A US perspective on Fine Wine Investment in Europe

For a lot of US buyers wine investing is a fairly new concept, but in Europe fine wine has long been the centre of attention for investors who seek to explore the potential of buying exceptional vintages.  Historically, because fine wine investment in Europe was a fairly rarified pursuit, it was reserved for aristocrats who could also more easily afford to store and resell the wine.  Vintages from Bordeaux have largely been exported over the past 900 years to the United Kingdom, and it was not until recent centuries that these varieties have made their way to the United States.  As they have traditionally received a large proportion of the exports in fine wine, the UK now has what is arguably the most elaborate wine investment system in the world.

The United States never seems to take the wine industry as seriously as the UK has done.  Historically, prohibition of alcohol and multiple regulations placed on the sale of alcohol in the US have affected the number the fine wine exports finding their way across the pond.   While these historical conflicts still have a bearing on the wine industry in the US, the  rise of the internet has made it much easier for collectors to gain access to fine wines from across the globe, even from within the US.

In the past few decades, fine wine investment in Europe has blossomed further, resulting in market prices that range widely, based on diverse factors such as personal taste, overall quality and longevity offered by different wines of different vintages.  This has also meant that the cost of certain wines has increased annually, even during years when the global economy has experienced a slump.

While the sale and purchase of fine wines has historically been centered in Europe, with the United States catching on, it is perhaps the fixed supply and growing demand among Chinese and Russian markets  that will have the most marked effect on the fine wine market in the future, with the cost of the top vintages set to increase.  US investors might follow suit and learn from successful European investors who have centuries of experience behind them…



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