Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

{There's Gold in the Reds} {Now's the Time to Invest in Fine Wine}; Fine Wine a Good Investment When the Going Gets Tough

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

{There's Gold in the Reds} {Now's the Time to Invest in Fine Wine}; Fine Wine a Good Investment When the Going Gets Tough

Article excerpt

Byline: Kathy Sundstrom kathy.sundstrom@scnews.com.au

THE global economic crisis could be the perfect time for astute investors to find their rescue in a bottle of wine - as long as they don't drink it.

Wine has proved to be an excellent investment option for people over the years as its value, like its taste, has shown to improve with age.

The global demand for fine wine has soared in the past few decades and in many cases the commodity has outperformed investments on the stock market.

Even if you didn't pick a financial winner, you were still better off than those who lost on the stock market as at least you had something you could still enjoy to drink. But if you happened to have been one of the lucky ones to score a free bottle of Penfold Grange in 1951, you would now be sitting on a small fortune.

Purple Palate and Barbarossa director Darren Davis said the first bottles of 1951 Penfold Grange "were never sold, they were given away and now they are worth about $56,000 a bottle".

Most Australian wines haven't enjoyed such a dramatic price increase, but the results have been impressive.

"I sold a bottle of 1971 (Penfold) and it still had its original price tag on it of $11.99 - now it is worth between $800 and $900," Mr Davis said.

Langton's auction website has a list of Australian wines that have experienced "exceptional" growth in value since the 1980s which includes wines from Penfolds, Leeuwin Estate and Wendouree.

And with wine prices falling in the wake of the global downturn, Mr Davis said now would be the perfect time for people to start a collection as prices will go up again.

"The market has fallen, we are not seeing the same hype as we did when the 1998 vintage was released and the value of high alcohol Barossa wines were doubling or tripling almost overnight on the secondary market," he said.

"Now is the time to buy as wines almost follow the property trend in that those who need cash are off-loading and there are some good buys."

Dan Murphy's fine wine manager at Kawana, Steve Street, said Australian wine prices were "still pretty strong".

"The last decade we have seen some exceptional years," Mr Street said. …

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