A lot of nine wine bottles fetched $152,500 last fall in the sale of a single-owner collection at Heritage Auctions.

Heritage Auctions

WHAT: When Dallas-based Heritage Auctions reported that rare and fine wine auctions there topped $14 million in 2017, it was big news for a lesser-known collecting category. Wines have always been collected by individuals, but the fairly recent move of major auction houses into dedicated sales of fine wines has propelled the market to new heights.

In fall 2017, Heritage sold two lots at $152,500 and $146,400, making them the highest selling wine lots of the year at auction.

SMART COLLECTORS KNOW: The collector of fine wines enjoys his/her passion for many of the same reasons that drive other committed collectors. This market is world-wide.

All buyers relate to the material, know its history, and keep alert on the current market. A major difference is that more wine buyers use the commodity as an investment. For example, the two top lots were from a 500-lot single seller sale, as the head of Merrill Lynch divested his wine holdings.

HOT TIP: Like most high-end collectors, wine enthusiasts do not handle their trophies. Here, pleasure comes from hunting, acquiring and displaying/storing finds. Recognition as a connoisseur and discerning buyer is a plus.

On that point, when was the last time you saw a trophy home, perhaps online or touted in an elite magazine or the luxury press, that did not feature a dramatic wine facility? In-home wine storage is the new status fancy.

Reach Danielle Arnet via email at smartcollector@comcast.net