With the end of the year approaching, there’s just one question filling the mind of a wine enthusiast: what bottles am I going to uncork over Christmas and New Year’s Eve? This question leads to another… If I have to part with a few bottles to increase space in my cellar, what would be the best wines to put up for sale on iDealwine?
At the moment, our teams are preparing the auction catalogues for the end of the year. And there’s one date that you need to circle in red in your calendars – 15 November. If your wines are cellared in the European Union and you can get them to us before this date, they will go under the hammer before Christmas. As you know, with four auctions a month, iDealwine is the auction house that offers you the shortest time between your bottles arriving for appraisal by our team and being put up for sale. Here’s five points to note about the market in its current state.
1 – Is the end of the year a good time to be thinking about selling when the global economy is looking sluggish?
The macroeconomic indicators – and the increase in interest rates in particular – have had quite a clear effect on auctions. The record prices seen up until mid-2022 have tailed off. Prices for some wines soared but that is no longer the case and they have tapered off in the past 12 months. With the market in a lull, wine enthusiasts are waiting for something to grab their attention. Price estimates have adjusted and the dynamic market should continue past Christmas, a key period for acquiring beautiful bottles.
2 – What wines should take centre stage as this year draws to a close?
Logically speaking, our advice would be to select the wines that wine lovers like to drink at Christmas or for New Years so Champagne, sweet wines and Ports. Wine at perfect maturity, mature vintages, bottles from years that represent a symbolic date, and those that celebrate another decade of life (so those ending in a “3” this year – 2003, 1993, 1983,…) should all be popular. Not forgetting large formats such as magnums, Jeroboams and Imperials as this is the time of year that they are most sought-after.
3 – In the current uncertain economic climate, is Champagne still attracting the attention of wine enthusiasts?
Yes, more than ever! This region represents one of the most dynamic secondary markets. Bottles from the iconic houses like Salon, Krug, Roederer, and Dom Pérignon are high on many wishlists, especially older vintage champagne. Moreover, fans of grower Champagnes always eagerly watch out for bottles, which are often rare, from several talented winemakers such as Selosse, Egly-Ouriet, Aurélien Lurquin, Romain Henin, Marie-Noëlle Ledru, Ulysse Collin, and Cédric Bouchard. There are also seven little-known Champagnes that recently caught our attention from the following producers: Emmanuel Brochet, Jérôme Prévost, Elise Bougy, Jérôme Lefèvre, Pascal Doquet, Antoine Bouvet, and Thomas Perseval.
What is more, while Champagne is well and truly a symbol of celebration, it also has the perfect profile for pairing with every part of a meal: starters, mains, desserts and even as an aperitif. A must-have wine, if ever there were one…
4 – Should the great classics be served with dinner?
The great names of Bordeaux and Burgundy will, of course, arouse interest from family members during Christmas dinner. Their power of attraction will be enhanced by pairing it with dishes traditionally served at this time of year such as roast turkey. As a present, top vintages are equally appreciated, especially when they are packaged in large formats, making them perfect for sharing.
Sweet wines also have their own place in auctions towards the end of the year as wines like Sauternes pair well with foie gras and other pâtés, even if we don’t talk about their other pairing possibilities often enough. If you have some Sauternes among your collection, Château d’Yquem, Château Guiraud, Château Rieussec, Château Rayne Vigneau, Château Filhot, and Château Fargues always make a wine lover’s heart skip. From the Loire Valley, mature vintages of Vouvray from Domaine Huet and Domaine du Clos Naudin also find lots of success. Alsace offers wonderful Vendanges Tardives (wines made from late-harvested grapes) and Sélections de Grains Nobles (wines made from grapes affected by noble rot) from iconic domains such as Zind-Humbrecht, Trimbach, Hugel, Deiss, Weinbach, and Schueller. And if you have a grand cru from this region, then you’ve struck gold as prices have stabilised, meaning that they are extremely attractive to buyers.
And as you might have seen us mention a few times recently, enthusiasm for wines produced outside of France, especially those from Italy, doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. In June this year, we celebrated Italy in an auction dedicated to great wines from the country. And it was a huge success! Mature vintages of Barolo, Barbaresco, Chianti and Tuscan wines would go down very well in the final auctions of the year, especially those from Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Voerzio, Gaja, Tignanello, Conterno, Bertani.
5 – Which hidden gems are all the rage?
If you follow the auction results regularly, you can generally spot the latest rising stars. And as you know, we, at iDealwine, are keen wine lovers and we go through everything with a fine toothcomb to spot the fine wines of tomorrow. The good news for you is that thanks to a particularly useful tool, you can follow the most tracked auction lots at any given moment. There, you will find wines that are already well-established and sought-after, such as Guffens-Heynen and Hubert Lamy (essentially wines produced from vines planted with a high density). Others such as Syaasen, Turlier, and Jérémy Carteret, which have already been spotted by connoisseurs, are yet to be discovered by the greater public. Other gems are hidden throughout our auctions, waiting for a keen eye to spot them.