Everybody loves wine – whether it’s a crisp Vermentino washing down a light and flaky fish like a soft stream on a summer’s day; or a rich and heady Mourvedre, dark enough to absorb all the light in a room and, in return, divulge an explosion of black fruits to the tongue of the lucky drinker.
But the delights of the grape can surpass the Epicurean and broach the economic as well, if approached with the right combination of patience, humility and an eye for markets.
Fine wine investment is a popular pursuit, and for good reason – wine is a nigh-unrivalled investment asset in terms of consistency of returns. Moreover, for the truly passionate, the hunt for profit can lead one to vineyards far and wide, sampling the fruits of labours of love across the globe and ever refining one’s palate.
You don’t have to be a card carrying oenophile to enjoy or profit from fine wine investment, however. With the right advice and attitude, any layman can do well.
We’ve put together a short list of top tips to get you started on your intrepid journey down the burgundy seas on, with any luck, an ever more gilded ship.
– Never buy more than you can afford to lose
Investing is gambling. Remember that. No returns are guaranteed (no matter what a merchant may tell you); you should only ever spend what you are prepared not to get back. That doesn’t mean approach to endeavour pessimistically, only that you should not be treating fine wine investment as a fast track to certain financial success.
– Always be patient
All investments take time to bear fruits, and wine is no exception. Leave your wines in storage and wait, biding your time, before you come to sell them on.
You should also make sure you view the market with this long term view in mind; don’t get over excited by brief bursts of excitement or hype.
As wine specialist Nicholas Gibbs and UK Agora advises: “Don’t buy Fine Wines simply because the market is on the up. Have a long term view.”
– Follow the advice of established critics
Your tastes are idiosyncratic, they are your own and not necessarily shared by the entire wine market. When buying wines to drink, follow your tongue (and your nose), when buying wines for profit, rely on research.
Read up on the market, follow prominent critics and sign up to the right newsletters and you’ll begin to get a good idea of the right kind of wines to be purchasing.
– Keep your wines in a personal account in the right facility
This is absolutely crucial. Make sure your wines are stored in a professional bond facility, if you want their value to stay. Keep them stored under your own name, so as to ensure that they are clearly separated from any merchant stock. And insure them. Insure them to their full value, lest an unfortunate accident ruin your chance at any financial gain.
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