Das Thema Anlage in Wein wird heutzutage für Privatinvestoren zunehmend interessanter. Während die Anlage in Sachwerte dieser Form bisher vor allem in Groß Britannien beliebt war, entdecken nun auch deutsche Weinsammler Wein als Passions Investment für sich. Im Folgenden finden Sie eine Sammlung von Meinungen der internationalen Presse zu dem Thema Wein als Asset der vergangenen 3 Jahre.
Fine wine investment: how to turn wine into profit
GQ Magazine, Amy Matthews, 27 October 2018
If you’ve ever debated investing in fine wine, we spoke to the experts about how to make your money go further.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a bottle of wine?
Chances are it’s less than £424,000 which is what a 1945 Romanée-Conti went for at Sotheby’s in New York last month, breaking the sale record for a single bottle. With pretty consistent growth and the possibility of big returns, wine investment may seem like an easy win, but how should you go about getting a lot for your bottle? GQ is here to answer all your questions, advising you when to open your wallet and when to put a cork in it.
Do I have to be a wine expert to invest in it?
You don’t have to be able to sniff out a 1934 Château Lafite at ten paces, but it’s really going to help if you’re familiar with the essentials of regions, grapes and producers. Equally, tracking the numbers, movements and trends of the market is a good idea if you’re going to part with your hard-earned cash with no guarantees, so make sure you get your geek on and you’ll have a much better understanding of which wines are likely to outperform others. As Ella Lister, founder and CEO of Wine Lister says, “If you want to get your hands dirty, you need to have at least some basic knowledge. You can supplement that with online tools like Wine Lister to look up specific wines, their price history, liquidity, brand strength and relative value.” Liv-Ex is similarly a good online resource – they offer comprehensive coverage of the fine wine market.
So, once I’ve done some preparation, what’s next?
“First, decide how much you want to invest (not more than 10 per cent of your assets) and how involved you want to be.” advises Lister. “There are various investment-driven wine clubs, portfolio managers or even full-blown funds. Or you could simply open a storage account and start buying some wine in bond, maybe en primeur (upon first release and before the wine is bottled) – for this you’ll need a helpful wine merchant or three, but also independent information sources to make sure you’re buying the best wines at the right price.” According to Simon Larkin, master of wine and managing director of Atlas Fine Wines, it’s worth finding a reliable source for your forays into the field. “Finding someone who you trust is important; they should have a proven history in the trade, be able to show their experience and be able to explain exactly how they operate.”
Which wines and regions are worth investing in?
While the category of premium wine has never been more diverse in origin and style, you still need to limit yourself to the most traditional wine regions if you’ve got your eye on making some money. Lister explains further: “Bordeaux is the mainstay of most investment portfolios thanks to its liquidity, but Burgundy prices have grown much more quickly over recent years. Tuscany and Piedmont are the Italian parallels of Bordeaux and Burgundy and deserve some space in a wine investment portfolio.
As for the new world, there aren’t many wines outside California that are investment-grade, yet. Larkin has similar advice: “Investing in wine is limited to regions where the wines prove to be relatively long-lived and where there is the greatest liquidity, therefore there is a more European focus; areas like Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italy and Champagne. The value of some [other] wines may flatter on paper, but in reality their tradable value is much lower.” Essentially, cult wines from elsewhere in Europe or further afield like Australia and New Zealand might command high prices on wine lists and attract a buzz due to their limited quantities or superstar winemakers, but they’re not currently a reliable source of long-term financial growth.
How do I avoid wine fraud?
Wine fraud conjures an air of international intrigue and glamour, inspiring countless articles and even a film (Sour Grapes, about the infamous Rudy Kurniawan who fooled and defrauded millions of dollars from some of the world’s most respected wine traders and collectors). If it happens to you however, it’s much less glamorous and could be ruinous. You can limit your exposure by sticking to those trusted sources; “Go with the established names and avoid cold callers like the plague,” cautions Lister. Provenance and storage are both of absolute importance in wine and can have an enormous impact on value. Look for sales of wines that have gone straight from the producer or chateau into a bonded warehouse and have all the necessary paperwork to track their history.
Should I combine business and pleasure?
This is a complicated issue. It’s unlikely you’re considering wine investment without even a little interest in what’s inside the bottles but, as Larkin cautions, you need to understand whether you’re buying for kickback or just for kicks: “Wine is a fascinating subject and many clients buy for both consumption and investment. There is no problem if you choose to mix finance and enjoyment, but you should be clear on your aims and perhaps keep both activities separate.” He says that one way is just to keep the personal angle out of it. “If you are looking at it clinically as any other investment, invest where you believe you will get the best return – and know that it may be in a region or style that you would never consider consuming!”
