Building a Fine Wine Portfolio
By Jeremy Howard, CEO & Co-Founder

Building a Fine Wine Portfolio

How to Acquire and Manage a Fine Wine / Spirits Portfolio

The attractions of owning a fine wine / spirits portfolio have never been greater. 

A fine wine portfolio will give you (and your descendants) drinking pleasure for decades, but more and more people are waking up to the value of a fine wine portfolio as long-term investment.  And the best thing is, you don’t have to choose between these options when you buy.  A fine wine portfolio can be both a source of epicurean pleasure, and a sound financial asset at the same time.  You can acquire the best products today and decide whether to drink or sell later. 

We have described the fantastic long-term investment track record of fine wine / spirits in other research notes and videos.  See [How Fine Wine Bucks the Trend in 2022] and [How Fine Wine Bucks the Trend in 2022].  The Cru World Wine platform now custodies over US$ 120 million of the world’s finest wines and whiskies. 

So, in this short note we will take you through how easy it is to acquire and manage a find wine / spirits portfolio today. 

Choose Your Portfolio Type

We offer four types of portfolio at Cru World Wine:  

  • Self-Managed (“DIY”) Portfolio – (wines, spirits, or both)
    • You make all the decisions on what to buy and sell.
    • You execute all trades on the Cru platform.
    • All wines are stored in Cru network (multiple storage around the world).   
    • No management fees or trading fees. 
    • No minimum size
  • Expert-Assisted Portfolio – (wines, spirits, or both)
    • Our experienced fund managers help structure and execute the initial portfolio.
    • You make day to day decisions on what to buy and sell.
    • You get priority on new allocations of rare and hard to buy products. 
    • We provide a quarterly report with recommendations on what to buy and sell.
    • No management fees or trading fees. 
    • US$ 50,000 minimum
  • Managed Portfolio – (wines, spirits, or both)
    • Cru fund managers make all the decisions on a discretionary basis.
    • We buy and sell assets in your portfolio at cost price.
    • Objective is active trading to generate financial gains.
    • Performance and management fees apply.
    • US$ 50,000 minimum.
  • Managed Whisky Cask Portfolio – (Fine whisky casks only)
    • Dedicated to whole Whisky casks only.
    • Cru fund managers make all the decisions on a discretionary basis.
    • We buy and sell assets in your portfolio at cost price.
    • Performance and management fees apply.
    • US$ 50,000 minimum.

All four options allow any client, wherever they are in the world, acquire the portfolio of fine wine / spirits which is right for them. 

Account set up – It’s Free and Easy

Building a fine wine or spirits portfolio is much easier than many realize. 

On the Cru World Wine platform, any products purchased go automatically into your portfolio (unless you request immediate delivery).  So, the simple act of shopping on Cru (just selecting a product and purchasing with a credit card) starts creating a portfolio straight away.  Immediately after your first purchase, you will be able to set products for sale (make a quick profit) and view our suite of state-of-the-art portfolio management tools. 

What should you Buy?

There are lots of fine wines and spirits in the world!  Cru offers over 17,000 currently.   Clearly you can’t buy them all, so we provide a model portfolio of the best quality assets in our Global Recommended Portfolio.  This portfolio is balanced and diversified and is intended to provide strong returns over a 5 to 40 year time horizon:

 Cru Global Recommended List

The Recommended Portfolio can be purchased in its entirety, just contact us for an ‘one-off’ execution quotation.  At time of writing, one unit of each of the wines in the portfolio would cost around USD 168,000.  

Where should you Store your Wine / Spirits?

Any products purchased on Cru will automatically be delivered to the closest storage warehouse.  We advise against home storage for a number of reasons:  i) you will pay duty and sales tax in most locations, which is avoided if you store with us, ii) your products will be much more difficult and expensive to re-sell, because their provenance and condition is harder to verify, and iii) you will incur unnecessary costs moving your assets around the world. 

We have trusted third party warehouses in the Americas, Europe and Asia.  You will be able to see all your assets, where they are located, their insurance and other details in your Portfolio Management view.

 International Storage Network

Storage in much Cheaper than you Think

Clients are often surprised at how low the storage fees are for fine wine / spirits, especially if they are investing in genuinely fine wine.  This is because, unlike commodities like Gold, Silver and ETFs, wine / spirits storage is charged on a flat rate per unit (case or bottle).   So, the more expensive the case / bottle, the lower the percentage storage fee.

The storage fee for our entire Recommended Portfolio, if kept (as we advise) in our warehouse in Bordeaux, is only US$ 156 a year.  This is just 0.09% (9 bps) annually of its USD 168k value.  This is a fraction of the cost of storing physical gold or silver around the world.  Even gold and silver held in ETFs attract a management fee of around 40 bps (4 times higher than fine wine).   

 Recommended Portfolio Cost of Storage

*Storage in Dartess, Bordeaux.  All products insured to replacement value.

When should you Sell?  

With your free suite of tools on Cru’s Portfolio Management platform, you have a wealth of analytical tools to help you know when the time is right to take profits.  

Some popular trading strategies include:

1. Take profits after a price rally

Take Profits after a Price Rally

2. Sell when valuation versus other vintages gets too rich

Sell when valuation versus other vintages gets too rich

3. Sell if score is downgraded

Sell if score is downgraded

All of these metrics, and plenty of others, are simple to monitor with our completely free Portfolio Management tools. 

How to Manage your Portfolio

The days when clients had to manage their own portfolios using Excel spreadsheets are long gone.  At least that is the case for clients of Cru World Wine.  With the Cru platform, you have a suite of sophisticated tools to help you manage your assets, whether your portfolio is just a few cases, or multi-millions of dollars in value.

Portfolio Management

Our Portfolio Management screens give you all the tools you need to manage your portfolio direct from your desktop or phone: 

  • Real time ticker shows exchange activity.
  • Offer your products for sale (you choose the price, and commission is only 5%)
  • See current market price and your profit / loss on all positions.
  • See all the details of every product (scores, price graphs, relative valuation, investment rating and much more).
  • Switch currencies.
  • Move products between warehouses direct on the screen.
  • Arrange home delivery whenever you like.
  • Cash out the proceeds of sales. 

Get More Details

If you have any questions on the above or want more information on one of our portfolio products, please contact us at: