Champagne: The investment you never knew you wanted

Posted by Kyri Christodoulou•

It seems whenever we talk about champagne as a serious investment opportunity, a lot of people are unaware of the scope and great returns a seriously good vintage can acquire.

The coveted champagne market is increasingly proving that investing in this fine wine is not the novelty it was once thought of. Although entering into this business may seem a little intimidating, here are some questions I’ve frequently come across I’ve answered her for your investment information.

What are the top elements to consider when purchasing champagne as an investment, as opposed to buying a bottle to enjoy?

Brand power is important in this market – there’s a profit to be made from vintage champagne with ever-growing demand as the years pass as well as limited production. Exposure to brands through restaurants, nightclubs and notable publicised events will raise familiarity therefore increase the growing demand.

The year of the vintage is an important factor. The vintages of 1990 and 1996 are universally considered to be quite exceptional. The value of champagnes as an investment should not solely rest on critics scores, but the year the grapes were harvested in and their evolution over time. Jancis Robinson has published fantastic wine time charts which give you a good indication of how certain vintages mature differently:

Past performance of vintages and specific brands does not guarantee future results. Use those stats as an indicator for the potential others in a similar category may hold in the market. The London International Vintners Exchange is a global marketplace for fine wine and a great way to start your research:

What are the best regions or top brands to consider purchasing an investment champagne from?

Some things to consider is that the market is quite complex, with dominant producers at play and each house varying from one to the next. Moët releases several million bottles of Dom Perignon each year, Philipponnat release between 4,000 and 11,000 of their Clos de Goisses depending on the year and Champagne Salon only conduct around four harvests per decade to produce their vintage Mesnil.

Looking at these numbers there is no consistency throughout the entire bubbly market but don’t let that deter you! Other top brands to look out for include Krug and the of course Louis Roederer Cristal who’s 2008 vintage was the most traded in terms of value in 2018.

An example of a great investment opportunity can be seen in Dom Perignon 08. Aged for 11 years, the wine still holds its freshness and intense minerality. On the day Dom Perignon 2008 was released it sold for £1,200 for a crate of 12 and rose 16% in one day to £1,400.

Bottles that have been discovered from historic shipwrecks lost at sea dating back centuries ago. The sea was shown to be a perfect environment for ageing champagne, companies have begun using this method today to age their cuvées. If you ever come across a little shipwrecked beauty, old or new, it could make you a pretty penny in investment!

How are investment champagnes managed?

Wine trading is an unregulated market, so if you ever want to invest you must find someone reputable. It is essential to do a background check on wine merchants. This includes them having an office you can visit – not just a flashy website. You should also never invest in champagne through a cold call!

Legitimate champagne investments are made in a number of ways. There is a large pool of private investors as well as collectors and auction houses. Champagne is a luxury good and there is always demand for it. With this demand, the Appellation d’origine controlee (AOC) is a ground that regulates the available stock so there is no flood of particular vintages on the market – assets can only increase in value as champagne becomes more difficult to find.

How should I store an investment champagne?

Champagne investments need to be stored in a safe and temperature-controlled environment between 7-12 degrees Celsius. A dark room with no exposure to light is best so there is minimal light damage. Usually, when investing through a champagne merchant, they will already have a storage facility specifically designed to store your investment correctly and safely.

Any other important points I should consider?

In the past decade, champagne investment returns have beaten those from the stock market! It is important to note that champagne cases have risen 30% in value and vintage Cristal has risen up to 40%.

The average investment for a case of quality champagne is valued at around $2,755 SGD and one bottle at $230 SGD.

It is also highly recommended to buy these investment pieces in cases of 6 or 12, and to keep the original boxes. This increases the resale possibility by opening up your buy base to fine dining restaurants and hotels who will want to list rare wines on their lists and makes it easier to ensure that the wines they are buying are from the same disgorgement.

So, if you’re considering investing in some bubbly prospects, consider these points carefully and consult all of your options. If you’re still unsure or just need a friendly voice to talk through it all, our Emperor Concierge team is always ready to offer advice and lead you in a direction tailored to your needs and desires.

Lastly, if your champagne investment turns out not to be quite the success you were hoping for, you can always pop open your bottle and drown your sorrows in a wonderful vintage!