To date, the most expensive bottle of wine sold at auction was a 1787 label-less bottle with “Lafite” and “Th. J.” etched on its front; it was a bottle of wine which some believe to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson. (The controversy surrounding this claim continues.) Though the value of the wine was listed as “inestimable,” it sold for 105,000 pound sterling on December 5th, 1985.
With today’s economic uncertainties, instead of investing in stocks, several people are deciding to invest in tangible items like rare works of art, original manuscripts by famous authors and composers, clocks, watches, gemstones, old cars, and... wines! Much of today’s “wine investment" focuses on old and rare wines, similar to the “Jefferson” bottle (mentioned above, and purchased by Christopher Forbes). Earlier in 2011, a collection of 300 bottles of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild sold in Hong Kong for $540,000, making the record books for the highest-valued lot at any wine auction this year (so far).
Wine collections, unlike many equities, have value that appreciates quickly because of continued (and growing) interest of collectors worldwide. And since investing in various financial services has become less-than-promising for many people (low interest rates, stock markets too temperamental, etc.), purchasing wine allows collectors to invest in something that is not completely dependent on the state of the global marketplace.
So if, like many others, you’ve been burned by the stock market, perhaps investing a small portion of your net worth in a wine collection may be worth considering. You’ll have a tangible product in your cellar that, if stored properly, will most likely appreciate. Plus, if wine is your hobby, you’ll have a great deal of fun searching for those elusive bottles! If you do decide to invest in a serious wine collection, and do not yet have a wine cellar, visit Vintage Cellar’s custom wine cellar page to learn how easy it is to have a professional cellar designed to house the treasures you acquire. Who knows? Perhaps your collection will make the record books for being a high-valued lot, too?