One would hardly think about comparing fine wines to a pyramid scheme, watches, or even trainers, but Sam Jones and Felix Turner, the vibrant duo and partners behind Turner and Jones, manage to make these connections in the intriguing chat I had with them recently in fine wine investment.
Sam began by demystifying the aura around fine wine investment. In its simplest essence, it’s a game of supply and demand. As fine wines age, they become rarer. The bottles get drunk, reducing the supply and pushing up the value. It’s a system where the scarcity of a product – in this case, wine – increases its demand and, consequently, its value.
Felix chimes in, noting that many wines, often priced between £20 and £100, will increase in value over time. Yet, sourcing these wines becomes an arduous task. The challenge arises from the limited supply of these wines, which get distributed across the globe, making them hard to get hold of. Potential investors must tread carefully with big wine investment firms entering the scene. Often, these firms promise top wines but fail to deliver on that promise.
Felix makes an astute observation about the trajectory of fine wines. Not every £20 bottle will turn into a goldmine. Genuine fine wines, which increase in value over time, form a minuscule part of the vast wine market. Interestingly, a wine’s classification as ‘fine’ comes down to its origins and regions, like Bordeaux and Burgundy, where specific vineyards are considered ‘premier cru’ and ‘grand cru’. These vineyards often enjoy favourable conditions, like south-east facing slopes, which expose them to more sunlight, enhancing the quality of the grapes.
Sam further highlights the influence of renowned wine bloggers, editors, and reviewers. A high rating from these influencers can dramatically shoot up a wine’s price. For instance, a wine with a 100-point rating is destined for greatness in the investment market.
But how does one embark on their fine wine investment journey? Felix offers some wisdom: do thorough research and seek counsel from multiple sources. It’s crucial to recognise that wine investment isn’t a quick scheme; it’s a marathon. Today’s investment might not yield substantial returns for another 10-15 years. For the best experience, Felix suggests choosing wines that you yourself would drink. After all, if an investment doesn’t pan out, at least there’s a delicious bottle to enjoy!
The duo also touched upon the risks associated with wine investment. Unlike a traditional stock, wine is not a liquid asset, making the sell-off process potentially lengthier.
The conversation closed on a light-hearted note, with our hosts playfully admitting to having “drunk too many” fine wine bottles over the years while still hoping to taste some of the world’s most legendary and often unattainable wines.
Navigating the intricate world of wine investment can be daunting. Still, with the guidance of seasoned experts like Sam Jones and Felix Turner, one can certainly embark on a rewarding journey in terms of returns and decadent tastes.