What Makes A Wine Collectible? (Best Wines To Collect, Tips)

by Anthony Zhang

In 2010, a bottle of 1869 Château Lafite Rothschild was sold for $233,973 at a Sotheby’s auction held in Hong Kong. 

However, not every wine is a collectible that’ll command such astronomical prices. For a wine to be collectible, it should have outstanding quality, the ability to age gracefully for years (if not decades), and many other factors. 

Discover what makes a wine collectible, ways to buy collectible wine, six regions to check out when looking for a collectible wine, and a few things to consider before starting a wine collection.

Further reading

What Makes A Wine Collectible?

Here are six essential elements that make a wine bottle worth collecting.

A. Producer Reputation


Vintage wine produced by a prestigious vintner from the world’s best wine regions would usually come with top-notch quality. Wine lovers are often willing to pay hefty prices to get their hands on these premium wine bottles.  

So, look out for renowned and upcoming winemaker labels like Marchesi Antinori, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Dom Perignon, Screaming Eagle, and Petrus

B. Scarcity


Fine, expensive wine bottles are often produced in limited quantities. The high demand and limited availability increase the wine’s prices, making it ideal for a collector. 

C. Vintage


The vintage year of the wine helps you determine the quality of the harvest and, in turn, the wine. Vintage wine from an exceptional year is more likely to age gracefully and fetch higher returns.

For example, 2005 and 2015 were excellent growing years in Burgundy, resulting in rich, powerful wines.

D. Longevity


For a wine to be collectible, it should be able to spend at least five years in the cellar and develop excellent nuances. Usually, a cellar-worthy red wine like Burgundy can age 10-50+ years. 

Gran Reserve Rioja, which can age 10-30 years, is another perfect example of collectible white wine.

E. Critic Reviews 


Reviews from famous wine critics and magazines like Robert Parker and Wine Advocate will help any wine collector decide on the best fine wine. 

The 2018 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, which got 100 points from Robert Parker, sells for over $4,800 today.

So, before you buy a bottle, take a look at Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast, and other reviews.

F. Provenance


A wine’s provenance will help you identify the wine’s authenticity, storage conditions, and previous owners. 

As a collector, knowing the provenance will help you decide if the wine is worth adding to your collection.

But which wines will make a perfect addition to your cellar?

12 Best Collectible Wine Bottles (By Region)

These are the most famous regions that produce incredible collectible wines.

A. Napa Valley

A short 6 hrs drive from Los Angeles, Napa Valley produces a range of varietal and blended red, white, and rose wines. 

However, it is best known for its age-worthy and robust Cabernet Sauvignon wine. The finest Napa Cabernet Sauvignons, like Screaming Eagle, can age for 1-3 decades.

Best Napa Valley Wines:

  • 2018 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon ($4,983): This Napa Cabernet leaves a dark fresh cherry flavor on the palate with lavender perfume. 
  • 2018 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia ($287): The nose has anise, cigar, and violet aromas, while the palate is full-bodied with bold tannins - perfect for every collector.

B. Burgundy

Burgundy is home to some of the most age-worthy Pinot Noir red wines and Chardonnay white wines. The Grand Cru Pinot Noirs can age incredibly well for about 50 years.

Best Burgundy Wines:

  • 2005 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru ($31,381): A must-have for every wine collector, this Romanee-Conti has bold acidity, smooth texture, and ripe black fruit on the palate.
  • 2015 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Grand Cru 'Cuvee Vieilles Vignes' ($1,230): This Musigny wine has a strawberry perfume, and the palate has a long finish with balanced acidity and black-cherry fruit.

C. Bordeaux

Bordeaux is known for its age-worthy red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grape varieties. Some reds will have Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot in small quantities.

To get the best collectible bottle, look for the five First Growths - Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour, Château Margaux, Château Haut-Brion and Château Mouton Rothschild. 

