Collecting wine is an unusual form of collecting, as the stock is both perishable and delicious. Collecting accessories is more traditional.
Collector vs investor
- My definition of a wine collector is someone who enjoys drinking wine, and who has a particular interest in certain types of wine, or wine region. A collector may, or may not, make money out of their hobby.
- An investor regards wine as a commodity, which they trade in the same way as stocks and shares. They may never set eyes on the stuff, or even like wine.
How to start a collection
- Identify which types of wine you enjoy drinking.
- Buy that wine, expanding to different producers within the region.
- Buy the best wine you can afford. If a wine region becomes fashionable, it is always the top wines which appreciate the most.
- If a wine increases in value, you have the option of selling it.
- If the wine decreases in value, you can still drink it; an advantage over other types of asset.
I particularly enjoy wine from two regions. Their contrasting investment performance shows the benefit of buying wine you enjoy:-
- Burgundy, particularly Red Burgundy, and the Pinot Noir grape variety. This is a complex and fragmented region, producing fabulous wines and awful wines, and everything in between. There was a time when just about all the wines were affordable, but the top wine has now broken through the £10,000 ($16,000) a bottle barrier. This has dragged up the value of many other wines.
- Rioja, is another region I have followed for many years. The best wines may not be as fine as a top Burgundy, but they represent very good value for money. There has only been a small appreciation in value with time, so I just drink and enjoy my Rioja.
The best sources of a wine are:-
- The vineyard itself.
- The main import agent in your country.
If you buy consistently from these sources, then you will continue to get an allocation, even if the wine becomes trendy and expensive. You can of course look out for deals from other sources, including the Internet and auctions.
Wine is a perishable commodity, and should be stored in suitable conditions – see a previous blog post. If you are going to keep a wine for several years, then you must do one of the following:-
- Have it stored professionally, where they can maintain perfect conditions.
- Store it at home in a specially designed wine storage device.
- If you live in a temperate climate, then there are other options. A deep cellar is perfect, but you can also improvise to provide adequate conditions.
Provenance – who has owned the wine and where it has been stored – has a significant bearing on a wine’s value. It ensures the wine is in good condition, and is genuine. Sadly, fraud is an issue these days.
Many types of accessory have been made over the years, and many of these are avidly collected.
- Corkscrews. This are probably the most popular item, with amazing patented mechanisms. There are also exotic designs, many of the most popular being erotic.
- Glass. Bottles, decanters, jugs, drinking glasses come in a vast array of designs, from beautiful Venetian glass to cruder items.
- Wine coolers, wine labels, bin labels, coasters – the list goes on and on.….
- The column to the right of this blog lists many useful wine-related sites.
- Wine Collectionary – a useful source for collectable wine and wine accessories.
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