However, Lister sees it from another point of view – “There’s an old adage that if you buy two cases of wine en primeur, you can sell one to pay for the other, which you can drink. Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple these days, but at least you know you’ll always be able to drown your sorrows if the wine doesn’t make you any money. In that respect, it pays to buy wine you would actually want to drink.” Ultimately, investing in your palate might be best kept separate from investing in your financial future, but it’s good to know that it may end up rewarding one or the other.
Investing in Fine Wine Is More Lucrative Than Ever
Once an exotic market, parking your assets inside expensive bottles can yield tremendous profits.
Bloomberg, Larissa Zimberoff, 19. Juli 2018
Buying rare wines is like investing in a startup: You need 10 years of runway to see significant returns. But unlike a startup, wine is a lot more lucrative these days.
Had you allocated $100,000 to Cult Wines, a U.K.-based wine portfolio manager, your money—which is to say your wine—would have returned an average of 13 percent annually. In 2016, its index performance was actually 26 percent. The fine wine secondary market hovers at about $5 billion, a fraction of the $302 billion global wine market. But Euromonitor International Ltd. projects that while “key luxury players face mounting risks in 2018,” the wine and Champagne category is set to increase by an estimated 7 percent.
When it comes to what private bank Coutts & Co. calls the “passion index,” wine is right up there with fancy cars and rare coins.
Because of the unique nature of wine, however, investors should hire a manager. Cult Wines, Farr Vintners and Berry Bros. & Rudd are a few within a small network that will invest your money depending on your risk level, suggest purchases and track your portfolio. Tom Gearing, co-founder of Cult Wines, said his more than 1,700 clients should hold on to their wine for at least 3 to 7 years before trying to sell them. The management fees, 15 percent of the total investment value, are paid upfront and include storage. Farr Vintners charges 10 percent commission on purchase of wine and 10 percent on the sale.
Such managers buy from only trusted sources so they can confirm authenticity. Cult Wines does guarantee the wine, should it be opened, but this is less than 1 percent of the total value of their annual trades. Most stay corked.
Investment wine even has its very own exchange. The London International Vintners Exchange, which came online in 1999, shed some much-needed light on what had been a very opaque market. It’s now the industry standard for tracking prices of luxury wine and includes the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 Index, which follows the top 100 most-sought-after wines.
So what to buy? To anyone that knows wine, French is the must-have and French Bordeaux the absolute must-have. The apex is the premier crus, or first growth wines, a classification system begun in 1855 that created a ranking of importance and that’s still in place today. On the list are Haut-Brion, Lafite-Rothschild, Latour, Margaux and Mouton Rothschild. Each chateau can also have secondary labels, which may not be as valuable as the first.
The problem with premier crus is that it’s at the very top of the market. Unless you get in early, your wine won’t see massive increases in value. Jamie Ritchie, worldwide head of Sotheby’s Wine, reports that a diversification has begun. “Last year it was Bordeaux and Burgundy at 40 percent each,” he said. In the past, Burgundy was 20 percent of the total investment wine. “We’ve seen a huge, growing demand in Burgundy. Great Bordeaux is selling well, but there’s actually too much of it.”
One other French quirk is the en primeur market, which refers to the opportunity to invest in wines while still in the barrels. It’s risky business, though, given that the vintage could end up with poor marks from critics. But when the wine turns out well, there are more profits to be had. For investors who don’t mind the risk, there’s a chance for a 20 percent to 40 percent increase in value after only one or two years.
Knowing when to sell is why you trust someone else with your bottles. “There’s a huge market for mature wine, from restaurants and drinkers,” said Stephen Browett, chairman of Farr Vintners, which opened in 1978. “People want mature wine—they aren’t in the market for the wine when it’s first released. We buy the wine back from investment customers and sell it to drinking customers. Private people find it to be a fantastically efficient investment.” With about 14,000 active clients, U.K.-based Farr manages about $523 million of wine in bonded storage.
Client portfolios typically hold 65 percent of their wines from Bordeaux and 15 percent from Burgundy. Wines from France’s Rhone Valley, Italy and even California follow, but bottles from Napa Valley or other locales in the Golden State are a tiny fraction of what’s traded. To many investors, California winemaking history is still considered young. Farr prefers California wines with French roots, like Opus One and Dominus.
“When you’re looking at French producers, they’re the ones who’ve been doing it with that kind of intensity for quite some time. It’s dependable. That’s one of the things you have to have in a collectible product,” said Rob McMillan, executive vice president of Silicon Valley Bank, which invests heavily in wineries on the West Coast. Despite their success on American restaurant menus, only a small subset of California wineries gets investment attention.
