Basics you need to know about wine investment

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Wine basics from the Chinese MW

My parent’s friends often ask for advice on wine investment and the message to them is always this, if you decide to invest in wine, go to a reputable merchant and purchase wines that you like drinking yourself, in the event you cannot sell it for a profit later on.

A couple of years ago, I worked as a fine wine buyer around the time of the 2010 Bordeaux en primeur (EP) campaign. Bordeaux classed growths were hot because the vintage was excellent and Chinese demand was strong, but things are different today. This week, a colleague wanted to see what their 2010 Château Pichon Baron (bought for £1500 EP) might sell for. Using WineSearcher Pro, I found that I could purchase the same wine from a reputable merchant for £1100, therefore it would be best to hold on to the wine for now.

Image: the UGC tasting of Listrac-Medoc, Moulin-Medoc and Margaux wines
at Chateau Lascombes during the Bordeaux 2014 en primeur week © Decanter

Every investment vehicle has its risks and wine should not be treated differently, do your research, get to know the market and price check. Like buying shares, there is no guarantee that a particular wine will provide a return, but at least with wine, you are buying a tangible product that can be enjoyed for years to come. I prefer to purchase wines rather than invest in wine funds because I like ownership.

Always buy from trustworthy merchants and ask for photos of the bottles, labels and fill levels on older wines. I used to buy at auction and walk away with below market prices. If buying at auction now, I would be wearier due to the amount of fakes out there.

I have only just begun to tuck away a few cases of wine, admittedly for self-indulgence later, using the excuse that I am diversifying. The astronomical prices of the top wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy are driving me to invest in wines that I believe are better deals and I bet will see returns in the future, such as Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, vintage Champagne, and top wines from Australia. My ultimate return on investment will be drinking these aged beauties that I am patiently waiting for to mature, with loved ones, which is a win-win for me.

Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦

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