Fine Wine: Alternative Asset or Emerging Market?

My friend Rebecca Gibb who edits the online wine magazine at Wine-Searcher.com has invited me to write a periodic column on the fine wine investment market. The first column appears today — follow this link to read it. I survey some summer trends in the wine investment market and then ask whether fine wine is best viewed as an alternative investment like oil and gold as as an “emerging” investment market.

The challenge of writing about wine investment is appealing and I look forward to the opportunity to spend more time studying this fascinating intersection of wine and economics. But what sort of column should it be?

I don’t want to write that Paul Krugman calls “up and down” economics. You know, Chateau this down in today’s auction, chateau that up on the Liv-Ex ticker. Besides, the auction houses and trading platforms already provide lots of this sort of information. No comparative advantage for me there.

So analysis and interpretation is what I will try to provide. And a bit of perspective, too, both in terms of time frame (not sure how frequently I will write on this, so I will take time to digest the incoming news) and economic interest. Much of what you see about fine wine investment comes from inside the market bubble, written by people with a dog in the fight. I’ll try to provide an outsider view.

How will this work out? Will I find interesting stories to tell? Will Wine-Searcher’s readers think they are useful? Too soon to tell — that’s what I think. But I would appreciate it if you’d check out today’s column and let me know what you think.

I’d also appreciate your ideas about where I should focus my magnifying glass in the future. Cheers!

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3 responses

  1. Hi Mike, I have followed your new posts for sometime now and find you very insightful and down to earth with your comments. Just read your new column and you definitely did it justice. Keep up the great necessary work! I quite agree that Bordeaux is set to take a second seat to many other areas in the world for fine wine status…. Wendy Wine Educator

  2. Mike – a good and gentle article. I agree more emerging market than developed market – no reliable derivatives yet and maybe they are a step too far. Probably a good thing. Cheers, Alex

  3. I read your article and it was insightful and interesting. I am unsure about the longevity of wine as an investment but it will always be a strong luxury product. Champagne is a must-have item at most tony parties but I am not sure it will be looked at as an investment. Many wine enthusiasts might not be able to keep it around long enough!

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