Fine wine dealers received a nice early Christmas present, last month. On December 23, respected UK newspaper The Telegraph ran a story titled "Red wine offers 900% investment return."
The article refers to a 12 bottle case of 1982 Lafite Rothschild, which recently sold for £25,000 - an 857% rise in value over the past 10 ten years (from £2,613).
"[This] means the investment return from the red wine from Bordeaux is greater than that achieved by investors in the stock market, property, oil, stamps and fine art, according to the London International Vintners Exchange," - the Telegraph
The Telegraph's report is also based on research by the Liv-ex Fine Wine index. According to Liv-ex, equities dropped 17.5% between December 1999 and November 2009.
This is compared to a 9% increase in fine art, a 61% increase in collectible stamps and a 118% increase in residential property.
"It is an amazing wine and it is a great return on your investment," said the Telegraph's editor Jonathan Ray, interviewed by his own newspaper.
"But wine is made to be drunk and it should not be used as an investment tool."
Mr Ray should therefore feel encouraged by the growing fine wine markets in Asia, where collectors routinely drink highly-expensive fine wines as a mark of prestige.
Sotheby's is currently gearing up for its first Hong Kong fine wines sale of 2010.
Coveted vintages including the Château Pétrus 1988 are hoped to contribute to an estimated sales total of $3.6-5.2m at the auction, which is scheduled for 23 January.
The fine wine market has transformed in the past decade, with global turnover increasing from under $1bn a year to more than $3bn, according to Liv-ex.