Frequently Asked Questions
This section answers many frequently asked questions and is a must read for first time wine investors. We review the questions regularly so do let us know if you can't find the answer to your question here.
I want to invest in wine but don't know where to start. What should I do?
Our team of experienced wine specialists are here to help and we pride ourselves on being easy to approach. Whether you are new to wine and want to start a small investment, would like to buy wine to drink, or are more experienced and require specific wines, we’ll guide you through the process and answer any questions that you have.
What does In Bond mean?
When a wine is stored In Bond, the duty and VAT have not yet been paid. In Bond wine must be stored in bonded warehouses approved by HM Customs & Excise. This is ideal for investment wines as they will also be stored professionally, ensuring the condition and value of the wine remain at a premium. Once out of bond, the wine cannot be returned In Bond. See storage and insurance for more details.
Who is Robert Parker?
Robert Parker is a wine critic who has influenced serious wine purchasers since the 1980s, after introducing his own way of evaluating the wines he tasted through a 100 point system. The wine regions that he covers are the Rhone Valley, Provence, Bordeaux and California. His publication ‘The Wine Advocate' also includes reviews of other regions, by the following critics:
Antonio Galloni: Italy
Neal Martin: all regions
Jay Miller: Oregon, Washington, Spain, Australia, South America and Vintage Ports.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW: Asia-Pacific
David Schildknecht: Germany, Austria, Eastern Europe, America's Eastern & Midwestern wineries, Alsace, Burgundy, the Loire Valley, Languedoc-Roussillon, Champagne, New Zealand and South Africa.
Mark Squires: Israel, Greece, Lebanon, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania.
Find out more about Robert Parker’s scoring system: http://www.erobertparker.com/members/info/legend.asp
What is En Primeur?
This is a method of purchasing wine before it has been finished or bottled. Each year following the harvest, the chateaux of Bordeaux release their new vintage ‘in barrel', which is referred to as En Primeur or ‘Futures’. When purchasing En Primeur, the price quoted does not include Duty or VAT.
Bordeaux is the most famous wine region to sell many of its wines En Primuer, but it is by no means the only one. Burgundy and the Rhone Valley are two other examples and some New World wineries are also following suit. Port is also frequently offered in the same way.
What happens after I've purchased En Primeur wine?
Purchases of En Primeur are generally made one to two years before bottling (the exact time depends on the region). Once the wine enters the UK it may be stored In Bond or, after payment of taxes, it is ready for delivery.
Why purchase wine En Primeur? What are the benefits?
Buying en primeur offers the best assurance of provenance, as the purchaser can be confident of a wine's storage history from day one. Purchasing the wine at this early stage opens up an investment opportunity, allowing you to buy the wine at the beginning of its life before the value of the wine rises. It is also often possible to request non standard bottle sizes, for example Halves, Magnums or larger formats. Often, people simply buy En Primeur to secure an allocation of a wine they love to purchase and drink each vintage.
Do I need to know a lot about wine before I purchase En Primeur?
During the En Primeur season our team heads to Bordeaux to sample the wines and produce our yearly tasting report. We obtain our knowledge first hand so our clients can rely on our evaluation of each wine in the vintage. BWI are leading specialists in buying, selling, broking and investing in fine wine. Offering the right advice and sourcing the right wine at the right time is especially important when it comes to En Primeur. You do not need to be an expert and can call one of our sales advisors any time of the year to discuss En Primeur.
Where do you store the wines?
We store at EHD, a well established bonded warehouse. See storage and insurance for more details.
Is the wine insured?
Wine stored by BWI is covered by London City Bond's and EHD’s insurance policies, and is insured to full replacement value.
I purchased my wine inclusive of Duty and VAT, how long will it take to be delivered?
This depends on the wine you purchased and where it is travelling from. If the wine is In Bond in the UK, it can be delivered within 48 hours but if it needs to be shipped from overseas, it can take considerably longer. Please discuss this with your BWI representative at point of order. Delivery charges, days available and notice required can depend on your delivery postcode.
Why are some items listed as Duty Paid only?
We have listed some items that have already been through the customs process - once the wine is out of bond it cannot return to In Bond. Alternatively the wine may be intended for immediate drinking.
I bought my wine In Bond last year. I am now ready to receive the wine. How should I do this?
Please notify the BWI logistics team, and they will create a sundry invoice for the duty and VAT and delivery on your wine. Once this has been paid your delivery will then be processed.
When can I contact BWI?
BWI is open Monday to Friday from 9.00 - 17.30 GMT. Our telephone number is +44 (0)1732 779 343. If you call outside these times, you can leave a message and we'll call you back. Alternatively please email us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.