Q. I am starting my wine cellar and want to establish from the outset a meaningful, long-term investment collection of first-growth Bordeaux, beginning with the 2005 vintage. What is the best way to accomplish this? -- George
A: The wine auction market probably represents your best bet, now that estimates have been reduced by 30-40 percent in the aftermath of the worldwide financial crisis. Check out the Wine Spectator Auction Price Database for current averages. You'll find, for instance, that in the fourth quarter of 2008, Château Haut-Brion 2005 averaged $983 per bottle, Château Lafite Rothschild 2005 was $787, and Château Mouton-Rothschild 2005 brought $550 per bottle. Next, compare these prices against local retail prices and do the math. To expedite the process, you may want to perform a search on the Internet to see if any other retail outlets are offering the wines for less than the average contained in our auction index.
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