What Is Vinovest and Is It for You?

Middle-aged handsome man chooses a bottle of wine.
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Vinovest is a no-hassle way to get involved in the world of fine wine investing. Like art, rare coins and other high-end collectibles, fine wine is a so-called alternative asset that has a low correlation with more common types of investable assets like stocks and bonds. This can make it an interesting diversification tool for an investor’s portfolio. Vinovest does a lot of the heavy lifting for rare wine investors in exchange for an annual fee, but how does it work, and is it right for you?

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How Does Vinovest Work?

Vinovest dubs itself an “investment sommelier.” In that capacity, the company selects and acquires wines for investors. Importantly, it also stores actual wine bottles for customers at its own secure facilities. This means that unlike intangible assets like stocks, you can actually access your wine at any time with Vinovest. The wine you own at Vinovest isn’t just a paper entry, you own the physical bottles and can take them out and enjoy them any time you choose. 

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What Does It Cost?

Vinovest offers three pricing tiers for its investment services: Standard, Premium and Grand Cru. The lowest “Standard” tier requires a $1,000 minimum balance and a 2.85% annual fee. The Premium tier has a $50,000 minimum balance and a 2.5% annual fee, while the top-tier Grand Cru requires a $250,000 minimum balance and a 2.25% annual fee. Services for the Standard tier include the following:

  • Algorithmically-selected portfolios
  • Guarantee for 100% authentic wines in excellent condition
  • Access to network of world-class wine storage facilities
  • Enrollment in carbon offset program
  • Full insurance for wines

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The Premium tier adds the following:

  • Dedicated portfolio advisor
  • Customized portfolio construction options
  • Access to wine futures
  • Access to rare, auction-only wines
  • Exclusive invites to Vinovest wine tastings and events

The Grand Cru includes these additional services:

  • Preferred access to the rarest, most exclusive wine releases
  • Personalized quarterly portfolio insight reports
  • Access to the Vinovest Advisory Council

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Is Vinovest for You?

Vinovest is clearly a specialty investment option, designed for those looking for an investment alternative to options like stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Although its primary appeal is likely for those who already have a wine collection or enjoy fine wine, the diversification aspects of Vinovest could likely help any portfolio. The relatively low minimum of $1,000 for the entry-level tier makes Vinovest open to nearly any type of investor. However, if you’re looking to build a long-term portfolio, your financial advisor will likely suggest that a $1,000 wine investment shouldn’t be your first step. For all practical purposes, Vinovest is likely more appropriate for an investor with an already-established portfolio looking to diversify, not a first-timer looking to make an initial investment.

The question each investor must answer for themselves is whether the investment returns and services provided by Vinovest outweigh the annual fees. Also, unlike with other types of intangible assets, there’s a real risk that Vinovest customers take physical possession of their investments and drink them away. If you don’t have the willpower to treat your Vinovest purchases as a real investment, then you’re risking losing the potential of your long-term returns. 

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Last updated: July 28, 2021

About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.

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