Collectable, noun(also collectible) “any object which people want to collect as a hobby” (Cambridge University Press, 2010) Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication, nor a cult.. it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary. (Ernest Hemingway) visitoakpark.com
History The earliest wine cellar is thought to be that of King Zoser (Egypt) during the third dynasty (2686 BC to 2613 BC) (Poe, M. 2010) During the 17th century, in France and England, people mastered the skill of maturing and improving wines, so the collection of wines grew. (Foulkes, C. 1994)
“…You need money to play. Wine collectors are, by definition, wealthy.” (Jefford, A. 2010.) As the quality of wines, and the knowledge about ideal conditions for grape growing, wine making, and storage increases, so does the desire to collect wine. "The better the quality of the wine, the harder it is to get. Private cellars have more supplies of these wines than the trade does" (Bachmann, S. 2007) "Investment wines" are considered by some to be Veblen goods; goods for which demand increases as its price rises. (wine.boonrepublic.com)
Cult Wines Certain wines are known as collectable, sought after wines. These wines consistently fetch some of the highest prices on record Penfolds Grange is a cult wine. Individual bottles of the 1951 vintage are still held by collectors; one sold at auction in 2004 for just over AU$50,000 (smh.com.au) Wines from Bordeaux are considered the mostcollectable in the world http://www.smh.com.au
Wine as Art Some collect wine for art purposes. Wine, such as New Zealand artist Dick Frizzell’s, with ‘art like’ labels are being collected by avid art collectors. Famous for his ‘Four Square Man’ images, Dick now designs his own wine label. frizzellwines.co.nz
“The fine-wine world is a rich boys’ and rich girls’ club.”(Jefford, A. 2010.) Wine as an Investment Wines are now being recommended as a sound financial investment The index for the top 100 investment wines has seen prices leap by almost 15 per cent in 2009. Wines from Bordeaux are the driving force of the investment market. The most important are - premier crus - of chateaux Haut-Brion, Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Margaux and Mouton Rothschild. (Walne, T. 2010) mywineinvestment.com
“For many collectors, the culminating moment is not the pulling of corks, but the auction.” (Jefford, A. 2010.) The most expensive wine ever sold was the Chateau Lafite 1787, which sold for US$160,000, in 1987. Once owned by Thomas Jefferson, this wine will likely never be consumed. (Passmore, N. 2003) Websites such as wineprices.com are dedicated to tracking wine auction prices. A seven-bottle lot of Montrachet 1978 from Domaine de la Romanee-Cont sold for a whopping US$167,500 in 2001 at auction. (Moisse, K. 2010)
Cellaring...preserving the flavours while postponing the pleasure... (LaMar, J. 2010) Critical to the quality of collectable wine is storage or cellaring. Due to the increase in wine collecting, and the awareness of storage and cellaring, thousands of companies now deliver custom made cellars, catering to any need be it 10 bottles or 10,000 bottles.
Influential Collections The Moldovan wine collection “MilestiiMici”, with 1.5 million bottles, and 200km long, is the largest wine collection in the world. (Guinness World Records) Hardy Rodenstock became known for his wine tastings which he held at expensive restaurants, serving large amounts of rare wines from his extensive collection, and inviting celebrities and prominent wine critics. http://d2.stern.de/bilder/stern_5/lifestyle/2010/KW16/weinflaschen_fitin_150_100.jpg
Wine Counterfeits Counterfeit wines prove to be a major problem to the wine collecting industry. A particular trend is the use of labels from rare and expensive wines on cheap bottles of wine.
The counterfeiting of any item is more likely when:
- The item is substantially more valuable than the cost to fake it. - The identification of fakes is difficult or inherently subjective. Fine wine easily satisfies both (Piccante. 2010.) http://www.creovino.com/archives/26
Wine Collecting and Future Challenges Changes in market appeal - While females make more than two-thirds of U.S. wine purchases, more than 90% of U.S. collectors are males. However that is beginning to change. Economic downturn - With less disposable income available, for both the very rich, and the average household, will people continue to put money into wine as a collectable? Environmental Management and Awareness - Monitoring and measuring environmental impact is becoming increasingly important to the wine industry, and particularly to wine as a collectable
References Bachmann, S. (n.d). The Wine Collector. Retrieved July 29, 2010 from http://www.vinfolio.com/thewinecollector
Buying Wine. (n.d). Retrieved August 6, 2010, from www.winelist.com/buying-wine
Caillard, A. (2005). Langton’s Classification. Retrieved July 28, 2010, from http://www.langtons.com.au/Magazine/Caillard.aspx?MagazineID=187
Foulkes, C. (1994). Larousse Encyclopedia of Wine. Paris, Larousse.
Hemingway, E. (n.d). Famous Wine Quotes. Retrieved August 6, 2010, from http://www.abiwine.com/wine-quotes/wine-quotations.htm
Jefford, A. (August, 2010). Paying the Price. Decanter, Vol 35, 23.
Kanellos, M. (2007). An eBay for Wine Collectors. Retrieved July 29, 2010, from http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9717950-7.html
LaMar, J. (2010). Cellaring. Retrieved August 6, 2010, from http://www.winepros.org/consumerism/cellar.htm
Meltzer, P. (2006). Wine-Auction Market Hits Record High. Retrieved July 28, 2010, from http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/Wine-Auction-Market-Hits-Record-High_3159
Moisse, K. (2010). A good year for wine collectors. Retrieved July 28, 2010, from http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=a-good-year-for-wine-collectors-car-2010-03-23
Passmore, N. (2003). World’s most expensive wines. Retrieved July 28, 2010, from http://www.forbes.com/2003/11/19/cx_np_1119feat.html
Penfolds Grange. (2010). Retrieved July 28, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penfolds_Grange
Poe, M. (2010). Wine in Ancient Egypt. Retrieved August 11, 2010, from http://www.touregypt.net
Rainbird, G., & Searle, R. (1973). The Subtle Alchemist. London WC1: Michael Joseph Limited.
Turnbull, J. (2002). Fine French Wines. Italy: Flammarion.
Walne, T. (2010). Wine collection as a profitable investment. Retrieved July 28, 2010, from http://www.whatsonxiamen.com/wine_msg.php?titleid=882