What’s The Difference Between Drinking Wine And Investment Wine?

For wine lovers, there are broadly two main categories of wine – those for drinking and enjoying, and those purchased as investments in the hopes they will increase in value over time. But what exactly is the difference between these two types of wine?

Quality and Rarity

The key factor that distinguishes investment wines is their quality and rarity. Investment wines are produced in extremely limited quantities, often just a few hundred cases per vintage. They come exclusively from the top chateaux in famous French regions like Bordeaux and Burgundy. These wines receive near perfect scores from critics, making them highly coveted by investors working with a fine wine merchant.

Drinking wines encompass everything else – from cheap table wines you can pick up from your local Tesco on a BOGOF deal, to reasonably priced bottles from celebrated regions. While everyday drinking wines can certainly be high quality, they don’t have the prestige or scarcity that makes investment wines so valuable. Their production levels are much higher, so they lack the exclusivity of investment wines, even if they taste pretty good!


One of the hallmarks of investment wines is their longevity. The top Bordeaux reds from London wine merchants in particular are meant for long ageing, often 10-50 years or more before they reach peak drinking condition. Only wines with excellent structure, balance and concentration will improve over decades in the bottle and take on more complexity.

By contrast, most drinking wines are meant to be consumed within just a few years, while their flavours are vibrant and youthful. These wines deteriorate in quality much faster. So, investment wines from a Fine Wine Merchant London are set apart by their potential for maturation over many years.

Cost and Appreciation in Value

There’s no getting around the fact that investment wines cost significantly more. Even at release, they can range from £100 a bottle to over £1,000. Those elevated prices are due to the high demand combined with tiny production volumes. As investment wines grow scarcer over time, their value often appreciates considerably. It’s not uncommon for the most coveted wines to sell at auction for many multiples of their original cost, which is why bottles like this are snapped up when offered by a fine wine distributor London.

Drinking wines are generally much more affordable and accessible. Even fine wines from esteemed regions rarely fetch over £50 a bottle when first released. While everyday wines can appreciate slowly, they rarely gain enough monetary value to be considered investments. The ability to potentially gain high returns is what sets investment wines apart.

Overall, investment wines represent the pinnacle of collectability in the wine world. Their unparalleled quality, scarcity and longevity give them serious value growth potential that everyday drinking wines simply do not possess. So for wine lovers with the budget and patience, investment wines can be a real opportunity. Everyday drinking wines, on the other hand, deliver enjoyment and satisfaction much sooner.

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