in our free newsletter.

Thousands benefit from our email every week.

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

red wine and grapes. harvesting

Vinovest review 2023: Wine investing for uncorked potential

Kokosha Yuliya / Shutterstock

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

4.5

Wise Reviews™

Our rating - 4.5

Grow your wealth with Wine & Whiskey. Vinovest is open to non-accredited investors, has a low investing minimum of $1,000 and has comprehensive insurance and storage.

4.5

Wise Reviews™

As an experienced investor, I am always on the lookout for new and interesting investment opportunities. Recently, I came across Vinovest, an online platform that allows individuals to invest in fine wines

Intrigued by the idea of investing in an alternative asset class, I decided to try Vinovest myself, and see if great minds do drink alike. So far, my experience with the service has been positive, and I wanted to give fellow investors my honest take on the platform.

Investing in wine usually has a barrier to entry, but Vinovest offers a seamless and hassle-free way of building a diversified portfolio of vintage wines from around the world.

If you’re looking to diversify your portfolio by investing in wine without spending a fortune, Vinovest offers a compelling option.

The platform is an excellent choice for those who want to invest in alternative assets like wine but don't want to deal with the hassle of researching, purchasing, storing, and insuring it themselves.

Investors can get started in minutes, by creating an account on Vinovest's website and start investing with as little as $1,000. The platform offers a range of investment options, including a fully-managed portfolio or a self-managed portfolio. The investment team uses data-driven analysis and personal expertise to curate a portfolio of wines that they believe will deliver attractive returns to investors.

Vinovest also stores the wine in a secure facility and assists with selling when investors decide to liquidate. The platform charges an annual fee of 1.9% to 2.5% depending on the invested amount.

Pros

Pros

  • Open to non-accredited investors
  • Low investing minimum of $1,000
  • Numerous portfolio options and a wine marketplace
  • Investors are able to sell wine anytime they want
  • Comprehensive insurance and secure storage
Cons

Cons

  • Starting plan carries an annual management fee of 2.5%
  • Investors pay penalties for selling wine within the first three years
  • Fractional wine shares are not available
A screenshot of Vinovest as it would appear to a member as of March 2023.

How Vinovest works

Vinovest offers three portfolios that cater to different investing goals and risk tolerance:

  • Conservative: Optimized for the lowest volatility.
  • Moderate: Optimized to achieve the highest return with lowest volatility.
  • Aggressive: Optimized for highest annual returns.

Vinovest uses a combination of AI-powered algorithms and master sommeliers to create a portfolio of wines selected from multiple regions.

Once a deposit is made, it takes Vinovest about two to three weeks to purchase the wine below the retail price. Vinovest then authenticates, ships, and stores the wine at the closest bonded warehouse.

You cannot view a list of all available wines, but Vinovest's algorithm sorts through wines across numerous vintages, including prestigious wines. Following a sale, earnings are automatically reinvested in the portfolio, and Vinovest rebalances the portfolio automatically, similar to many robo-advisors.

Vinovest benefits

Low investing minimum

The base tier for Vinovest's portfolios requires a minimum investment of $1,000, which is relatively low compared to other alternative asset investing platforms. In contrast, many investment opportunities on platforms like Yieldstreet often call for $5,000 to $15,000.

While you can start with just $1,000, Vinovest's higher tiers have lower annual fees and let investors manually select wines to add to their portfolios.

Vinovest offers a marketplace for individual wine bottles

Vinovest's latest feature allows users to invest in individual bottles of wine without having to use a pre-built portfolio. The Vinovest marketplace has hundreds of bottles available, and each has more information about the vintage, historical price, bid and ask prices, and critic scores from sommeliers and wine reviewers. The 'Why We're Buying' section explains Vinovest's rationale for investing in the particular wine, along with the historical value.

Vinovest uncorks wine futures trading for premium investors

In addition to portfolio and marketplace trading, Vinovest also offers wine futures trading exclusively for its Premium and Grand Cru clients.

Wine futures trading allows investors to buy new vintages while they are still in the barrel, giving them the opportunity to invest in exclusive offerings early on. Vinovest curates these offerings and brings them to the platform from time to time.

Insurance and storage

Vinovest stores wine in secure storage facilities throughout France, the U.K., Denmark, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States. The facilities are bonded, which eliminates extra taxes and tariffs on the wine during storage.

Vinovest offers third-party insurance that covers damages due to mishandling and natural disasters. If such misfortune befalls your collection, Vinovest will refund you with the current full market value of the bottles.

Vinovest allows investors to own 100% of the wine in their portfolio. Ownership certificates are given to prove that the wine is truly theirs. Investors can even drink the wine in their portfolio if they want to, but they have to pay for shipping.

Since users have full ownership, they can retain their collection if Vinovest ever goes out of business. In such a scenario, the investor could contact the storage facility to arrange for continued storage, or pay for the whole collection to be shipped or sold at auction.

Referral discounts

By referring a friend to Vinovest, both parties can receive three months of free management when the friend funds their account.

