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Brett Dvoretz

July 6, 2015


Transferring Money to Buy Wine and Spirits from Overseas

Ahh wine. The nectar of the gods. Whether buying wine and spirits overseas for pure pleasure and indulgence purposes or as a means of investment, there a variety of issues that must be considered. The majority of international alcohol purchases are for fine wines and as such, we will keep that as the focus of this guide.


Investing or Drinking

The first decision that should be made before purchasing wine from overseas is if it will be for investment purposes or drinking. As you can imagine, it can be difficult to buy an exceptional bottle of wine and store it for years to resell without a creeping voice in the back of your head telling you to pop the cork and have a glass.

Investment wines are much harder to come by and available in much smaller groups that those suitable for drinking. Strangely enough, most investment wines will never be drunk, rather they will continue to be stored and resold for years to come.

There is a much broader range of choices and prices available when it comes to drinking wines purchased overseas. If you are buying international wines for drinking, it’s good to purchase a variety of grapes and years. After all, if you just wanted to drink the same wine you already know and love over and over again, you would just stick with the bottles you can buy at your local win shop. Expand your horizon by trying new wines. Who knows, you may just wind up with a new favorite.


Storing Fine Wines

For investment purposes, it is important to keep in mind that wine is almost never profitable as a short term flip. Don’t expect to buy a bottle of fine wine from overseas and turn around and sell it a month later. Because of this, it’s important to consider where and how the wine will be stored. Incorrectly storing a bottle of investment wine can reduce the value considerably or even make it unsellable. Investment wines must be kept in a bonded, temperature controlled environment. Be sure to include the cost of storage when factoring in its viability for investment.


Options for Fine Wine Investing

There are a number of ways to invest in fine wines from purchasing from actual bottles to investing in wine funds. Here are the three most common ways to invest in wine.

  1. Online wine trading – There are a number of platforms that allow individual to buy and sell fine wines for investment. CaveX and Wine Owners are two such sites worth checking out.
  2. Wine funds – If you are uncertain of your ability to correctly pick and store investment wines, consider investing in a wine fund. Companies like the Wine Investment Fund and the Elevation Wine Fund will help choose the wines for you and store them too.
  3. Wine merchants – Wine merchants sell bottles of wine directly to investors and charge a fee or percentage on the top. They will often offer recommendations as well, but one must be careful when taking their advice as most aren’t licensed financial advisors.


Wine Investing Tax Implications

As with any investment, tax implications must be considered. Depending upon the country you live and where the wine is stored, the tax implications can vary greatly. Check with your accountant and, if using a wine investment fund, the fund manager about the tax implications regarding investing in fine wines.


Purchasing International Wines

When purchasing investment or drinking wines from overseas, finding the right money transfer servicer is an opportunity to save on the total costs involved. Use our comparison tool or one of our preferred providers like US Forex to get the best rates and lowest fees on your international money transfer. Above all else, remember that wine investing is risky and you should seek professional advice before making your first purchase if you are just beginning your foray into fine wines.

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