It's been a vintage year: Christie's 2010 wine sales post $71.5m in results

As 2010 draws to a close and auction houses take a look at their sales for the year, the figures make interesting reading for anyone interested in the collectibles markets.

Christie's have just announced its results for sales of fine and rare wines in 2010, and it seems the market is as strong as ever.

They've reported that an estimated $71.5m was realised globally, a figure on par with its peak 2007 annual sales total and one of the highest figures for the department in its history.

It marks an impressive 46% increase on the figures for 2009. The results also prove that, whilst the global economy as a whole may still be trying to find its feet, the market for alternative assets such as wine is sprinting ahead.

David Elswood, International Head of Wine at Christie's, commented: "This was a memorable year for Christie's global wine department, marked by increasing demand, multiple new auction records for the finest Bordeaux and Burgundy, and a remarkable influx of new buyers from all over Asia."

"These strong results underscore our continued success in developing our international strategy to offer sellers and buyers the finest choice of wine sales across five sites in Europe, New York and Hong Kong."

The record-breaking 'Liquid Gold Collection', which sold
for $1,032,336 earlier this year

Experts have pointed to the rise of the booming Asian wine market as the main factor behind the surge in sales. Wine sales in Hong Kong this year have seen a number of record-breaking auctions, and the sudden rise of China's nouveau-riche combined with the popularity of internet bidding has meant a vast new market has opened up for sellers across the world.

Christie's highest sale of the year was 'The Liquid Gold Collection', consisting of 128 bottles and 40 magnums of Château d'Yquem spanning three centuries.

It sold for $1,032,336 in Hong Kong in May, breaking three records in the process: the most valuable wine lot ever sold at Christie's, the most valuable wine lot ever sold at auction in Asia and the highest price ever paid for Château d'Yquem. Not bad for a single lot.

With a number of other companies such as Chicago's Hart Davis Hart Wine Co reporting increases of 50% - 65% over their figures for last year, and experts claiming prices in 2011 could "go through the roof", now could be the perfect time to invest in a bottle or two


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