“There’s wisdom in wine” wrote Jack Kerouac in “The Dharma Bums”. There is the wisdom of those who did so with slow patience and the hard work of those who grew the grapes, feeling the ground, rubbing it, smoothing it as delicate skin. We could say that there’s the history of wine itself . “Down-to-earth” history of unknown men, and High History when wine was born and aged.
For a long time – this has been a topic for experts and connoisseurs. And it is a very delicate issue to address because collectors are rightly very jealous of their secrets. They are also jealous of their collections, which are almost more precious than others, more awarded and published, exposed and suitable for pictures. Not the wine. Although collectable, wine stays away from the glamour and the glitter of some inner circles. It is cuddled as a child, but it is left in the only place – besides the age – where it can be preserved: the cellar, which is more like and underground suite, very dry, elegant and sometimes created by designers.
You need taste to collect wine. And passion. And in the words of a famous Sotheby’s auctioneer: who does not drink, cannot collect. Because if a paint is a paint and its beauty is quite clear to everybody, it might not be like that for wine. Each bottle has a unique history, a cross-section of the world. Each year tells us something that happened: a war, a victory, the birth of a future queen. It tells us about the territory in which it was “created”, about disappeared or luxuriant countryside, hills, ancient families, excellent wine-makers who once every three or four years used to take out from vans a small production of a particular wine, with a bouquet of pomegranate and peach, rose petals and cherry. Thirty or forty years later, even if well kept, cuddled and loved, that wine could not be palatable any longer. But it is a piece of history, maybe very popular but impossible to find if not in some extremely specialized auction.
Let’s talk now about investments. If you have a lot, I mean I lot of money to spend to start a collection and after having prepared the love nest for your super bottles, you may start with what has been ranked as the most expensive wine in the world: Henri Jayer Richebourg Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, a red wine produced in Vosne-Romanée, Burgundy. If you are willing to spend for a magnum the same price as a sedan, this bottle is for you. Recently in England a 1978 magnum was auctioned for 30.000 Euro. Too much, isn’t it? But the real value is about 15.000 Euro, which is a very large amount of money to spend. But, after all, we are talking about what is considered to be “Number one” wine in the world. It competes with Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits: does not cost much less, but owning it means to be a great wine connoisseur. And if you got tired of French wines, which are always so “charmant” but all others look down on them, you may take a nice revenge inserting into your collection a Egon Muller-Scharzhof Scharzhofberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese, Mosel, a superb German wine that has nothing to envy to its friends – enemies from Paris. Ah, of course, the price: between 7.000 to 8.000 Euro. Not that much? Well, let’s talk about it. Let’s not forget though, that it all depends on how much you really want to have one in your cellar. Well… so far we have talked about outstanding wines which each year aspire to the higher place of the list of the best 50 wines in the world.
However, you can spend a lot less making a smart purchase. In case you should need to be guided in this wonderful world of wines full of aroma, we suggest you to refer to «Wine spectator», the world bible for collectors, wine-lovers, beginners or just for someone who wants to enjoy to open a bottle worth to remember.