ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

I see a lot of wines where the current price is far lower than the issue price but the wine is just reaching the point where you should drink it, according to expert reviews. I have a 1940s bomb shelter, which maintains near perfect temperature and humidity all year long. I would like to convert it into a wine cellar. Why bother cellaring wine if it will only depreciate in value while I wait for it to mature? Am I missing the point? Thank you.

—Robert P., Boston

Dear Robert,

I don't think it's wise to consider wine an investment in this sense. Though some wines appreciate dramatically, most are never even traded on the secondary market. (If you want to know which wines do gain in value, you should check out our auction price database.) Remember that these are often wines from large collections with well-documented, pristine storage conditions.

Why bother cellaring a wine? Because you like the taste of aged wine, or are curious to see how a wine will progress over time. I hope you make decisions based on your own preferences, not with visions of "get rich quick" schemes. Wine is an investment in enjoyment.

—Dr. Vinny


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