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Does it ever become undrinkable?

A scenario I was thinking about last night - has the value of a wine today compared to when you purchased it caused you to reconsider actually drinking it? I’m thinking of perhaps some of the price rises of Burgundy that may have been purchased EP years ago that might be in their window now.

Should this be an issue? Or can you ignore the cost today and enjoy the wine for what it is/the reason you bought it in the first place?

I’m not talking about people who have bought for investment, but as a by product of time/market conditions where shrewd purchases see you with wine that is now very valuable.

Unforutnately I’m not in this position but would be interested to see people’s views (and it’s a good distraction from wfh)

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Yes in a couple of cases. But where they are TWS purchases I would struggle to either hand them back for TWS to re sell, or sell them at market rate elsewhere. So you end up feeling a bit torn.


My answer is that with one notable exception (a half case of N Rhône of which I purchased six and had consumed three, which were good but not really exceptional, I did sell the other three - purchased for £55/bottle sold for £1700/bottle!)** I have no qualms drinking bottles where the value has risen spectacularly. It would be different if I didn’t like the wine at all but I’ve never had an example (as I try to always have enough knowledge or direct experience of wines to avoid that).

** Not purchased from WS I hasten to add.


That’s quite the increase and I think if I was in that situation I would definitely drink 1 or 2 and sell the rest - especially if my wife knew the values

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Irrespective of where they were bought from, I don’t think I could justify drinking a bottle of wine that I could sell for £1700/bottle.

I would have sold!


It doesn’t even have to take long for this to happen. I now have a wine that, by the time it arrived in my reserves, was already fetching six times what I paid for it. It’s ridiculous.

I’m half tempted to knock them all back in one weekend, pre-drinking window, just as a screw-you to the open market.


This is my issue. I have something that I bought for £35 that would now get around £250. Probably a case of drink 1 and take a call.


Going back many years, I bought three cases of 1st Growths all 1990 vintage from Lay & Wheeler at £500 per case. They were bought for drinking and I stored them in approved cellars.
However, in 2001/2 I was buying a house and needed additional funds. I checked on the current prices and took advantage of the increased value (Received approx £8500 for the 3 cases). If the funds had not been required, I would have kept the wines and drunk them.

To compensate for not having tasted the wines, I did try a later bottle of Mouton Rothschild, not had any Latour or Cheval Blanc as yet.


Picked up two Noel Verset Cornas for £15 in TWS showroom bin end, about 10 years ago. Now over £400 each. Can’t bring myself to open them!


To be perfectly honest, the perceived ‘value’ of wine relates usually to whole cases kept in pristine conditions with appropriate stock certificates to match and a buyer who is willing to part with their cash on that particular day. BBX is a pass-master at artificially inflating the market based on hypothetical, I suspect largely unrealised, valuations.

CT claims I’m somewhere about £5k up on the whole deal (in a hypothetical world I’d say its more, because when I originally joined it was only in dollars and I understated the prices then).

But my bottles aren’t always bought in whole cases, and the state of some of labels leaves a lot to be desired. So in practice, who really will be paying top whack for them? And, after all, I bought them to drink. Finding a suitable occasion to match their grandeur is usually my biggest fear :grinning:


There is a marvellous park bench near my work that is exceedingly grand! I even have a corkscrew and can provide suitable glasses :wink:


Surely nothing as superfluous as glasses, just a brown paper bag?


I’m part of the school that buys wine for drinking (unless I have any liquidity issues, which hasn’t happened yet).
There is absolutely no guilt.

Life is short (here you go, another cliche) and it’s the collection of experiences that you’ve had in life that made you a richer person. Not the value of your wine collection.

That being said, I have some 1978 Musars that are way past their peak. Their taste is getting closer to wet newspaper every day that passes.

And I am keeping that 1954 Climens for a special occasion with one of my children. I know it will survive way past my lifetime.


My first wine “mentor” gave me three pieces of advice I have valued for 40 years. One of which was “never talk about wine, or think about wine, in terms of what is worth. Only in terms of what you paid for it”.

He certainly practiced what he preached: as demonstrated by his willingness to share an amazing range of Burgundy with a novice wine collector.


If one buys a wine, surely it is with the intention of drinking it. If one can’t bring oneself to drink a wine that was reasonably priced at purchase, having become ludicrously priced with maturity, it says more about yourself than the wine!


I knew it must be a character flaw on my part.


I’d have done the same @Oldandintheway

I think it says more about the market than the individual. Plenty of wine to be enjoyed without any residual guilt if prices get to a level that makes you feel differently about opening it.


I’d have done the same too. If it’s something you don’t feel special about and can sell for multiple thousands of pounds, think how much wine you feel very strongly about you could buy instead (if you don’t need the money for anything else - lucky you!)


I buy wine for the price I’m happy to pay to drink. If it goes up in value then I’m only concerned with what I paid and whether it’s a good wine for the original price.


I agree, but it does not necessarily say bad things.

A rational person would balance the potential pleasure of drinking the wine against the potential pleasure (or utility) of selling it and doing something else with the money. What was originally paid is irrelevant to a rational person.

Not that I’m saying we should be rational all the time either!