“Wine collecting”… the term itself sounds a bit posh. Many will envision an aristocrat resembling the Monopoly guy wearing a monocle and speaking of his fine wine collection in his South London accent. Well fast-forward past that stereotype and welcome to the 21st century. Nowadays, wine collecting is a smart move for the everyday wine drinkers and a thriving business for savvy investors. (Ask someone who purchased allocations of Bordeaux 30 years ago; Warren Buffett would like the ROI on those wines.) There’s a reason why wine auction houses across the globe continue to flourish. And also why more everyday imbibers with no notion to profit from their purchases are also stocking up.
As we dive into this topic there is one key element to remember: aside from mass-produced bulk wines that are made from grapes that came from who knows where, when it comes to the rest of the wine industry, each bottle you hold in your hands is in fact a rare item. Unlike other beverages made consistently with the same ingredients and recipes year after year, wine is made from a fresh fruit that is exceedingly sensitive to different factors. It fluctuates substantially from region to region and year to year. And with each wine and each vintage, there are really only a select number of bottles out there. This rarity is why some of the best wines in the industry are sold as en primeur, aka “wine futures”, with a prime example being the wines of Bordeaux, where top estates are completely sold out well before they even make it out of the barrel. But if you’re more of a 401(k) type investor, there are still advantages to collecting. Like the fact that buying by the case typically works out to a better price than buying a single bottle. True, doing it once is not going to pad your savings, but the money you save over the years will be more than just nickels and dimes. And the next time you have a last minute dinner party to attend or run out of time to buy a gift for a special occasion, you have your collection of favorite wines to save the day. (Note: you mustn’t forget how vitally important it is to make sure to store them properly. By storing them in a temperature and humidity controlled environment like a wine refrigerator or a wine storage facility, you’ll get to experience the full range of progression and unique evolution of your wines.) So collecting wine is not just a snooty hobby for the culturally elite; it’s something that all of us everyday wine drinkers can benefit from. But hey, if you really want to act the part why not slap on a monocle and fake Franz Ferdinand mustache, you know, just for kicks.