Investing in wine: small titles are more profitable in the short term

The return on investments in wine is 4% per year in the long run (with peaks of 12% in good years), which is more than enough given the current economic situation. To take advantage of this, you still need to know the market well and make the right choice, which may not be within your power. Therefore, it is often better to get support from a professional in the sector or, even more practical, go through a dedicated investment fund.

Types of wine

Don’t focus on the great castles of Bordeaux, which are already well priced. Unlike the average consumer, the investor’s goal is not to taste the nectar, but to multiply their investment. His priority is the market, which varies by denomination and vintage. The first reflex is to invest in the great castles of Bordeaux (Latour, Margaux…) or the “cult” possessions of Burgundy (Romanet-Conti, Armand Rousseau…).

These are reliable values ​​that have proven themselves in recent years, but their price is such – sometimes more than 500 euros per bottle – that you should not expect a new explosion in their rankings before ten years from now. Bet on less prestigious wines, but with higher potential in the short term (5 years), such as Châteaux Beychevelle, Duhart-Milon, Berliquet or d’Issan at prices ranging from 50 to 90 euros per bottle.

Annual dynamics of wine prices, calculated over the last 5 years (1)


(1) Average set in 2022 for the last 14 vintages of each wine category. (2) 165 selected wines. (3) 178 selected wines. (4) 33 great wines selected. (5) 21 excellent wines selected. (6) 10 first classified or assimilated plants (Angélus, Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Haut-Brion, Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Margaux, Mouton Rothschild, Pavie and Petrus). (7) Top 90 wines, excluding premier cru. (8) 13 excellent wines selected. Source: Wine Decider.


From 15 to 80 euros, 20 little-known bottles of wine for investment


Specialized companies can organize a cellar for you and take care of the resale of wines. Wine can be easily purchased, including “en primeur” (before bottling, therefore at a lower price), through specialized online wine merchants such as Lavinia or Millesima, and then resold through auction sites such as iDealwine or Cavacave. But the most convenient thing if you want to bet big is to rely on an organization to take care of everything from buying to reselling. There are two types. First of all, such as Cavissima, U’Wine or Patriwine, who create an individual cellar for their client, which they store and resell. The cost of the entrance ticket is from 10,000 to 30,000 euros.

Another category is vineyard land groups (GFVs), available through an asset manager (see page 18), where investors do not own bottles, but securities of a fund that buys vineyard plots. An attractive choice when you are covered by the IFI, but the required rate is high here too: between 15,000 and 20,000 euros.


Estate, grand cru, grape variety… test your wine knowledge


Make sure that the labels on the bottles remain in their original form. Nothing prevents you from storing bottles in the basement, if it meets the requirements of temperature (12 to 14 degrees), humidity (about 70%) and darkness. But then check their state of preservation: the level of the wine should remain high, which indicates the absence of evaporation (the risk associated with drying out the cork). The label must also be intact.

However, moisture can damage the paper. Solution: Wrap the bottles in plastic wrap. By presenting your great wines in beautiful wooden boxes, you can also increase their value by 5-10% over their price.


Will investing in wine make you a millionaire?


You receive a capital gains allowance of 5% per annum. The wine enjoys a special tax regime: nothing has to be paid below 5000 euro transfer and above, at your choice, a flat rate of 6.5% of the sales price or a capital gains tax of 36.2%, with full exemption after 22 years (decrease by 5% per year from 3 years of ownership). An advantage that, however, will only benefit wines that can reach that age without denaturing.