Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 338

Britain loses dominance in bidding for fine wine to other countries with China closing in

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 20 Maggio 2016

wineThe last decade has seen uninterrupted growth in the value of the best fine wine sold at auction which has changed the ranking of nations and buyers who dominate the trade. Britain, once the leader, has been left behind, says Barnebys, the international auction search engine.Britain, whose wine buyers and investors dominated this market ten years ago, has now been overtaken by the United States, France, Italy, Germany and China. In fact China has come from nowhere to fifth place in a decade. One might say the speed of change has left British wine buyers with a hangover. The global wine auction market remained stable in 2015, falling just 1% in value from $348 million in 2014 to $346 million in 2015. But the best of the best wines continues to grow in value, a pattern for wine that is echoed in many other areas of the collecting market, paintings, cars, jewellery and Asian Art. The advice would be buy the best to invest. In the early 2000’s Brits were the major wine buyers on the auction market, but no longer. The last few years have seen rankings change dramatically as prices rose and today the Chinese are having a massive impact on wine sales. China’s new billionaire class has pushed the eastern giant to the fifth biggest buyer of wine at auction. Hong Kong has been hollowed out underground with miles of air-conditioned wine cellars to hold this new liquid gold. And the Chinese are not simply buying the stuff, they are growing it now too. Local production has taken off in China. According to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, the Chinese vineyard area increased by 34 million hectares in 2015, making it the second largest area of vineyard by country.This is why when Andrew Lloyd Webber sold part of his wine collection five years ago he chose to sell in Hong Kong at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong with Sothebys. The creator of Cats and Phantom of the Opera added an extra £3.5 million to his bank balance with the sale of some 8,837 bottles choice bottles from his vast wine collection.
With Barnebys 1,600 auction house clients including giants Christie’s Sotheby’s and 1.5m site visitors a month, the company is superbly well placed to monitor the wine auction market.In recent years, the most highly valued wine has experienced a significant and steady upward growth on the auction market. In fact wine has outperformed stocks and shares in 2015. Last week a case of red wine sold for £211,000 a new world record. So it’s not surprising that the world’s top auction houses make wine sales a permanent fixture on their calendar. Last year, the biggest wine auction in the world, Hospices de Beaune, Christie’s charity wine auction, brought in over € 11 million (£8.67 million.)By enabling access to auctions, online sales platforms have managed to attract a more international and wealthier clientele. iDealwine.com, the first online auction house dedicated to wine, recorded in 2015 a turnover of € 8.9 million (£7 million.)Lovers of wine and spirits are a diverse group. Some 90% of those who collect and sell wine at auctions are individuals who have collected with passion over the years. Those among them lucky enough to be invited to an auction house lunch or wine tasting will know they are in for a treat. The great auction houses enjoy the theatre and thrill of opening Burgundies and Bordeauxs that cost a king’s ransom and will think nothing of opening a bottle of port or malmsey at the end of lunch, a bottle say from the 1840s, poured reverently to an awed hush. The deep complex flavours coming to you after a 170-year delay. The food is almost an after-thought.
Buying at auction is an excellent way to update your cellar and to invest in wine, as wine auctions offer bottles that are not always to be found in the shops. The sale of wine is particularly suited to online auctions, as unlike a painting or a piece of antique furniture, it is not necessary to travel to “physically” see the object, or bottle, in question.For sellers it is better to consign bottles to auctions rather than let them decline in quality by keeping them too long. For the buyer, auctions are a great way to acquire a wine that is more expensive to purchase on the retail market.What should you be looking for to buy at auction? Even if it is challenged by some critics, the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 can be a very good guide for buying. Established at the request of Emperor Napoleon III for the Universal Exhibition of 1855, this classification is still a reference for impeccable French wines.If you want to consume your wine immediately, second wines from great Châteaux are for you – their quality is undeniable and their prices are accessible. If your goal is to collect and invest, premiers and seconds crus classés are your best bet.The wines of Italy and the New World (South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, USA, South America) are not to be ignored either and can also be sources of treasure. In France, wine auction sales are composed of 60% Bordeaux, mostly of crus classés and 20% Bourgogne wines. The remaining 20% is made up of wines from the Rhône region and vintage spirits. For more info: http://www.barnebys.co.uk

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