Singaporeans willing to pay top dollar for large format wines of investment grade quality

Some recent extravagant purchases in wine business in Singapore have pointed out a new trend : people are increasingly more willing to spend thousands of dollars for a special bottle of wine.

This was the case of Buyan Russian Haute-Cusine and Caviar bar in Duxton Hill’s that broke the world-record when it paid $53 000 (30 000€) just for one bottle of 1841 Veuve Clicquot champagne. This new striking trend can be explained by two main reasons. At Bar A Vin, a retail wine shop and wine lounge, our most expensive wine currently is a Petrus 1961 magnum that is valued at S$ 68,000.

There are two observable reasons why Singaporeans are spending more on wines. Firstly, Singaporean culinary habits have changed for the last few years. Nowadays people tend to prefer quality rather than quantity. They are taking into account many different factors concerning the wine itself (vintage, grapes quality) as well as the production and agricultural process (e.g. biodynamic methods). People are also more and more looking for prestige, and merchants and restaurants are taking into account this change to meet customers’ expectations.

The second reason is investment. Wine is nowadays considered as a real investment. People paying thousands of dollars for a special bottle of wine are expecting to get more from the same bottle. According to wine collectors, values of special wine bottles can double or triple in few years. That can explain why Singaporeans are so willing to pay that much for a single bottle. What matters in the end for investors is the return on investment at the end of the day.

It was reported in Straits Times on July 3, 2011 that avid wine collector Tania Sim, 41 whose two year collection is estimated worth to be S$ 800,000 said she didn’t mind paying a bit more for “limited edition” bottles because of the investment value. She believes that the value of the wines can double or triple if kept carefully. Another wine collector, Alvin Wong, 50 usually snaps up two bottles at one go. The highest he has paid is nearly $ 16,000 per bottle of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti.

Our customers at Bar A Vin constantly seek us out for the finest wines and rarest wines available globally. Edward Chew, a principal of Bar A Vin has sold assorted cases of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti for over $ 30,000. These wines have since appreciated substantially, earning a very favourable return for the investor.

by Morgane Muller