Fine wine might be one of the safest investments for your money for relatively modest amounts up front, liquid assets can deliver excellent returns when diversifying your portfolio.
At first glance, fine wine presents almost unlimited opportunities for passionate investors. While drinkers might balk at the $3,000 average price tag attached to a bottle of Pétrus, one of Bordeaux’s greatest reds, that sum is trivial beside the cost of a new Bugatti sports car, Patek Philippe watch, or Joan Miró painting. Compared to other collectibles, fine wine represents a relatively modest investment—one whose returns can be considerable.
“In the last few years, it has been the top wines from the best producers in great, mature vintages that have appreciated the most,” observes Jamie Ritchie, head of Sotheby’s global wine business. As prices for young wines soared at the beginning of the millennium, mature bottles increasingly looked like a compelling proposition—especially to a new generation of buyers eager to possess and experience fine wine’s reference points.
Red Burgundy has led the field by a significant margin, says Ritchie, as bottles of the region’s most coveted estates have multiplied in value. This appreciation has occurred with young wines as well as old. “The top 10 Burgundy reds have appreciated in value 16.8 percent in the past year, which is a frankly ridiculous rate of return,” reports Don Kavanagh, editor for Wine-Searcher, the wine world’s leading price database and search engine.
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