Wine & Spirits: Appraising your fine wines & spirits
Florida Antiues Appraisers can determine the value of your fine wines and spirits. Contact us for more information..
Wine and spirits are no longer just for drinking, but are potentially lucrative commodities in and of themselves. Think of that before you go raid grandpa’s cellar for some sherry; a bottle of Massandra Sherry from 1775 sold for $43,500! Purchasing wine futures, or en primeur, has become one way of investing your money and potentially reaping large dividends with a particularly good grape harvest. While this practice really started taking off in the 1920s with Baron Rothschild, it died off in the 1970s, but now has seen resurgence. But wine is a tricky business, and one that necessitates strong oenophile knowledge. Likewise appraising wine and spirits is a complicated process that requires the skills of an expert. The appraiser must be conversant in the latest vintages and vineyards, as well as those of the past. Also, having the historical knowledge to understand what makes one vintage extremely rare over another is key—just being old is not enough!
Often with older vintages, there is no way of knowing if the bottle has been stored correctly over the years and it is up to the appraiser to determine whether or not what lies inside the bottle is spoiled or superb. Bottle and label condition make a difference, as well as the bottle size. And, as the prices of unique vintages have soared, counterfeit bottles have entered the market, with fake labels being placed on inferior vintages.
Wine museums have sprung up across the world, including one set to open in the United States own viticultural hotbed, Sonoma County. The most expensive bottle of wine to sell at auction to date was an imperial bottle of 1947 Cheval Blanc, which sold for over $300,000. So before you dismiss a dusty bottle as plonk, make sure you know what you have in hand!
Other spirits are not to be outdone, with fine whiskeys and scotches going for upward of $70,000 a bottle. Diva Vodka is famous for its bottle, made from Swarovski Crystal and diamonds and can sell for as much as $1,000,000.