Investing in fine wine isn’t exclusive to experienced collectors. Today, many people are curious about vintage wine investments–everyone from casual wine drinkers to young investors looking to plan for retirement. It’s a surprisingly easy investment process, whether you know much about wine or not.
The key to the most successful vintage wine investments is to know exactly which vintages are worth collecting long-term, as well as which wine labels are the most sought-after. In this guide, you’ll find the top-rated recent vintages from the finest winegrowing regions in the world, including the specific labels that collectors value most. No matter your experience level, you can use this information to create an interesting (and potentially even profitable) collection of stellar wines.
The Best Vintage Wine Investments by Region
If you’re just getting started with wine, or even if you already have a number of bottles in your collection, it’s often beneficial to buy young vintages from the world’s top winegrowing regions. This is because young vintages usually need anywhere from five to 20 more years in storage before they will reach peak maturity–the time when the wine has developed the greatest complexity of flavor.
The reason why collectors and investors prefer younger wines is because it gives them time to decide what to do with the wine long before it reaches its peak. For example, a collector may buy an entire case of 2015 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, but as the wine ages, the collector realizes there are a few too many bottles to drink. At this point, the collector has the option to sell a few of the excess bottles for a profit. Young wines offer greater flexibility than older wines that are already at their peak.
As for investors, buying young vintages is important because this is the time when the wine is typically at its lowest price. The value of fine wine almost always increases every year it’s on the market, and so your goal should be to buy the wine as close to release as possible and resell it much later (usually eight to ten years after release) for more than what you paid for it.
Although some of the best vintage wine investments are young vintages, that doesn’t mean all young vintages are worthy of your time and money. Vintage quality varies from year to year and primarily depends on the weather during the growing season. This is why it’s important to know which recent vintages are the highest rated for a specific region.
Below, you’ll find a list of some of the world’s most reputable winegrowing areas, along with the top-rated vintages in each area since 2015. However, in Champagne, producers usually age vintages for a decade or more before releasing them on the market, so its most recent vintages are older than those of the other regions in the chart below.
|Region||Top Recent Vintages|
There are many other regions you might be interested in as a collector or investor, however, these five regions are known for producing some of the most valuable wines on the market today. If you want to discover the best vintage wine investments in other regions, you can use a wine tracking app to research which vintages professional critics have enjoyed most from that area in recent years.
To take this one step further, you should also be aware of the top-rated labels from every vintage, so you can easily add the most luxurious wines to your collection.
The Best Wine Labels on Today’s Market
Just as vintage quality varies by year, the top wines of the vintage also change depending on which producers had the most successful harvest and crafted the finest wines. In general, any blue-chip producer will make wines of notable quality in every vintage, with rare exceptions. When in doubt, seek out these historically top-performing wines.
However, to make this process simpler, you can also look at the chart below, which lists some of the most praised wine labels for each of the top recent vintages by region.
Any of the wines above would be solid cornerstones on which to build an age-worthy and valuable collection. Even if you only invest in one of these wines, you could gain a number of benefits, whether you plan on uncorking the bottle for a special occasion many years from now, or you’re looking to resell it for a profit.
What To Do With Your Collection
Once you have a collection of vintage wine investments (small or large), what you do with it will depend on your goals.
Keep your finest bottles in a professional storage warehouse until you’re ready to drink them. Having your wine professionally stored better protects them from the elements, like heat, cold, too much or too little humidity, and damage from natural disasters.
Contrary to popular belief, most serious wine collectors don’t keep their wine in a home cellar or a basement. The most experienced collectors understand the limitations of a home cellar (including all of the maintenance costs that come with them). Unless you can invest many thousands of dollars into an elaborate home cellar, it’s much simpler and more cost-effective to have your wine stored in a professionally-managed location.
This also prevents you from drinking your wine too early. Many collectors have mistakenly grabbed bottles during parties that could have used a little more time in storage. When your wine is professionally stored, you have to specifically request the bottle and have it shipped to you. You’re much less likely to uncork a wine too soon.
To make sure you drink your vintage wine investments at the ideal time, you can also check the drinking window using a wine collection tracking app on your phone or computer. Most fine wines take a minimum of ten to 20 years to reach maturity.
Professional storage is even more important for investors planning on selling their wine because it helps prove the wine’s provenance. Future buyers want to see that the wine was stored properly throughout its lifetime and that it came directly from the winery.
To get the absolute most value from your wine, it also helps to purchase wine directly from a producer. Some online marketplaces act as distributors for wineries, selling bottles that came straight from the estate and never had a prior owner.
Generally, you should expect to wait about eight to ten years before you consider selling your wine for a profit, as this is the time when you’re most likely to make a decent return on your investment.
Vintage wine investments, especially recent wine releases, are a boon for collectors and investors alike. Now that you know which wines are the most investment-worthy, and what to do with them in the near future, you can delve deeply into the rewarding world of fine wine.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the world’s finest wine.