Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Anthony Pierpont Wine in the News: Sizing Up Investment Wines

In a previous wine blog, I talked about an auction for a jeroboam (equal to six bottles) of prized vintage Bordeaux wine. The rare wine was pricey for a number of reasons- its brand, vintage and size were just a few reasons why it’s estimated to sell for more than $60,000.

Investing in wines isn’t a new concept, but it’s more popular than ever today. There are a number of reasons for buying wine to make money:

  • Buying a specialty investment wine fresh off the vine is a lot less expensive than buying an aged wine. You gamble on the wine’s future popularity, and on the supply and demand for the annual limited release.
  • Buy investment wines with an eye to selling the bottles later for profit. Like stamp collectors, collectors of rare books and antiquities, vintage wine aficionados are romanced by the bottle, and will rarely look at price when a bottle they want comes up for sale.
  • According to, collectable wines historically outperform the Dow and the FTSE, offering large returns without the instability of the stock market.

Collectable wines come in sizes ranging from small to extra-extra large. The large bottles of a collectable wine are especially valued when the wine has aged and can be pricey. But buying oversized bottles of vintage wine can net you a lot more money in the long run.

Some other investment wine bottle sizes include:

  • A Standard bottle of wine measures 750ML and is best accompanied by at least one more bottle;
  • The Magnum is the equivalent of two bottles of wine and is often seen balanced on the lap of Hollywood celebutantes and East Coast rappers;
  • The Balthazar equals 16 bottles of wine and packs a punch that promises to be a hit at any party.

Large size red wine bottles in particular are a real collector’s favorite. With more and more people looking at wine not just as refreshment, but also as an investment, the oversized wine bottles are worth looking into.

Anthony Pierpont Wine Tip of the Day: For maximum party potential that’s easy on the pocketbook, my last wine blog delved into another sizable (but not collectable) grape- box wines.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Anthony Pierpont Wine in the News: The Crumbling Argument Against Box Wines

I’ve never professed to be a wine snob. My tastes have improved over the years, and my family has always advocated drinking good wine. But sometimes when you’re planning a large event or party, you can get a lot of bang for your buck with boxed wines.

According to Delicato Vineyards, 20% of wine drank comes from a box. And, consumer research shows that box buyers have moved from yuppies to boomers, with a wide age and income range enjoying affordable wines.

Some fast facts about why you should consider buying box wine:

  • Bag in box wine stays fresh for several weeks- even a couple of months- after it’s been opened;
  • The cost savings for these affordable wines can be significant, often averaging ½ the cost of comparable size and quality bottled wines;
  • Box wine comes in a variety of varietals, including Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet (side note: and sherry!);
  • You can take it with you- a box of affordable wine is easily transported to any picnic or party, without the worry of glass breaking or the “who forgot the corkscrew?” arguments.

Among the winningest box brands of vino: Black Box, Blackstone Winery and Hardy’s. Need further evidence that wine boxes have successfully leapt from the supermarket sale bin to the dining table? France now produces a number of high-quality wines in the box, too.

Anthony Pierpont Wine Tip of the Day: The box wines blog features news and reviews of affordable wines that won’t break the bank.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Anthony Pierpont Wine in the News: 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild Auction

A prized vintage Bordeaux goes up for sale at a rare wine auction on April 21. The 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild is expected to bring in a whopping $60,000. Edward Roberts International and Sam’s Wines & Spirits, a Chicago-based wine store, will be running the auction and pre-auction bids are already up to almost $30,000.

The rare wine auction is for a jeroboam of Bordeaux, a super-sized bottle of wine that holds the equivalent of six bottles of wine.

Some notes about vintage Bordeaux wines:

  • Last September, at a Christie's auction in Los Angeles, a case (12 bottles) of the 1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild sold for $290,000, and a six-magnum case of the same wine sold for $345,000. Clearly, in the “case” of wine, size does matter, and the estimated price for the jeroboam might be a little low.
  • There are no guarantees about how the vintage Bordeaux wine was stored. It’s entirely possible that at some point, the wine was exposed to sunlight, motion or warm temperatures that make it undrinkable today. The only comparable gamble is putting $60,000 down on red at the roulette tables in Vegas.
  • The 1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild is well-known to wine collectors for the V on its label, indicating Victory at the end of WWII.
In my next blog, I’ll talk more about investment wines, and how to size up your wine options before you buy.

Anthony Pierpont Wine Tip of the Day: Check out more online rare wine auctions at Wine Bid and Hart Davis Hart.