When it comes to fine wine investments, blue-chip wine is a cut above the rest. This is an elite and exclusive category of wine that includes only the most valuable labels on the market. If you think of wine investments like art collecting, owning a blue-chip wine is akin to owning a Rembrandt, a Picasso, or a Monet. They’re often the first labels wine enthusiasts think of when they picture the finest bottles in the world.

This is what makes blue-chip wine such an attractive investment for those looking to make a profit from fine wine assets. Beyond bragging rights, these wines have so much to offer in terms of potential market value, especially over long periods. In this guide, you’ll learn precisely what a blue-chip wine is, why they’re worth the investment, and how you can build an investment portfolio of these iconic labels for yourself.

What Defines a Blue-Chip Wine?

In short, a blue-chip wine is one that is seen as a stable investment. The word “blue-chip” comes from the broader world of financial investments, where it refers to reliable stocks from reputable companies that have a track record of market growth. In recent years, investors have started applying this term to fine wine as well, after seeing its potential as a financial asset.

As for which wines are considered blue-chip, there is no exact industry standard to define them.  You won’t find a master list of labels that every wine enthusiast, investor, and data expert agrees are “blue-chip.” Still, there are certain labels that most experts consider blue-chip and these wines all have a few characteristics in common.

A blue-chip wine is highly rated and considered by experts to be a reliable investment over time. These wines generally come from well-established producers that have a stellar reputation for crafting consistently high-quality wine year after year. These wines also perform well on the market, growing in value as they age. Not all investors drink the wine they buy, so calling a wine “blue-chip” is a useful way to identify the fine wines that are most likely to offer a favorable return on investment in the future.

So, what sets a blue-chip wine apart from other types of wine? Here are a few essential factors you can look for in a fine wine label:


The producer has been making wine for at least a decade (often for many, many decades) and in this time has impressed some of the most renowned wine critics. The name alone denotes quality — and it’s a name most wine enthusiasts know well.

Value over time:

This is a tricky measurement because wine value over time isn’t always predictable or steady. There’s a “staircase effect” where the wine typically will plateau in price for a while before jumping up in value and plateauing again. Over time though, there’s a clear pattern. Blue-chip wines tend to be more valuable in the years after release than they were in the first year. The exact increase in value varies by producer, label, vintage, and ideal drinking window (wines usually increase in price up to the point when they reach peak maturity).

Aging potential:

For a wine to increase in value over time, it needs to have the ability to age for a decade or more without spoiling. Most blue-chip wines can age for at least 15 to 30 years, depending on the variety and vintage. Generally, the longer you can wait to sell your wine before it goes past its ideal drinking window, the better your chances of turning a profit.

Rarity and demand:

Most blue-chip wines are rare (with fewer than 10,000 cases produced annually, on average). This exclusivity drives up demand for the wine on the market and thus increases the value of the wine. As the wine is drunk or bottles are lost with time, rarity increases, and often so does the price.


The benefit of blue-chip wines is that they typically retain their value from year to year. While some vintages are more valuable than others, there generally isn’t a massive difference in price from one vintage to the next (with some exceptions). This is especially true if the producer is known for making vintages of consistent quality.


Even if you don’t plan on drinking your wine, quality is still an important indicator that a label is blue-chip. For a label to amass a good reputation and value on the market, the wine itself has to be something special. Quality also protects the wine’s value in the future. Fine wine will inevitably rise to the top, as there will always be enthusiasts willing to pay top dollar for the world’s greatest wines.

Now that you better understand what a blue-chip wine is, you can take a closer look at what these wines could do for your investment portfolio.

Why So Many Investors Love Blue-Chip Wines

Blue-chip wine is the best choice for investors looking to get a return on their investments. While wine enthusiasts often branch out into lesser-known or more unusual styles of wine with the intent of drinking the bottles sometime in the future, investors have to be a bit more selective. They should aim for the wines that are likely to be just as if not more valuable ten years from now as they are today.

The best blue-chip wines can offer that stability. The long-run return of fine wine investments is more than 10 percent per year, on average, making it more stable than the majority of other asset classes.

Here are just a few other reasons why many investors prefer to purchase blue-chip labels: 

Finite supply:

Demand for blue-chip labels is high but supply is low (often much lower than most other wines on the market). This is a benefit to investors, as they can buy in early by purchasing wine futures and hold onto the wine for at least five to seven years. By this point, demand for that particular vintage is usually high. Wine enthusiasts are typically willing to pay more for these top bottles than they initially cost upon release.

Easy to diversify:

Blue-chip wine includes everything from fine Bordeaux to cult California producers. By investing in a broad range of blue-chip labels, investors can hedge their bets. For example, California cult wines have been the most consistent market performers over the past decade, even outperforming fine French wine in some years. Having a diverse portfolio of blue-chip wines allows investors to strike while the iron is hot, when the market is in their favor, and hold bottles that will inevitably trend again in the future.

Reinvestment potential:

Since investors can start making a profit on their blue-chip wines within five to seven years after release, they can reinvest these profits into more wine futures. Investing in wine is a slow process, so it can be helpful to reinvest in order to see greater returns over time.


Considered the most luxurious wines in the world, blue-chip labels command top dollar in the same way designer fashion brands do. Even as trends change, certain wine brands have left such an important cultural mark that they’re likely to remain in the spotlight for decades to come.

