Six Top Tips for a Better Wine Year

Wine and time have a complicated relationship. Unlike other collectibles, wine goes to zero and as a "wasting asset" the need to actively manage and engage with a collection is imperative. Wine collections should be valued and reviewed every year just like any other asset. Here are six things we review for clients to set them up for a positive wine year to come.

1) Drinking Windows - Somewhat subjective but in actuality very quantifiable and important to the evolution and value of wine. The 2017 drinking window will open and the 2016 windows will close. The market will also look at the windows and assess a value accordingly. Knowing what wines to drink when over the next 5, 10 and 20 years can set a collection up to be fully enjoyed over time. Make a wine plan.

2) Diversity - Palates can change over time but the reality is palates vary by experience and education. The concept of a sophisticated palate should not be lost on a wine collection when reviewing its long term value. Wines from various regions, producers and varietals add to the offering and really shows the adaptability and range of experiences wine can offer.

3) Provenance - Where were the wines bought, where and how have they been stored? Is there original documentation to prove the source of purchase? Have the wines been stored with proper temperature, light and humidity? Not only will this affect the quality of the wine but its longevity and inherent value too.

4) Vintages - Well diversified collections across many vintages hold value over time much like a bond portfolio. As one vintage rolls on others evolve creating a unique value proposition. Top wines from top vintages and producers is traditionally the best strategy for holding value, but so called "off the run" vintages offer value and variability and may find increased demand as a result. Each vintage expresses the unique attributes of the weather which will affect how a wine will age. Each potential wine buyer has a level of knowledge or interest that varies from one to another and will influence their wine choices.

5) Rarity - Production size does matter. The Bordeaux Chateaux produce on average between 15,000 to 20,000 cases a year making them relatively accessible and liquid. Some Burgundy producers from one plot of land can produce as few as 300 to 5,000 cases. Wines not readily available from merchants, mailing list and allocated wines often have a brand value that is always in demand regardless of consistency. Supply and demand are the reality of the wine market and as time goes on the value of the wines has the potential to go up based on pure market force.

6) Format - Are wines in single bottles, six packs or 12 packs and do they have original wooden cases. Are the wines in unique hard to find formats like 5 L or 6 L or even larger. Larger formats tend to age longer, better and fewer of them are made. Larger formats are fun to share and offer an added bonus for the experiencing the wine.

Keeping up with a collection is not easy. Making it as hassle free and easy to engage with will only increase the value of your collection as well as it's enjoyment. Managing acquisitions and disposals throughout the year is easily accomplished with monthly updates. Following news on wines and vintage developments can be achieved when you know what you already own and where your wine interests lie. New year planning is the perfect opportunity to take stock, make a wine plan and get focused on the year ahead.

Contact us today for a free year-end consultation for you or your estate, wealth or insurance clients. You will be glad you did. No wine to zero.

Wine Tech - For the Wine Lover

There is clearly something going on in wine that is not just about new brands, styles, varietals or regions.

Over the past year three new consumer facing technology companies focused on data and software have emerged. On the hardware side two definitively new and one not so new, but rapidly growing company, are changing the way we drink wine.

I find it fascinating that in a consumer product industry like wine, technology is providing insight and transparency for an overly complicated product that demands a level of expertise and certainly some element of trust in your retailer or auction house. From Wine Searcher to Vivino, the consumer wants more insight than the current system can provide and technology is helping to fuel interest in the product.

This holiday for the wine lover in your life there is no shortage of cool wine tech gifts to give.


Vinolytics - My awesome software as a service is ready to take on traditional inventory management and simplify wine management. By driving engagement with wine through actionable insight, collectors and advisors can make more informed decisions about what to drink when ensuring no wine goes to zero. A beautiful, easy user experience gives a snapshot of a collection that provides total values on a market to market basis as well as performance and drinking windows. We are building a platform for collectors and advisors to meet and engage with each other and the market.

Wine Lister- Ella Lister's new 1000 point scale for wine ranking paints the entire picture of a wine. From global demand to liquidity the data provides insight on a wine's value from all angels. A consolidated view of expert opinion along with market insight creates a point scale that gives collectors and the market further data to judge value in the wine.

Everledger- Who doesn't want the gift of Bitcoin this holiday season. Sadly there are lots of wine scrooges out there seeking to sell you something that may not be the real deal. In partnership with Maureen Downey's Everledger creates a ledger of perfect provenance for tracking wine ownership from winery to cellar helping prevent fraud.

For the wine lover who can't get enough of gadgets, check these wine toys out.


Plum- Two bottles, perfect pour. Plum is the first on demand personal wine machine. Just put your two favorite bottles in the Plum dispenser and for up to 90 days you can enjoy the perfect glass of white or red. Regulated temperature as well as inert gas ensures the wine is not oxidized and enjoyed over time.

Kuvee - These tech wired wine bottles, complete with information screen, will educate the consumer on its merits while being enjoyed for up to 30 days. As part of the Kuvee Club enjoy wines over time with no rush to finish a bottle due to exposure to oxygen.

Coravin- By piercing the cork with a needle while simultaneously injecting inert Argon gas, Coravin allows one to taste a glass of wine from the bottle without ever having to pop a cork. Bottles can last for years and you can enjoy the wine as it evolves over time. The perfect gift for the collector who wants to experience their wine over a month or years.

Whether it is software or hardware I think it is safe to say wine is hot. The market is growing and consumers want transparency and a better understanding of the product. Wine has more UPCs than any other consumer product and more than ever is becoming part of a mass market. Differentiated product requires either more knowledge to engage with the product or a gadget to make it more fun. The joy of wine is in the variability and experience it gives you. If software and gadgets can make wine more educational, manageable and enjoyable than I say bring it on.

Feel free to reach out for advice on gifts or wine for the wine lover in your life.

Happy Holidays!