A screenshot of the Vinovest referral program and its terms as of March 2023.

Q&A with Anthony Zhang, Vinovest CEO and co-founder

In an interview with Anthony Zhang, CEO and co-founder of Vinovest, he shared insights on the performance of wine in different interest rate environments and the success of Vinovest's users.

"Right now, we're in a higher interest rate environment. Last year, our average investor was able to (achieve a) return of about 6%," said Zhang. “Not only were we able to outperform the stock market, and other commodities like gold, we were also able to outpace the Fed rate.”

Watch our exclusive interview with Vinovest's CEO below.

Why wine is a resilient investment | Interview with Vinovest CEO Anthony Zhang

Who should choose Vinovest?

Vinovest offers a unique investment opportunity for non-accredited investors looking to diversify their investment portfolio with an alternative asset class.

The platform's AI-powered curation of wine portfolios, open marketplace for investing in individual wine collections, and ability to customize portfolios and trade wine futures make it a great option for those interested in investing in fine wines.

Where Vinovest could improve

Vinovest is an extremely user-friendly platform for wine investing, but potential investors should consider several drawbacks before investing.

  • Annual management fees for Vinovest portfolios range from 1.9% to 2.5%, in addition to trading and storage fees for wine purchased from the marketplace.
  • Vinovest is a long-term investment platform, and while you can sell wine anytime, it is not ideal for short-term investing. That’s because there are penalties for selling within three years of buying.
  • The Vinovest marketplace currently offers fewer than 100 types of wine, which may not be enough for investors who want to diversify their collection, especially if they're on the Starter or Plus plan.

Vinovest plans and pricing

Vinovest's Starter plan charges an annual management fee of 2.5%, which decreases to 1.9% per year for the Grand Cru plan. The plan that an investor qualifies for is determined by the amount of money they deposit.

Starter
Plus
Premium
Grand Cru
Minimum balance
$1,000
$10,000
$50,000
$250,000
Annual fee
2.5%
2.35%
2.15%
1.9%
Authenticated wines
Wine insurance
Access to rare wines
Portfolio customization
Exclusive invites to Vinovest events
Wine futures

As mentioned, you need to invest at least $50,000 if you want to customize your portfolio. But the Starter plan provides everything you need to add wine to your portfolio without having to worry about purchasing, storing, and insuring it yourself.

Fees

As for trading wine on the marketplace, Vinovest also charges several fees:

  • Buying: Pay a 2.5% fee that includes three months of storage.
  • Selling: Pay a 1% fee when you sell wine to another user on the marketplace.
  • Storage: Pay a 1.5% yearly storage fee that is billed monthly.
A screenshot of the Vinovest Marketplace as of March 2023.

Why should you invest in wine?

Wineries produce investment-grade products in small quantities, usually a few hundred bottles. That means there’s a scarcity of valuable products in circulation, and availability only goes down as people consume it.

Even better? This alternative investment is inflation-resistant.

According to Liv-ex’s report, The Fine Wine Market in 2022, wine continued to outperform equities and commodities during the year. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 lost 19.44% in 2022, its worst year since 2008.

Vinovest FAQ

  • What is Vinovest customer support like?

    +

    Many customers have praised Vinovest’s customer support and easy-to-use interface, giving the company a 3.8 star rating on Trustpilot.

    Vinovest has a customer support team that can be reached by emailing hello@vinovest.co or by calling 213-410-4546.

  • How do I open an account?

    +

    To sign up for Vinovest, you can use your email or Google account. Once you sign up, you can choose your preferred portfolio type, browse the wine marketplace and start funding your account.

    Vinovest makes it easy to add funds to your account. You can use a bank account transfer, cryptocurrency, debit or credit card, paper check or wire transfers. Vinovest works with BitPay to support crypto conversions, which lets you convert popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum into cash that you can use to invest in wine.

    Vinovest also supports multiple currencies such as U.S. dollars, British pounds, Euros, and Canadian dollars. However, any deposit requires a minimum of $1,000, not just when opening an account. Auto-deposits have a $500 minimum.

  • Is Vinovest a good investment?

    +

    Since wine becomes more valuable the older it is, an aspiring investor will see better returns if they are able to let their bottles sit for years. According to Vinovest’s website, most “investment-grade wine” will take 10 to 15 years to mature. Additionally, wine’s value also relies on rarity. As more time passes, a certain vintage may become more rare, adding to its value.

    Wine also offers more stability during the hold period, compared to assets such as stocks. The typical Vinovest investor holds their wine for five to 10 years. If you are able to wait years — or possibly more than a decade — then you may be able to maximize your returns.

    Vinovest works with a global network of wine buyers, so liquidity is high, and it usually takes two to three weeks to sell. However, you can list your wine for sale at any time on the Vinovest marketplace. The online platform allows users to bid on wine (including single bottles) in real-time, with Vinovest taking care of the authentication and insurance process. Vinovest will take a 1.5% cut of sales, but will not charge for listing your items for sale.

