Bidders’ paddles shot up in the air-conditioned tent as the auction headed into the home stretch. Braced by unbound generosity — and perhaps the easy flow of
Now in its 33rd year, the live and online auction, brought in US$16.9 million in
Then there was a trip to
The Case for Investing
The question remains: Is this a wise investment for a wine collector?
Perhaps not — when it’s a charity auction. But at auction houses such as Sotheby’s, wine investing is a wise move, says Jamie Ritchie, CEO & President at Sotheby’s, Americas & Asia wine department. To be certain, this is investment grade wine, not the random bottle of chablis purchased from a retailer.
On a global level, Sotheby’s Wine Auctions, in 2012, brought an overall total of US$64,462,965 exceeding pre-sale expectations of US$49.3/67.1 million. Split among three cities, the
It is worth remembering that the 2012 figures here are no threat to the record books; auction figures were higher in the previous two years. The 2011 sales brought an overall global total of US$85,467,096, a little short of the 2010 figure of US$88.27 million, the highest in the company’s 40 years of wine auctions. 2010 saw extraordinary demand from Asian collectors with every bottle offered in the eight Hong Kong auctions finding a buyer and major Asian participation in
“The fundamental change happened in January 2009, when the Mainland Chinese market started waking up to enjoying, drinking and investing in fine wine,” says Ritchie. In addition, a new crop of buyers emerged in
Blue Chip Wine
“Many people have badly gone wrong due to poor advice, buying non-investment wines, lesser Growths, lesser vintages, etc.," notes Ritchie. "We’ve also seen people who’ve made significant amounts of money investing in wine by buying smart, by knowing which vintage and what properties to buy and at the right price.”
So, yes, one can make good investments and it is possible to make money. He advises to invest in blue chips —
Ritchie also suggests looking for wines on a trajectory such as non-First Growth wines likely to go up in value. Wines such as Château Ausone and Château Pontet-Canet are on a consistent rise and broadly appreciated by the market.Hong Kong-based Simon Tang, who heads Christie’s wine department in