Investing in Wine

By Eric Hammer

Very few people make money from investing in wine just because they want to invest in wine. Most wine investors are also wine connoisseurs themselves and often enjoy a nice glass of wine, occasionally opening a bottle of expensive wine for special occasions and regularly enjoying a glass or two of the stuff with their meals.

That said, there is definitely money to be made from investing in wine. The key is to find wines which have a great reputation and which are likely to last for many years to come. This means that a quality red wine will likely be the wine of choice for investors. Whites tend to go bad after a few years. You also want to invest specifically in dry wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot as opposed to young and sweet varieties such as Lambrusco, which is intended to be drunk within a year or two of its having been first bottled.

How Much Can You Make?

It is impossible to quantify how much one can make from investing in wine because of the vagaries of the market. However, it is possible to say that some rare wines can easily fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars for a case and in some instances, even millions of dollars for a case which has been kept in good condition.

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Keep in mind that investing in wine is very much an art form. It's not enough to simply decide that you wish to make investments in wine. You need to be extremely well educated to understand why some wines will make great investments while others will generally do very poorly. The rule of thumb for investing in wine is however that you want a dry red for long term storage since those are the wines that really tend to age well.

It's important to note a common misconception amongst those who are not wine collectors - that all wines become finer and more valuable as they age. Many times, you can spend a couple of hundred dollars for a bottle of wine and will find that it's a variety which, while rare, is also intended to be drunk within a year or two of bottling. This happens when you purchase certain varieties which are made in small, artisanal batches for connoisseurs.

It's also important to remember that storage is everything when it comes to investing in wine. The ideal storage space for such investments is the wine cellar, where you ideally maintain a constant temperature.

However, it is possible to store wine for investment purposes in a smaller home where you don't have a wine cellar. The three most important things to remember when you are storing your wine are that it must be kept away from heat, it must be kept away from direct sunlight and it must be kept dry. It is also important to remember to store bottles of wine on their sides as this will help preserve them over the long term.

Finally, remember that the $20 bottle of wine you pick up at the local grocery store or even a small liquor store isn't very likely to be worth much when you try to store it for a few years as an investment. Investing in wine requires purchasing wines which are already fairly expensive and which are fairly rare so that they can be expected to go up in value.

Qualifications / Requirements

There are no formal requirements for investing in wine. However, it is important that you be well educated on the various kinds of wines available on the market and why they are considered to be valuable. You also must have a place to store your wine which will allow the bottles to mature without the chance of damage from things like heat and light.

First Steps

Start by going to some wine tastings and becoming educated on the subject of fine wine. Learn what makes a quality wine and train your palate to discern between different types of wine. Once you have done this, start slowly investing in wine so that you don't end up wasting money on costly mistakes.


Check out these helpful resources to learn more about investing in wine:

WineInvestment.Org - A website devoted to building a collection of fine wines and making money while doing so.

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