UK investment in fine wines and whisky rises

·2 min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Bottles of 12 years old double cask Macallan highland single malt whisky are displayed during the RM Sotherb's London, European car collectors event at Olympia London on October 23, 2019 in London, England. RM Sotheby's London, billed as the annual highlight for European car collectors will show Edwardians to modern supercars and offers collectors and attendees the opportunity to experience the very best of European cars. Sotheby’s will also present The Ultimate Whisky Collection, the most valuable collection of whisky ever to be sold at auction, both events will culminate in live auctions on 24th October.  (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
Macallan whisky has been a buyers favourite in 2020. (John Keeble/Getty Images)

UK sales of rare wines and spirits have risen by 32% during April, according to fine wine and spirits merchant BI.

Italian and US wines have been the most popular among wine investors with sales of Italian wines rising by 38% in the first four months of the year. Demand for US wines increased by almost 50%.

For wine investors, Tuscan wines have been some of the best performers but the top performer in the last year, however, was Bordeaux’s Leoville Barton 2016, which was named Wine Spectator’s 2019 Wine of the Year, helping Bordeaux keep its place as the bedrock of wine investment portfolios.

Rare whiskies have also seen increased demand, with their appreciating values bucking other asset class trends.

Whisky sales, shot up by 110% in the first four months of 2020. Some of the most popular choices include Scotland’s Macallan and Bowmore as well as Japan’s Karuizawa, with the prices of top whiskies having recorded gains of almost 10% this year.

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The rise in UK buying follows an increase in Asian activity during March, where sales rose by 25%, with buyers’ confidence returning after investors digested the impact of the coronavirus, particularly in China.

Investment in rare wines and spirits grew during 2019, as BI generated total sales of £96.4m, ($118.8m) an increase on 2018 despite hurdles in the form of US trade tariffs and slower trading in Hong Kong due to the political protests.

Gary Boom, BI’s managing director, said: “Despite the recent disruption from coronavirus, the fine wine market remains in good health and we continue to see an encouraging level of activity, including an increased focus on wine as an alternative asset class.”

Drinkers’ top choices in 2020 so far:

  1. Ayala Brut Majeur Champagne NV

  2. Belondrade Y Lurton 2018

  3. L’Exuberance Rose 2019

  4. CVNE Imperial Reserva 2011

  5. Sancerre Silex Fontaine-Audon