Wine is increasingly being seen as a legitimate investment path that can lead to some significant earnings. If you have some spare money and are looking to invest it somewhere, then why not consider investing in wine? After all, you can always drink it if your investment doesn’t work out! The wine investment landscape changes every year, and 2019 will be no different. This year should offer a slow and stable year for the fine wine industry compared to 2018.
At the beginning of last year, members of global fine wine marketplace Liv-ex predicted that, on average, the industry’s closing level for the year would end on yet another peak. Yet, in reality, the index fell by 0.2%—while not a disaster by any means, it still fell short of expectations. However, despite this, wine investors can afford to be cautiously optimistic in 2019, and the upcoming year promises much for the industry, with significant opportunities for investors.
Burgundy looks set to be the star performer
Burgundy was the best investment wine in 2018, and 2019 is poised to be no different. Whilst Bordeaux is still the most widely invested wine overall, Burgundy enjoyed a 539% increase in trades between 2010 and 2017. Last year was yet another stellar year for the region. Liv-ex’s Burgundy 150 index enjoyed a remarkable 34.9% growth during 2018, with 29 Burgundy wines taking their place on the Liv-ex Power 100 list, and 14 of the year’s top 20 price performers were wines from the region.
Performing particularly well at the moment is the iconic Domaine de la Romanée-Conti wine, so much so that last year, a vintage 1945 bottle became the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold, fetching $558,000 in October. Investors have no shortage of options when it comes to finding a more economical Burgundy investment though, with various other wines from the area selling at more affordable prices and also experiencing upturns in interest. This includes Domaine de la Romanée-Conti itself, as well as Rousseau, Leroy and Leflaive and Roumier wines.
Burgundy prices are predicted to keep on rising throughout 2019, so there has never been a more opportune moment to invest in wine from the region and give yourself a realistic chance of making some serious money. If you already own Burgundy wine, then it is well worth getting it valued by an online fine wine specialist, who can quickly value your wine and also help you sell it if you want to capitalise on its value right away. As The London Wine Cellar note about an online valuation: “Hassle is reduced by processing your valuation and payment promptly”, as you are saved having to traipse to a wine valuation company yourself.
Bordeaux will recapture market interest
While Burgundy’s relentless rise looks set to continue, Bordeaux is nonetheless being tipped to recapture some of the market interest stolen by its French counterpart. Wine from the Bordeaux region was long heralded as the best type of wine to invest in, and accounted for a monumental 95% of total value traded in wine in 2010. However, its popularity has dwindled massively since then, with the region’s average trade share dropping every year and accounting for just 60.7% of the market in 2018.
Yet, there are signs that Bordeaux should reclaim some market attention in 2019, even if Burgundy is set to continue its ascendancy. In December, the Bordeaux Legends 50 indice experienced a 8.3% growth, making it the second highest growing indice behind The Burgundy 150. This suggests that buyers are turning back to the region, which means Bordeaux wine could be a more savvy investment than it has been for the last nine years.
The market rewards diverse wine collections
Although the big hitters seem like they will always be popular, anyone interested in wine investment should look out for alternative regions becoming more popular with oenophiles. Perhaps the most significant indication of this was Liv-ex adding two indices for California and Port in late 2018, suggesting that the market is becoming more diverse. California made headlines with its $35.2 billion worth of US sales in 2017, whilst Port has swelled in value over the last few years—take Dow’s, whose Port bottles appreciated 211% between 2011 and 2018.
This broadening of tastes should continue in 2019—for example, commentators have identified a trend towards lighter wines, whilst many other regions are tipped to enjoy more time in the spotlight. Wine wholesaler Bibendum believes wines from countries like Canada, Croatia and Uruguay will surge in popularity this year, and predicts that indigenous grapes from certain regions in nations like France, Italy, Argentina and Italy will become increasingly favoured. All of this indicates that these alternative regions will provide investors with more investment options than ever.