  • Can you make money on Vinovest?

    +

    If the time doesn’t deter you, wine’s low volatility can offer a stable investment and help to diversify your portfolio. From 2014 to 2021, wine saw an average annual return of just over 6%. Assets such as gold and Bitcoin had a higher combined return, but also faced more volatility.

  • Will my investment in wine be taxed?

    +

    The first tax you would normally have to worry about is value-added tax, alongside import duty charges. Since Vinovest stores wine in bonded warehouses, you are exempt from any of those charges.

    Next comes the issue of capital gains taxes, or taxes you pay on the profit you’ve made from sales. The rules concerning capital gains taxes can differ based on your location. In the U.S., you will be subject to capital gains taxes on every purchase.

    If you ever want to pass down your wines, keep in mind that there are no inheritance tax benefits. However, if you transfer your collection to someone else at least seven years before your death, the new owner can receive the same tax advantages you had. If you are unsure of the tax implications of your portfolio, it is best to contact a tax specialist.

  • What is Whiskeyvest?

    +

    Like Vinovest, Whiskeyvest allows you to invest in rare whiskeys. Offered by Vinovest, the program operates in a similar way, offering ownership, storage and insurance of premium whiskey.

Bottom line

Vinovest is a leading platform for investing in fine wines. It is beginner-friendly, with a low investment minimum of $1,000 and no accreditation requirements. The platform has a strong track record and offers a popular alternative asset class.

However, investors should note that investing with Vinovest is a long-term strategy since wine can take years to appreciate in value. Ultimately, investors may want to consider diversifying a portion of their portfolio with asset classes like wine. Vinovest is a great option for those who don't want to deal with the hassle of storing and insuring wine themselves.

Alternatives to Vinovest

Vint: Best for entry-level wine investing

Vint is a wine investing platform that allows you to purchase SEC-qualified shares of fine wine. Unlike Vinovest, which purchases bottles, Vint lets you buy shares, similar to fractional shares of stocks. You can start investing with Vint with only $25, and you don't pay annual fees.

However, Vint takes 0.5% to 20% of each offering it opens up to a pool of investors. Vint also offers entire wine collections ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, with share prices normally in the $25 to $50 range. While Vint does not provide managed portfolios like Vinovest, it is a good option if you want to invest a small amount of money.

Yieldstreet: Best for alternative assets

If you're interested in investing in alternative assets, Yieldstreet is a great choice. This platform lets investors buy artwork, wine, real estate and even consumer or business debt.

Non-accredited investors can start with Yieldstreet's main fund, which has a $2,500 minimum, and offers exposure to various asset classes.

Direct deals and other funds are open to accredited investors and typically require $5,000 to $15,000 minimum investments. Annual management fees vary by investment opportunity and can go up to 2.5% per year.

Masterworks: Best for art investing

Masterworks is a popular alternative investment platform that specializes in artwork. With over 400,000 investors, it is the most popular artwork investing platform.

Holding periods range from three to 10 years, but you can sell shares on a secondary marketplace if you want to exit earlier.

Masterworks charges 1.5% per year and 20% of future profits when artwork sells. You do not need to be an accredited investor to use Masterworks, and shares can start as low as $20 with no investment minimum.

Methodology

Product rankings are determined by the Moneywise editorial team and are based on factors and features that everyday users care about most. We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. The product featured in this article was independently selected, but please be aware that some products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

Moneywise rates products and services on a sale of 1 to 5 stars, where 5 stars is the best rating possible. Ratings are rounded up to the nearest 0.5 of a star. 

Our rating system is based on the factors that mean the most to the everyday user. These factors include:

  • Minimum investment
  • Investing and management fees
  • Portfolio options and asset types
  • Insurance and asset protection
  • Liquidity and fractional shares
  • Portfolio and asset types
  • Sign up process and platform user experience
  • Tools and educational materials
  • Tools and educational materials
  • Customer support
  • Security
  • Alternatives in market

We collect data by using the service, from the product website and watching demonstrations as required. The data is analyzed and the result is a star rating. Each factor is weighted depending on the category in which the product is being evaluated, in order to ensure it meets the needs of investors.

Our goal is to provide an independent review, and give you the information you need to make a decision on which product is right for you.

About our author

Kyle Trattner
Kyle Trattner, Chief Executive Officer

Kyle Trattner, our CEO, is a finance aficionado and a serial entrepreneur with a rich experience of over a decade in the digital publishing industry. A graduate of McMaster University (B.A.) and The University of Nottingham (LL.B.), Kyle's academic prowess is matched by his entrepreneurial spirit and leadership skills. Since the inception of Moneywise in 2017, he has been the guiding force behind its growth and success, combining his passion for finance with his knowledge of digital publishing. As a self-proclaimed "finance nerd," Kyle's vision is to empower individuals with financial literacy, making Moneywise a trusted partner in their financial journey.

Disclaimer

The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.

;