Fine wine was second only to oil as an investment this year as the value of top Bordeaux increased by more than 90%.
The Liv-ex 100 index gained 39% between January and December, beating the FTSE 100, which rose 3.4%. The value of gold has gone up 23% since the start of the year.
The S&P 500 gained 4.4% and the Nikkei fell by 9%. The only investment better than wine was oil: barrels increased this year by 47%.
Some wines nearly doubled their value. Cases of Lafite-Rothschild 2000 went from an average of £4,775 last year to £9,100 last month, a 91% increase.
The 2003 and 1982 vintages rose by more than 76%. Lafite 1986, 1996 and 1998 were also in the list of the top 10 wines by performance.
Other top performers included Montrose 2003, which went up 64%, selling for £1,540 a case this month. Margaux 2003 also did particularly well, going from £3,325 per case in December last year to £5,225 this year.
Liv-ex director James Miles said that rising demand from Russia and China was fuelling the market. ‘A good vintage is a very important part of a rich man’s portfolio. And the number of rich people is increasing at the same time as some of the biggest vineyards cut production, pushing prices up.’
Miles noted that the 2005 vintage, which sells for record sums, would be ‘the biggest theme’ of 2008.
Not everyone, however, is as optimistic. Commentator Tom Stevenson in the Daily Telegraph quoted Miles suggesting ‘growing demand and stable supply will underpin fine wine prices’.
But he warned, ‘Which, of course, is exactly what they said about classic cars and impressionist paintings 20 years ago – just before prices slumped.’
Written by Adam Lechmere