Gearing co-founded Cult Wines in 2007, seeing it as a tool for diversification. “It’s got a long-term record, it’s low volatility, and it’s an asset uncorrelated to the financial market,” he said. “We didn’t want to be a wine broker or merchant or carry inventory. We wanted to be a financial market approach to wine.” Today, Cult Wines manages about $100 million in assets.
To date this year, Sotheby’s has sold $64 million in wine with about 80 percent going to private collectors who plan on drinking it someday and 20 percent to investors. While Cult Wines does buy from auctions, deals aren’t generally to be had there. Despite this, Sotheby’s and Cult Wines are seeing the same shift: an investing boom coming from Asia. In addition to Hong Kong, Cult Wines is opening an office in Singapore this fall.
According to Gearing, 30, Cult Wines has more than 800 unique brands under management. The top holdings, Lafite and Pavie, are each 6 percent of his total, at an average bottle price of $621 and $304, respectively. While “the vast majority is traded daily,” he said, there are areas of opportunity. “While Bordeaux and Burgundy can demonstrate periods of higher shorter-term growth, the long-term stability of Champagne adds important diversification benefits,” he said.
Chad Walsh, head sommelier of Michelin-starred restaurant Agern in New York, registers online for auctions where he’ll bid for both work and personal investment. “It’s one thing to chase the blue-chip stuff at a good price,” he said. “But the best investments are when you’re finding the thing that everyone is buying when they’re squeezed out of whatever the blue chip was.”
Of course, in the world of collectibles there are risks. Famously, there was the cataclysm that befell WineCare, a storage business in New York City that flooded during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. A U.S. bankruptcy court judge ordered that the owner “liquidate the company.” Bill Carmody, a trial attorney in New York who used WineCare for his small collection, said: “It was a total loss. The bottom line was, there was no insurance.”
The lesson? Check out the insurance plan before you start investing, not to mention pay attention to where your bottles are kept. All of Cult Wines clients’ assets are stored in a sophisticated, static, temperature-controlled facility inside a government-bonded warehouse (which keeps the wine exempt from taxes and duties) and includes an insurance policy that covers up to 110 percent of the market value. Each bottle has a “passport,” like a bar code, that’s recognized within the fine wine trade and ensures it has been checked for provenance and condition.
Cult Wines said it only accepts ex-chateau (wine bought direct from a vineyard) or SIB stock, both in the original wooden casing, which is the most valuable. Buying and holding wine in a bonded warehouse caries with it an audit trail for every case and a trusted method for tracing its origin.
Sophie Skarbek-Borowska began investing with Cult Wines in 2014. The marketing executive knows her wine (she has a certificate from Wine & Spirit Education Trust), but still wanted help. “I understand more about wine than cryptocurrency, microchips and even Coca-Cola,” she said. “I would never be able to invest in wine on my own.” She invested just a small sum, and while any profits are quickly reinvested, in aggregate, her account has seen a 41 percent increase—not excluding fees.
One of the most in-demand wines is Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. A bottle of the most recent vintage, 2015, would set you back $17,000, and that’s if you beat out other bidders. For Skarbek-Borowska, it was an opportunity of a lifetime.
“There was no way I could get it, but because this poor person was doing a fire sale, Cult Wines got it and sold it to me,” Skarbek-Borowska said. She bought it for $8,510 in 2015. Today, it’s worth $15,210.
Investieren in Alkohol – Nicht jeder Wein taugt als Wertanlage
N-TV, Philipp Vogel, 22. August 2018 (Quelle: ntv.de, mit AFP)
Der Handel mit Top-Weinen ist ein lukratives Geschäft. Bei Auktionen werden Millionen umgesetzt. Doch unerfahrene Käufer können auch einige Fehler machen. Wann lohnt es sich, Weine als Wertanlage zu sammeln?
Wenn in Omas Keller plötzlich eine verstaubte Weinflasche aus dem letzten Jahrhundert auftaucht, glaubt so mancher an einen wertvollen Fund. Doch die Enttäuschung ist groß, wenn sich herausstellt, dass der vermeintlich edle Tropfen längst zur ungenießbaren Brühe geworden ist. Gleichzeitig werden bei Auktionen immer wieder spektakuläre Preise für seltene Weine erzielt. Wann lohnt es sich also, eine gute Flasche Wein in den Keller zu legen und auf eine Wertsteigerung zu spekulieren?
