Fine wine is on its way to winning greater respectability as an investible asset, it would seem, now that the French stock exchange is considering launching futures contracts on the beverage.
But potential investors should not rush off to the liquor store to stock up on any old Chardonnay.
Au contraire. ParisBourse SA expects to initially launch futures only on top growths from the Bordeaux region in France.
In the next few months, a panel of wine and financial traders will investigate whether there is sufficient demand in their respective industries for a futures market in fine wines.
And if there is, the first contract likely will be a future based on a 12-bottle case of Bordeaux wine for delivery in 32 months, said a ParisBourse spokeswoman.
Contracts on foreign wines might be considered in the future, she added.
A number of key participants in the Bordeaux market such as top chateaux and shippers have expressed interest in the contracts. No market makers have yet been appointed.
Wine futures would, no doubt, provide institutional investors with some all-important diversification in their asset bases.
But it is as yet unclear whether Bordeaux futures will feature strongly in asset allocation recommendations.