Article - RareWine Academy

The Wine Romantic vs. The Wine Investor

The world of wine has usually been divided between the “holy” wine romantics and the “cynical” wine investors. However, both parties have a lot to thank each other for.

"Your conscience must be strained, your big asshole." This aggressive statement could easily have been overheard in a heated conversation in the world of wine. A world that has traditionally been divided between the "holy" wine romantics and the "cynical" wine investors. Therefore, it is often the wine romantic who has a scuffle ready for the wine investor, who is often accused of destroying the wine market and access to wine for people with ordinary incomes.

But the accusations against the wine investor are often unfounded and in fact, both the romantic and the investor have a lot to thank each other for. Whether you are a romantic or an investor, read on here. Reconciliation is within sight.

The Healthy Hate / Love Relationship

With a few exceptions, all wine eventually ends up being drunk - it is just a matter of when. The romantic and the wine investor are often in conflict, but actually, they should thank each other.

No one does a greater job than the romantic when it comes to promoting the joy of wine, and contributes to increased global demand, which ultimately contributes to the wine investor getting a greater return on his investment.

In the investor’s pursuit of stability and returns, the wine investor contributes to fewer wines being lost as a result of incorrect handling, that more wines are only drunk when they are ready to drink and that legendary vintages also in the future, can be enjoyed by as many as possible for the benefit of both old and new wine lovers. In other words, the wine investor helps to limit waste and that more wine lovers can have even more great experiences with perfectly matured wines.

Without the wine investor, more wines would perish, and the supply of mature wines would be smaller and the prices thus also higher.

Profit Hunting Prevents "Child Murder" Of Wine

The fact that the best return on wine investment is achieved by storing the wines until they are ready to drink and demand increases, also contribute to fewer wines being exposed to what in wine circles, perhaps a little morbidly, is called "child murder". That is, that wine is drunk before it is fully developed, and without the full potential being unleashed, which is a shame.

That more wines are stored, and fewer immature wines are drunk is a natural consequence of the wine investor's profit hunt, which ultimately leads to fewer "child murders"

Needlessly Less Annoying Waste

If you are a member of just a single wine group on Facebook, you will be familiar with the many posts about wine cellars that have been inherited, but from a vinous point of view, unfortunately, 20 years too late. What was once good wine has now turned into “sour vinegar”. This does not happen when the wine is owned by a wine investor who, as the wine approaches the end of its drinking window, will experience lower annual price increases, and therefore will naturally be motivated to sell the wine so that it can be drunk before it is too late.

Many of the best wines can last for 30, 40, and 50 years, and will, as they approach the end of their optimal drinking window, gradually transition to having the status of a ‘collector's item’ with the possibility of a vinous time journey that even the wine probably tasted better for 10 years ago, yet is a great experience for many.

The annual return will, after the expiration of a wine's optimal drinking window, often be lower, which is why the investor is naturally motivated to sell the wine before the expiration date. The wine investor, therefore, helps to ensure that the wines are stored, but not for too long.

"Wine Should Be Drunk And Enjoyed - Do Not Speculate"

This is how it often sounds skeptical from the herd of self-appointed wine romantics. The very same romantics who, on the one hand, form the backbone of the wine world's ambassador corps. Therefore, they undertake a great task in engaging new disciples. On the other hand, unfortunately, it is also them who negligently end up as the biggest sinners of their own religion.

The case is that most wines that are handled or stored incorrectly or that are stored for too long are found in these romantics' own cellars. Many buy themselves more than they can ever obtain to drink, while others lose interest and forget the wines in the cellar with the sad consequence that the wines here never will fulfill their destiny, and in practice would have done the same benefit if they had just been poured into the sink instead of getting bottled. Many wines are therefore stored both incorrectly and for too long, which unfortunately contributes to the fact that every day overripe or damaged top wines must be poured directly into the sink immediately after opening.

Paradoxically, it is more often the romantic who, with lost overview and interest, inadvertently contributes to wines perishing and just never being drunk and enjoyed. This loss the wine investor would never allow.

Old vintage 1981 from Petrus stored in a wine cellar Old vintage 1981 from Petrus stored in a wine cellar

Time Travel In The World Of Wine With Your Children

Imagine that as a young wine amateur, in your encounter with the now legendary Bordeaux vintage 1982, it was here that you aroused your interest in wine. An interest that you have passed on to your now-grown children. One evening sitting in and sharing a bottle of wine and for god-knows-what-time, you sigh excitedly after reliving the mythological and landmark year 1982 with your children. But unfortunately, the wine is unsustainable - or at best very, very expensive, and it stays with the dream.

Most large Bordeaux wines from the year 1982 have been drunk for a long time and most of the remaining bottles are in private cellars. When they are rarely put up for sale, it is often at high prices and with great uncertainty about how they have been stored since the 80s and until today.

Luckily, there was some back in the ’80s who were far-sighted enough to shop with an eye for resale. It is thus most often thanks to the early wine investors that today there are perfectly preserved vintage wines, and thus also the opportunity to relive memories with our children - even if these are from before they were born.

As a wine investor, you do not take anything from anyone - you just save it for the future and its wine lovers, including our all-together children.

Wine Prices Are Being Pushed Up…

… But only on the short track.

It is common knowledge that when the demand for rare wines increases, so do the prices. Therefore, the investment-motivated purchase will naturally contribute to the prices rising here and now. But when it is simply a matter of postponing the time of drinking, it simply means that the supply will be greater at a later date, e.g. when the wine after 10-15 years in the cellar is ready to drink and sent to the market.

So even if the wine investor helps to push up the prices of the young immature wines, in the future you will experience a greater range of mature wines at lower prices than if the majority of the wines had been drunk before they were ripe.

A Bottle Of Wine Can Only Be Drunk Once

The good old days when you could knock on the door of the top producers in Burgundy and buy Grand Cru in the barn door for a few euros are long gone and will never come back. The sharp rise in consumer-driven demand alone is the reason why these wines today cost thousands of euros. In addition, the speculative demand, which has further contributed to the skyrocketing of wine prices over the past 30 years.

No matter what group you belong to, you still have, after all, the love of wine in common. And with that concluded, the wine romantic and the wine investor should send a loving thought to each other and toast that their wine purchases contribute to fewer wines being drunk prematurely or perishing - just as mature wines in the future would be more accessible to the wine romantic. Thus, one can even talk about the fact that the two outer poles are actually each other's yin and yan.

As long as the wine is eventually drunk and spreads joy, there is no reason for a bad conscience - a wine can only be drunk once, so be sure to enjoy the moment and send a thought to those who made it possible.

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