Best Bordeaux Wines:

  • 1986 Chateau Leoville-Las Cases 'Grand Vin de Leoville' ($ 574): The nose has tobacco and licorice notes, while the palate has powerful, textured tannins.
  • 1959 Chateau Lafite Rothschild ($4,579): The palate has a sweet taste and silky tannins, while the nose has a complex and extensive bouquet.   

D. Champagne

The Champagne region of France produces the most luxurious sparkling wine - white and rose bubblies - primarily from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Gris grape varieties. 

Best Champagne Wines:

  • 2012 Dom Perignon Brut ($210): The nose of this sparkling wine has scents of florals and minerals, while the palate has healthy acidity and rich fruit.
  • 1996 Krug Vintage Brut ($845): Honey and citrus flavors dominate the palate. On the nose, it has nuts and fresh pineapple aromas.

E. Rhone Valley

While northern Rhone is known for its excellent Syrah red wine, southern Rhone is famous for its Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre blend wines.

Rhone is also popular for its Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne white wine. 

The finest Rhone reds can age for 20 years, while the norther Rhone white wines like white Hermitage can age for over two decades.

Best Rhone Valley Wines: 

  • 2009 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Ermitage 'Cuvee Cathelin' ($8,906): This wine has a bold and fruity black cherry taste.
  • 2019 Paul Avril Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($92): The taste bursts with black tea, raspberry syrup, and fine tannins.

F. Tuscany

Tuscany is one of Italy’s largest wine-producing regions, recognized for its Sangiovese-dominated wines. The region also produces cellar-worthy Super Tuscan wines made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. 

A fine Super Tuscan Italian wine can effortlessly age for 1-2 decades.

Best Tuscany Wines:

  • 1985 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Bolgheri ($3,440): This wine has a silky texture on the palate and cedar scents up on the nose.
  • 1998 Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore ($337): The palate has plums, leather, and robust tannins, with oak scents.

How to Buy a Collectible Wine

Here are the two most common ways to invest in fine wine:

1. Wine Exchange/Online Wine Investment Platform


A professional wine investment platform like Vinovest is the easiest way to buy a collectible wine. 

In just a few steps, you will be well on your way to building an exceptional wine collection.

  • Sign up on the website.
  • Fill in the questionnaire to assess your risk tolerance and investment preferences.
  • Fund your account with a minimum of $1,000.
  • Start building a fine wine collection from the comfort of your home.

The experts at Vinovest will help you pick the finest wine, ensure its authenticity, and store it in temperature-controlled, bonded warehouses.

Vinovest will also insure your bottle against breakage, theft, and loss. And, when you’re ready to sell, it will help you find the right buyer.

If you want to be more hands-on in buying and selling your wines, you can trade through Vinovest’s wine exchange as well.

2. Wine Auction


Another way to source a fine wine is through a trusted auction house. Since auction houses usually authenticate a wine bottle, you can buy premium wines worry-free. 

The caveat is that you’ll need extensive wine knowledge to determine the right price of wine at an auction. Joining a wine club can help you get the necessary support.

What to Consider Before Starting a Wine Collection


Now that you know your collectible wine, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Diversify your collection: Add a range of red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, and even dessert wine to ensure you include wines with varying prices and longevity.

Also, include wines from upcoming New World wine regions like New Zealand and South Africa.

  • Wine Storage (Wine cellar): To store good wine that needs 20+ years to mature, you must ensure that it is stored securely in a wine cellar with optimal temperature, light, and vibrations. 

Vinovest allows you to securely store your wine, whether you are in New York or Australia.

When you invest in fine wine, you need to consider how long you’re willing to store it. If you’re new to wine collecting, you must figure out the cost of proper storage.

  • Research: Without the proper knowledge, you can end up with counterfeits. To protect yourself from untrusted sellers who promised age-worthy “Off-dry Chenin Blanc,” get help from an expert. 

Start Building A Fine Wine Collection Today!


Wine collecting is a great way to diversify your investment portfolio and earn rewarding returns. But, you need to ensure that you buy the right bottle.

Get in touch with Vinovest and add a great wine to your portfolio today!

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