DIY/BBC guide to wine investment


Did anyone hear a short item on BBC Radio 4's flagship news programme this morning around 8.40 on investing in wine?

It was presented by their general financial investment reporter, who promised dreamy rates of return on wine as compared with other investments. There followed a clip from Serena Sutcliffe MW of Sotheby's advising people which sorts of wine to invest in (young, posh, ex Bordeaux) and an interview with someone who seemed to be a mate of the reporter's who had set up a wine fund which got two name checks.

Mr Wine Fund gave a specific example, as is the wont of such people, and chose the most obvious name: Ch Lafite 2008, an absolutely brilliant investment, he said, which they had sold after three years just as the price started to head south. But I'd put a lot of claret on the fact that hardly anyone heard that Lafite prices had softened and most listeners got the impression that the cleverest thing to buy now is Ch Lafite, preferably the 2008 vintage. Sigh.

(Anyone who wanted to buy some red bordeaux to actually drink – as strange a concept as this may be – may like to see my notes on top 2001 bordeaux published earlier today.)

At least I think even the most casual listener will have gathered that Blue Nun is not the sort of wine to invest in. Though you may be interested in the following, very typical, query sent to me last week via this website:

Would-be wine investor:
Ms. Robinson:
I have a rosé wine bottle. Rosé D'Anjou, Barton & Guestier 1995 Product of France. 750 ml.
I am interested in sending it. Would you be good enough to tell me how much it costs? In how many pesos or dollars can I send it?
I live in México, City.
I really would appreciate your help.
Thanks in advance.
Would you be good enough to tell me

I'm afraid it is not worth anything much. Should have been drunk by 1997. V sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Would-be wine investor:
I really appreciate your kind response and your time.
So, I am going to throw it away. I hoped it to be of any value.
Good luck and thanks again.