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Wine and collecting: sommeliers and consultants the reference, but bottles are bought online

More than 60% of labels go between €70 and €300, 28% of collectors invest between €1,000 and €3,000 per year. The eWibe survey
Wine and collecting: sommeliers and consultants the reference, but purchase is online

After years of boom, the wine investment market is experiencing what for some is a heavy setback, for others a simple “normalization”. The fact of the matter is that for months now, at least looking at the main indices of the industry benchmark, the Liv-Ex, the trend has been sharply negative, as recounted in the data for the first four months of 2024 analyzed by WineNews, and with the month of May seeing the downward trend continue unabated (-2.9% since the beginning of the year for the Liv-Ex 100, the platform’s benchmark index, -5.9% for the Liv-Ex 1000, the broader one, with all sub-indices down, including the Italy 100, at -1.7%, ed.). Still, that of collectible wines remains a sector in which there is no shortage of investment opportunities, perhaps on single labels, provided one has deep expertise or guidance that knows the sector well, as well as that pinch of intuition and luck useful in any kind of investment. And on closer inspection, sommeliers (30%) and consultants on specialized websites (26 %) are the main references of Italian collectors, who today want to be supported in the purchasing phase by trained professionals, even as they increasingly seek independent access to quality information. While a large segment still relies on simple advice from friends and acquaintances (26%), more than on the opinion of sector critics (14%). This is according to a survey conducted by eWibe, the live market for fine wines, on a sample of 500 collectors in fine wines, aimed at identifying new trends in the market. In any case, when looking at wine, passion (34%) is the primary driver that drives the collector to purchase a new bottle, which is inextricably linked to the desire to consume it (31%), while 24%, a figure that is up from the last surveys, do so from an investment perspective.
To buy great investment wines, the online marketplace (34%), via specialized digital platforms, is gaining momentum, especially for fine labels, although direct producers (29 %) and wine shops (28 %) are being chosen by many enthusiasts who seek quality wines still relying on traditional channels. And if at the level of consumption, white wines and sparkling wines now seem to have overtaken reds, when it comes to collecting, red wine (80%) maintains its leadership firmly and seems to have no rivals, while attention is growing towards white wines (8%), increasingly appreciated by the modern investor and today not far behind sparkling wines and Champagne (11%). And according to eWibe's peculiar observatory (which confirms the macrotrends we have often recounted in recent years), at the national level, Italy (59%) continues to attract investors' interest, far outpacing France (34%) and Spain (3%). At the regional level, Tuscany (31%) remains at the top of enthusiasts' desires, thanks in part to the great growth recorded in the last 5 years by the region’s index monitored by eWibe (+65%) and the extraordinary potential of the 2021 vintage. This is followed by Piedmont (27%) and Bordeaux (12%). The most popular format remains the single 0.75-liter bottle (85%), followed by the 6-bottle case (8%), while the Magnum stops at 6%. In terms of prices, the most popular ranges for a single bottle are 70-100 euros, 100-150 euros, and 150-300 euros, with 21-22% of the “market share” each, while only 8% of bottles travel between 300 and 500 euros. Most collectors (28%), budget between 1,000 and 3,000 euros per year, 15% between 3,000 and 5,000 euros, 9% go up to 10,000, and (9%), go over 10,000.
“The great potential and evolution of online are changing the habits of the digital investor of fine wines”, says Edoardo Maria Lamacchia, founder and CEO of eWibe, “and this figure, on a par with collectors who move through traditional channels, places a passion for wine at the basis of his choices: the user buys fine wines on the online marketplace from both a consumption and an investment perspective. Today, however, they also seek quality advice that allows them to be supported in choosing their wine portfolio. For this reason, in early 2024, we launched a chatbot based on artificial intelligence with the aim of further enhancing the “Personal Wine Advisory” service led by Leonardo Bernasconi DipWsey, Head of Wine at eWibe”.

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