Nicht jeder teure Wein taugt als Wertanlage. “Es muss sich um einen seltenen Wein handeln, um einen Wein, der international bekannt ist”, sagt Autor und Weinexperte Valentin Brodbecker gegenüber n-tv. Bei Top-Weinen, etwa aus dem Bordelais, sei aber eine Wertsteigerung von etwa sieben Prozent pro Jahr realistisch.
Besonders stabil zeige sich dabei die Wertsteigerung bei den weltbekannten Weingütern aus Frankreich. “Diese Label-Weine werden natürlich auch als Prestige gekauft. Nicht nur unbedingt von Weinkennern. Zum Beispiel in Asien gibt es immer mehr Millionäre, die solche Weine nachfragen, weil sie zum Luxus gehören wie eine teure Uhr oder ein Kunstwerk.”
Weinkritiker beeinflussen Wertentwicklung
Wertvolle Weine könnte auch der Jahrgang 2018 hervorbringen. “Ob es ein Jahrhundertwein wird, das zeigt sich erst noch, denn ein bisschen Zeit brauchen wir noch. Aber es sieht sehr gut aus”, so Weinexperte Brodbecker. “Wenn sich weiter Sonnentage und auch etwas Regen abwechseln und es dann in der Weinlese trocken bleibt, dann kriegen wir einen super Jahrgang.”
Das Investment in Wein ist jedoch nichts für faule Anleger. So braucht es einiges an Fachwissen, auch über die richtigen Jahrgänge. “Der Name allein ist natürlich schon die Reputation. Aber das kann auch ins Auge gehen”, warnt Weinexperte Brodbecker. “Wein ist ein Naturprodukt. Wir haben jedes Jahr einen anderen Wein, jedes Jahr eine andere Bewertung und eine andere Qualität. Zum Beispiel ein 1991er Mouton-Rothschild ist heute nur noch 150 Euro wert. Ein 1990er kostet 600 Euro. Einfach weil es ein besserer Jahrgang war.”
Auch Ernst Büscher vom Deutschen Weininstitut mahnt gegenüber n-tv.de zur Vorsicht: “Für eine Geldanlage eignen sich nur sehr gute Jahrgänge und Weine von international renommierten Weingütern. Zudem wird die Wertentwicklung auch von den Urteilen namhafter Weinkritiker beeinflusst. Diese Weine haben auch ihren Preis, mit einem Wein für 20 Euro kann man keinen großen Wertzuwachs erwarten”.
Der abgefüllte Wein ist außerdem sehr anspruchsvoll, vor allem wenn es um Temperatur und Luftfeuchtigkeit geht. Bei falscher Lagerung droht dem unvorsichtigen Anleger der Totalverlust. Wenn der teure Tropfen beispielsweise zu warm gelagert wird, kann sich der Korken herauslösen. Der Wein kann dann an Qualität einbüßen und im schlimmsten Fall ungenießbar werden. Das Investment ist dann nur noch ein Fall für den Abfluss.
Und wie sieht es mit dem verstaubten Wein aus Omas Keller aus? Leider ist das Alter allein kein Qualitätsmerkmal: “Alt heißt nicht automatisch auch gut, weil nur die sehr guten Qualitäten auch lange halten”, sagt Weinexperte Brodbecker. Viele Faktoren wie zum Beispiel das Säure-Süße-Gleichgewicht oder Gerbstoffe entscheiden darüber, wie lange ein Wein gelagert werden kann. “Und das haben nur die Top-Weine.”
Wein für 30 Millionen Euro versteigert
Dass mit Wein Millionen verdient werden können, hat erst im Juni eine Auktion in Genf gezeigt. 1064 Flaschen Wein des legendären französischen Winzers Henri Jayer wurden dort versteigert und brachten insgesamt 30 Millionen Euro ein. Der Starwinzer, den Kenner als den “König des Pinot Noir” verehrten, war vor zwölf Jahren gestorben und hatte seinen beiden Töchtern die Sammlung hinterlassen.
Unter den versteigerten Flaschen waren auch einige der Sorte Cros-Parantoux Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru. Sie zählt zu den teuersten Weinsorten der Welt. So mancher Käufer wird die Flaschen deshalb sicher auch als Wertanlage betrachten. Im Sinne der Verkäuferinnen ist das jedoch nicht.
“Weil wir diese Flaschen nicht alle selbst trinken können, bieten wir sie Weinliebhabern an”, sagten die Töchter Jayers. “Wir hoffen, dass diese Weine zu Kennern gelangen, die wissen, wie man solche Weine trinkt.” Die Flaschen sollten besser nicht einfach in den Kellern von Sammlern verschwinden. “Wein steht für Gemeinschaft. Diese Weine sind vor allem dazu da, getrunken und genossen zu werden.”