How to invest in wine

How to invest in wine
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For centuries, investing in wine was fairly straightforward. You would buy as many cases of classed-growth claret en primeur (as futures) as your budget allowed, watch their value double over the next few years, take delivery of half of them, and sell the remainder to recoup your initial investment. Your capital was returned to you, and your interest was carried in all the fine wine you would need to entertain your guests over a lifetime.

Things have changed dramatically in the last few years, as I outline in my feature on the Liv-Ex fine wine exchange in February’s GQ. Fine wine is still a highly investable asset – over the past 20 years a basket of fine wines will have outperformed global equities, bonds, property and, until recently, even gold, in terms of capital appreciation.

In the UK wine is, remarkably, still exempt from capital gains tax, being viewed as a ‘wasting asset’ by HMRC – meaning you can take home 100% of the profit from the sale of your wines, without recourse to constructive accounting. (Things are different if you are a wine trader or fund.)

Buying wine for my clients, both for drinking and investment, is pleasurable in ways that other types of investing are not; tastings, vineyard tours and long dinners are part of the job.

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