Wine collections in 2024

A love of good wine can easily evolve into a passion for collecting bottles to savour now and in the future – or even to diversify your investment portfolio.

If you have been acquiring fine wines for years, you may have seen the value of your collection rise. This is reflected in the rise of the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100, the benchmark index, which is up nearly 15% over five years, as investors have sought alternative assets.

But in a challenging economy, and amid conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, the market has taken a turn and the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 dropped 14% in 2023.

In its report on the 2023 market, Liv-ex described a “flight to quality” in which collectors have been narrowing their focus to the most established brands and highest-quality vintages that are most likely to hold their value.

This flight to quality particularly benefited Bordeaux, with Liv-ex highlighting the region’s credentials as “the safest, best-known market that many collectors default to in terms of turmoil”.

Richard Harvey MW, Senior International Director, Wines & Spirits at Bonhams agreed. He said: “Certainly, in a difficult market, which we have been experiencing for the last 18 months, collectors will retreat to blue chip wines. At the moment, this means Bordeaux, especially the first and super second growths, from top vintages back to 1982.”

Wine merchants, Berry Bros. & Rudd, suggest a first step for Bordeaux collectors is to figure out whether they are looking for a vintage for drinking now, or one for long-term collecting such as the 2015 and 2016 vintages.

Meanwhile, there are signs of more confidence returning to the fine wine market. Cult Wine Investment reports greater optimism among wine investors after the challenging 2023. It notes some sellers are offering wines at discounted prices. And it suggests the Burgundy 2022 Vintage could invigorate the market, drawing both seasoned collectors and new buyers. In addition, the imminent release of Bordeaux En Primeur for the 2023 vintage in May and June is poised to be a pivotal moment in the market’s recovery, showcasing the influential role that Bordeaux wines continue to play.

The impact of climate change on wine collecting 

One factor for collectors to consider now and in the future is climate change. Increased variability in weather patterns are almost impossible for wine growers to manage, according to Berry Bros. & Rudd. 

In a recent report, the wine merchant said that wines from the classic fine wine regions will become even more scarce. It suggested that collectors should aim to create a balanced cellar, “with wines from both classic regions and also those which are still somewhat under the radar – whether that be a new producer within Burgundy, or venturing further afield to Piedmont, or less well-known regions in the USA”. By exploring lesser-known areas or venturing further afield as well as continuing to collect from traditional regions, collectors can broaden their portfolios and adapt to evolving market trends.

Insure your collection properly

The challenging recent conditions illustrate how the value of fine wines can significantly change.

It is important you understand the value of your wine cellar contents and insure them appropriately. That way, in the event of a claim, you don’t lose all the extra value that has built up over the years.   

As part of NFU Mutual Bespoke, we work with trusted partners who can, for a fee, provide a valuation of your collections.