Thursday, February 01, 2007

Wine investing goes Gen-X, Millenials

Not all cartoon shows will trigger Homeland Security exercises like the one yesterday in response to 5 magnetic marketing signs from Cartoon Network/Adult Swim in Boston. And, thankfully, not all cartoons are based on talking fast-food like Aqua Teen Hunger Force and its Mooninites from the planet Skyron in the galaxy of Andromeda...which is a really weird premise to start with.

But some other cartoons may actually help the wine industry, albeit in a round-about fashion.

I don't think that the future will see everyone investing in the wine futures market, or all out collecting, but the trends are pointing to an increase for the number of "common wine investors" - meaning those whom don't have a huge portfolio, but rather pick up a few cases of "collectible" wine here and there as speculation. Also, the concept is starting take hold in the next generations of wine drinkers: Millenials and Gen-Xr's...

I think this is obviously will be due to the good press that wine investing has received over the past few months, including the news that it is independent of the main market flux (and therefore the implication is that it is more secure, or at least a good choice for diversification). Also reported is the idea that prices for hardcore investors of those already hard-too-find vintage bottles will start to climb faster than before - which, while aggravating to some - should increase the overall value of the stash of collected bottles. Perhaps the smaller collectors (I should call them speculators, as they won't be into the market in a significant way) will pool their resources and form small groups to increase their buying power.
My advice for them: Buy what you can, and hold.
But beware of buying wines you wouldn't like to drink yourself though, even if they are valuable, just in case there isn't a market someday you can still get some enjoyment from your purchases.

Has it really gone mainstream? Perhaps not yet, but it's making some more significant inroads than in the past...
Even Japanese cartoons are now being written around the subject...the above still is from an episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2004) called "Angel's Share", where the main characters are entangled in an attempted heist of a warehouse where wine collections are stored. One of the scenes shows a reflection of the female heroine (above) window shopping for a Laguiole
corkscrew and a bottle of Romanee-Conti wine (vintage unknown).

It's doubtful that many kids would be watching this cartoon, as it appears to be oriented towards more mature audiences, but there are many fans of the Japanese manga anime cartoons who may be more likely to invest in a bottle of the stuff after seeing the cartoon. And certainly in Japan the concept of wine collecting is also seen as a status symbol, much as it is here in the west.

Reportedly, the cartoon also repeats some of the old misleading myths about wine aging: that ALL wines increase in value when aged, that wines can age forever, and that all wines are improved by decades of aging...sadly they couldn't cull those old wives tales from the production.

Thanks to stuart for the email & screen-shot.

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