Wine (like baseball cards, cars, and artwork) has well documented histories, vintages, and tiered values. This makes them a natural fit for collecting, and rare wines are among the most sought after collectibles on the market. Ready to start a wine collection?
Wine is a unique asset. Unlike other luxury items, such as Rolex watches or Aston Martin cars, the supply of fine wine is fixed. If demand for a Rolex or Aston Martin increases, more can be made, but fine wines have a set production number - once the grapes are picked, no more vines can be planted, and geographical regions are controlled by law.Fine wine, is considered to be only the top 50 to 100 traded wines, although some go further and specify that only those from chateaus in the Bordeaux region qualify.Either way, wine production is controlled and cannot be increased by demand.The supply of those top 80 wines has been the same for the past 200 years. In fact, now there are less due to quality control. Two centuries ago Rothschild produced 27,000 cases a year, now it's 19,000
There are some myths to debunk about fine wine collecting. Firstly, that it is just for the super wealthy - it isn't. It can also be flexibly adopted as a lifestyle, or merely a hobby, depending on how much time you wish to invest. Secondly, you don't need a large underground cellar. And, thirdly, you don't need to part with a large up-front investment.
Like many high-end collectibles, prices can seem outrageous to outsiders and a sub-economy of the super-rare can take center stage. In 2011, 2 bottles of champagne salvaged from a 170 year old shipwreck were auctioned for $78,400 each, and were reportedly still drinkable due to storage on their sides, in darkness, and under pressure (at the bottom of the sea). These bottles went for a high price because they were rare, but it was also their stories and documentation that really pushed them into the stratosphere.
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