau Lafite during the same period rose more than fourfold, the data show.”

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