Wine sales offer opportunity for collectors

Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:35pm EDT
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By Leslie Gevirtz

NEW YORK. (Reuters Life!) - Vintage Bordeaux, Champagne and White Burgundies are among the 613 lots of wines, including more than 200 from one client, that will go under the hammer at Christie's auction house this weekend.

Prices of fine wines have fallen since last spring and wine consultant Judy Beardsall believes the April 25 sale could be a good time for collectors.

"These are long, long-term investments," Beardsall, who has built up her business over 20 years, said in an interview.

"Wine collecting is a lot like gardening. At a time like this, it's a chance to turn over the soil in the garden, put down some stock for the next generation," she added.

Lower wine prices have brought out the buyers. Sotheby's auction on Saturday fetched more than $2.9 million, above its presale estimate of $1.8 million to $2.6 million.

"We continue to see many new buyers coming into the market," said Sotheby's Jamie Ritchie, adding that 22 percent of the bidders were new.

Two weeks earlier, Chicago's Hart Davis Hart's sale brought in just under $2.7 million, also surpassing its presale estimates of up to $2.4 million.

"What I look for are fair market values for wine," Beardsall said, adding that lower prices are a good time to buy younger vintages.   Continued...

<p>A Bulgarian wine selector tastes red wine from the latest vintage on January 28, 2005, choosing wines for the Vinaria wine fair in Plovdiv. WREUTERS/Stoyan Nenov SN/WS</p>