As far as I can see if you starting to buy fine wine you are essentially screwed. The demographics suggest that the market will continue to expand, and even now, most auctions are seeing ever high sold rates approaching 100% with plenty of world record prices. Not only are prices on the rise, but the little pockets where you as an insider could find value are disappearing, for instance middle of the road Bordeaux from lesser vintages, which was stuck for years, are now seeing marked increases. The dollar is down 20% against the euro, so replacements will come in higher. And then, if you do get the wines, and you live outside of the Tristate, Illinois, California etc, trying to get the wine will be become ever more interesting. Finally, wrapping things up, you are not only dealing with more consumers, but there are also more speculators in the marketplace, as wine has become a useful hedge.
You sound like Victor!
The market for fine wine seems to oscillate. I’m not worried, but then again, I’m also not just starting to buy fine wine. I will say, I have bought more this past year than perhaps any other year in my life, due to an incredible run of vintages in the regions that I adore, a strong dollar relative to the Euro, and daily emails with deep discounts. I just bought today 6 bottles of 2012 d’Armailhac for $27.99. Classified Growh at house wine pricing, I like that.
Well let’s see, Japan’s population is essential flat, China will be a nation of old people within our lifetime, Russia is declining in pop, the US under the new admin wants to limit immigration (one of the only drivers of our population gain), plus factor in a good plague or two (like the Spanish Flu outbreak or Zika or Black Death) which we are long overdue for, throw in some ‘feel-good’ wars that will reduce the drinkers and keep incomes low for awhile and maybe a couple of massive economic crises…yeah, I won’t be worrying my little head over unaffordable wine prices.
I noticed my local Taqueria selling Rousseau and Ch. Palmer
I agree with Mark; in addition I think climate change will compromise many of our cherished terroirs in the coming decades - specifically that we will exceed the limited ability of those terroirs to adapt, and will be forced to try radically new things (e.g. sparkling wine in the UK). I believe the process of re-adaptation to new land will take a while & can’t be sped up. Also there’s going to be billions of people who make the jump to middle-class-hood in the coming decades and some small % of them will probably like wine. And I don’t think it’s just China, although becoming a nation of old people is precisely the point - they will continue to swing from savings to consumption in a big way
All this is why I’m putting an unhealthy % of my disposable income into buying wine right now and buying as high-end as I possibly can; perhaps I’m just rationalizing, but I’ve worked as an investor long enough to know what conviction feels like (it feels wonderful)
What! I’m an old buyer and I’ve already paid a lot more for fine wine.
Perhaps one could describe “FINE WINE” as a tiny production, collectible, value appreciating asset of extremely high quality as determined by the purchaser!
The population issue is a NON-ISSUE! It simply requires a few NEW wealthy, enthusiastic wine buyers to buy AND create additional significant demand!
Additionally, by dollar volume, a significant quantity of this wine, purchased at auction, is exported to foreign buyers.
Which begs the question, what quantity of wine purchased at auction is then shipped throughout the world, thereby reducing availability to SOME USA buyers and therefore continually increasing value?
The vineyards in Burgundy, Bordeaux etc. are NOT expanding or increasing production capacity!
To me, this sounds like a challenge.
We have all reveled in buying $30 bottles that turn into $100 bottles (see Gonon SJ, for instance). I don’t expect this to change. Today’s usual, normal, QPRs may turn into tomorrow’s cool, sleek, sexy bottle.
For instance, I was buying Juge without an issue for $50/bottle until 2 years ago. Now, it’s insane. If you’re a savvy buyer (and I assume you are since you’re reading this) you’re capable of reading the trends and knowing what’s about to tip.
And, frankly, we all have a responsibility to teach the younger generations (says the 37 year old) about the bottles that are now untouchable. I was very lucky to have a community (Howard, Kevin, Maureen, Peter, Randall, Panos, Jace, Darryl, Chris, and many more) in DC that opened first growths, grand crus, etc etc that they acquired for much less for me - as a late 20 year old, the idea of drinking Lafite in 2009 was unthinkable. Do everyone a solid and spoil those that are passionate about wine.
I am seeing prices increase considerably in the USA. I think a lot of it is driven by economics. The stock market has done well since 2008. You should have bought in 2008.
Nothing like being able to have your convictions and drink them too!
Life sucks. Then you die.
I was telling a buddy in my tasting group yesterday that I do often find myself wishing I could take a time machine back to 1995 or so, buy a bunch of wines and lay them down in a preselected storage facility paid for up front, and then come back to today to collect my perfectly aged, cheaply purchased juice.
take the time machine to 1975 or 1965 and you’ll be in even better shape.
Hey its MY time machine!
and actually you’re right I think I’ll just take it to both times. they’re gonna be really confused at the storage facility when the guy who deposited a bunch of wine and disappeared in ‘75 walks in looking exactly the same 20 years later and then disappears again. but im gonna be drinkin’ DRC I bought at a fire sale so whatever!
It’s not like all that “screechy” Chinon is flying off the shelves anyway…
But seriously, I am with you. I have bought more wine in the last year, including this year, than in a long time. Plus Champagne just keeps surprising with new finds all of the time. I do agree with Mark, that it might be harder for new guys to begin collecting/buying/drinking. They are just going to work hard for the booty.
1965 is a terrific vintage. For births. My birthyear. Not so great a vintage in terms of wine!
I could have started buying 1982s when I turned legal - was 18 in my era - but really was more interested in the ladies, frat parties and Crown Royal. I would not change a thing.
check out other areas. Spain, Portugal, etc.
In 1982-1984 or so, I bought 1982 Gruaud Larose, Leoville Barton and Canon (among others) for $9-12 a bottle, DRC Grands Echezeaux for $35 and 1980 d’Yquem for $25 a 1/2.
I remember at that time thinking about how expensive wine had become my father and his friends bought 1970 first growths for $10-15 after the wine market crashed in 1973-1974.
Wine prices have been going up for a very long time now. A real shame, but reality.
You’re just trying to keep us young’ns away from your precious.
Stagnation, war, plagues and market crashes. And here I thought I read this board for light entertainment and info about a hobby!
I’d prefer none of the above and steadily increasing wine prices