Which wines have this level of prestige? Below, you’ll find a full list of blue-chip producers you should have on your radar.

Important Blue-Chip Labels You Should Know

While there isn’t an industrywide list of blue-chip wines, there are 43 producers that our experts consider to be the most important on the fine wine market today. This list is based on historic market data, proprietary algorithms, professional critic reviews, and decades of experience working closely with both winemakers and collectors. So, if you’re looking to invest in blue-chip wine, start with these legendary bottles.

Blue-Chip Bordeaux

Most blue-chip Bordeaux comes from the region’s Left Bank and Right Bank. Red Bordeaux is most popular among investors, as it’s meant to be aged for long periods of time. Here are this region’s top blue-chip producers:

Blue-Chip Burgundy

Red Burgundy, made from Pinot Noir, is the most popular on the market. This region is also home to a producer known for making some of the most expensive wines in the world: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (or DRC for short). These are the top blue-chip wines in Burgundy:

Blue-Chip Wine from California

California cult wines (wines that have a cult-like following due to their rarity and quality) are some of the latest wines to be considered “blue-chip.” The first cult wine was released in 1992, but this clearly wasn’t a flash in the pan. Ever since, California has consistently released some of the top-performing wines on the market, and today, the following producers have gained a reputation on par with the finest Bordeaux and Burgundy:

Italian Blue-Chip Wine

With the rise in popularity of “Super Tuscans,” Italy has become a top destination for blue-chip labels. Super Tuscans are a blend of native Italian grapes with grapes from Bordeaux. Since they’re age-worthy and exceptionally high in quality, they’ve become top market performers. The country is also known for making traditional wines (such as Brunello di Montalcino) that have incredible aging potential. These Italian blue-chip producers are worth knowing:

More Blue-Chip Wines

One wine from Spain consistently ranks among the best-performing wines in the world year after year:

Likewise, two labels from one standout Australian producer have performed so well over the decades that they are now considered blue-chip wines:

  • Penfolds (the Grange and Bin 707 labels)

These blue-chip producers have the historical performance to back up their status as investment-worthy. However, to get started, you’ll need to know how to build an investment portfolio from scratch.

How to Build Your Portfolio

Knowing which blue-chip wine labels are worth investing in is only the first step. Here are a few more steps to consider as you build your portfolio: 

1. Identify the best vintages:

Most vintages of these wines will be investment-worthy, however, some will be more valuable than others. Generally, the newest vintages are the most attractive to investors, as they can often be purchased at the lowest possible price and are likely to increase in value as they age. Older vintages can also be worthwhile, especially if they’re highly rated (although these wines often cost more up front, and so the profit margin may be smaller). One thing to keep in mind is to avoid buying wine that’s at its peak maturity or past its drinking window. These wines have less long-term investment potential, as they’re ready to drink already (or will be soon).

2. Check the wine’s provenance:

Investors should be aware of provenance, even more so than other wine collectors. Provenance is a proven record of the wine’s authenticity and ownership, tracked from the time it leaves the winery to the present day. Like fine art, part of the wine’s value hinges on your ability to prove where the asset came from so future buyers know it’s authentic and undamaged. You can ensure the wine’s provenance by buying wine futures, buying wine ex château (meaning the wine comes directly from the winery’s cellars), or purchasing from a trusted retailer that maintains records of the wine’s ownership and inspects bottles for authenticity. The better the wine’s provenance, the higher its future value.

3. Invest in wine futures:

Not all wine is available as a future or a pre-arrival, but those that are have the most investment potential. Blue-chip wine futures are typically offered by trusted wine retailers before the wine is released (often before it’s even been bottled). The prices are based on anticipated vintage quality. Later, when the wine is released, you can have your purchases (called allocations) shipped either to a professional storage warehouse or to your home cellar.

The most important resource you have as an investor is an experienced retailer. Wine retailers like Vinfolio offer wine futures and pre-arrivals for some of the top blue-chip labels in the world. Experts on staff can also determine which vintages are showing the most potential. You can even store your wine in the retailer’s facility, allowing you to protect your investments and prove the wine’s provenance when it comes time to sell.

Make the Most of Your Investments

If you want to invest in blue-chip wine, but you have little experience with wine or you simply want to maximize your investments, consider Vinfolio’s portfolio management service. With this service, you choose how much to invest up front (a minimum of $25,000 is recommended to build a portfolio from scratch). An expert selects wines, particularly blue-chip labels, based on market data and proprietary algorithms. What’s more, because Vinfolio is an experienced retailer, our portfolio clients have access to wine futures and other sought-after allocations that would be difficult for a DIY investor to find.

Once our experts have built you a diverse portfolio of wines, they will keep the wine in Vinfolio’s secure storage facility for an average of five to seven years (at least one full market cycle). Experts can also rebalance your portfolio based on the latest data. Then, when it comes time to sell, you’ll have access to a network of more than 30,000 members eager to buy the finest wines on the market.

Whether you invest in a few blue-chip wines on your own to start, or you hire experts to handle the entire process for you, fine wine investments are well worth the effort. Blue-chip wines are so much more than luxurious bottles served on special occasions — they’re also valuable assets you can use to help you plan for your future.