Hidden Wines and Spirits can be Surprisingly Valuable

Toovey’s wines and spirits specialist Simon Garner

Across the ancient world wines and spirits were produced, celebrated and valued. Today wines and spirits represent one of the most competitive collectors and investment markets.

This week I am in the company of Toovey’s wine specialist, Simon Garner, who is excitedly preparing an inaugural auction of wines and spirits.
Simon explains that the wines and spirits in a home are often much more valuable than people expect. He explains “I’ve been discovering fine wines and spirits across the county. It’s exciting that so many of the clients we have will have wine hidden away in their homes that is definitely going to be of value, sometimes without them knowing it.”

I remark that it is the collectors’ markets, like wines and spirits, which are booming in today’s auction world, Simon agrees. So what should people look out for?

Simon replies “People are unaware that it is the old bottle of whiskey, not just wine which is valuable. If it was a ten year old bottle of whiskey 30 years ago its now obviously a 40 year old bottle and its worth a lot more than it was then. Look out especially for names like Macallan, Glenmorangie, Laphroaig as well as the better known whiskies.

Also any vintage Champagne, so Möet and Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Christal and other leading houses, if it’s been stored correctly, cellared, it will be of value. A lot of wines and spirits are bought as an investment.”

I ask Simon what is the most notable entry for the auction so far and he shows me a bottle of Chateau Haut-Brion from 1919.

A selection of wines entered for Toovey’s inaugural auction of wines and spirits

He says “This is a rare vintage and more than 100 years old. It’s survived a century which witnessed the Second World War and a remarkable period of social change. The paper label is M Larrieu who were owners of Château Haut-Brion between 1801 and 1922.

Château Haut-Brion is located in Pessac, Bordeaux. Jean de Pontac founded the field Haut-Brion in the sixteenth century where he built the castle and planted the vineyard. Haut-Brion continues to be recognized as one of France’s best wines.”

If you want to find out if your wines or spirits are valuable send photographs to Simon Garner at auctions@tooveys.com or telephone him to discuss your collection.

Simon concludes “The hidden treasure in our homes is often in the drinks cabinet, larder or cellar.”