Wines a booming business

After buoyant wine auctions that
saw booming sales, most auctioneers believe the only bubbles in the wine market
are in the Champagnes poured during the bidding.

Chicago-based wine merchants Hart
Davis Hart reaped $4.9 million at its Lafite auction, reinforcing its image as
the most sought-after, top growth Bordeaux.

And on the same day New York’s
Acker Merrall & Condit sold $2.3 million at its auction.

“I don’t see prices going
anywhere significantly except up,” said John Kapon, its head of auctions.

Both sales were the first to be
held after the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan.
Although Japan is home to many wine collectors, the country is not considered
influential in the wine market.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 Index,
which shows the price movement for 100 of the most coveted wines, confirms what
auctioneers are seeing — all signs are pointing up.

The index rose 41 per cent
year-on-year to the end of February.

So far in 2011, leading wine
auction house have sold more than $46 million of wine.

Cases of 1982 Chateau
Lafite sold at various auctions in the last three week for prices ranging from
$51,425 to $71,700, including the buyer’s premium.