I know this is a provocative headline but let me tell you about my unhappy client who is, for lack of a better description, a wine wife. Not only is she unbelievably sad to have lost her husband of over 30 years but now she has all his wine, no one to drink it with or who really appreciates it and his wines, that have been in situ for 35 years are there, a reminder of great times, now taking up space and are one more issue she has to deal with. The time has now come to let it go, but how and to whom and what is it worth? For her, as for many wine buyers, the first port of call was the local retailer. Collectors naturally gravitate to the trusted wine merchant who has sold them their wine. “Do you want to dump it”? the trusted retailer asked and offered her a price well below market value. He would buy it, mark it up and flip it. She knew better, many of the cases and bottles are rare, just by the nature of the asset, old vintages of top producers are just not around anymore. She knows they are collectible and having been well stored and with the access her husband had to the wine they have value. I am not one for scare tactics but this is a wine cellar reality check. When I received the quickly thrown together Excel spreadsheet with wines from the 50s to the 2010s I realized he knew his stuff, had his wine loves and held on to some real gems. Like a barn find on Chasing Classic Cars this was exciting. None of the wines were organized or valued and she realized the process of connecting to the market and finding the right help is not an easy one.
We have now taken her wine under our wing, valued it, organized it and will get it to a proper home to those that truly appreciate what this person built and why rarity has value. We are independent and passionate about protecting wine so it can be enjoyed. Most importantly the wine she loved to share with her husband will be monetized and become a fond lasting memory not an end of life burden for her.
Seek assistance in organizing your wine, find independent advice, talk to your wealth manager and insurance company and value and schedule your wine. With a little advice and organization you will maximize your time with your wine and it can continue to be enjoyed even if you are not around to share a glass.