I recently read a blog post by the engaging Madeline Puckette, the moving force behind WineFolly.com which irked me. Madeline is a fun and knowledgeable wine expert and her posts rarely irk me. Check out her site. I recommend it highly. But the post in question offered tips for those wanting to collect wine.
The entire concept is anathema to me. Wine is a beverage. To me investing in wine the way one would invest in gold or stocks is the exact opposite of what wine is about. It is what makes wine experts look like tools. Spending ridiculous amounts of money on wine, like the idiots who recently spent $168,000 on a bottle of wine, is simply stupid.
What is the point of spending that much money on wine? Unless you are made of money, all you really want to do with that bottle is wait a few years and sell it to some other idiot for even more money. All the while the wine is going to waste.
Wine is meant to be consumed. Don’t insult the wine maker by not drinking his or her wine. While I am embarrassed by the number of bottles of wine I have in my “cellar”, each and every one of them will be consumed. They might not be consumed today, or this month, or this year, but each and every one of them will be consumed. Some are being saved for a particular occasion worthy of it’s goodness, but those occasions aren’t THAT infrequent that a bottle of wine won’t be consumed within 5 or 10 years.
Holding most wines longer than 10 or 15 years is largely a waste of the wine as most wines made today are made to be consumed and not aged. Drink up! There are some wines still being made to age. If you want a wine for your new born’s 21st birthday, seek one of these out. But if you want a wine that’s going to go up in value so you can resell it later? Why? I simply don’t understand investing in a consumable that you won’t consume.
Wine is a beverage. Drink it. The only way I can see wine as an “investment” is when you use it to invest in your friendships and family. Open up the bottle and serve it with a good meal shared with family and good friends. The conversation and intimacy and increased bonds of friendship will be your pay off. THAT is a good investment. But it isn’t about money. The things of the greatest value in life are NEVER about money.