Wine is exceedingly popular in the United States. That is not exactly a controversial statement, but did you know exactly how popular? Americans recently surpassed the French as the largest annual global wine drinkers by volume — with 33 million hectoliters of wine consumed in the U.S. compared to almost 25 million in France. That is a lot of wine.
Obviously, Americans love to enjoy drinking wine and will continue sipping it at weddings, tastings, parties, dinners or just when enjoying a glass on a quiet night at home.
As a member of the Dallas Sommelier Society and a Level II sommelier through the International Masters Guild of Sommeliers, I am often asked by friends, family and clients for tips about wine. And here is one of the more interesting pieces of guidance I can provide about wine prices at restaurants — the amount a customer pays for a glass of wine is often the cost for the entire bottle to the establishment. Why? Well, consider this: after opening a bottle to serve one glass, suppose no one else orders that wine again, the spirit goes bad, and the bottle must be poured out. In this worst case, the restaurant still would not lose any money on the bottle. When you think about that, their pricing makes sense, but it’s certainly not advantageous for us customers. That is why I personally prefer to dine at BYOB restaurants.
Here’s another fun tip for how to know if you are drinking quality wine. If you can still taste the wine on your tongue:
• Less than 15 seconds later = Cheaply made wine
• 15 to 45 seconds = improving quality
• 1 minute or more = decent quality
• 5 minutes+ = a high-quality, well-made wine
Questions about collections and estate planning
Another consideration concerns an issue that can be more costly than just the price of one bottle for a restaurant. Obviously, many people take their wine collecting quite seriously, and as such, can amass a variety of bottles that are often quite valuable. Following best practices, what should they be doing to protect that value?
To help, here are four tips to better protect and preserve the value of a private wine collection:
1| Appraisal: Start by getting a professional appraisal of your wine collection. This will help determine the collection’s value, which is essential for estate planning and calculating any potential tax implications.
2| Insurance and Storage: Ensure that your wine collection is adequately insured and stored in optimal conditions to maintain its value. High-value collections may require specialized wine storage facilities or climate-controlled cellars.
3| Estate Planning: Consult with a wealth management advisor who specializes in wealth transfer to discuss your specific goals and circumstances. They can help you develop a strategy to transfer your wine collection efficiently and minimize tax implications.
4| Regular Review: As your financial situation and personal preferences may change over time, it is important to review your estate plan and the treatment of your wine collection periodically. This allows you to make any necessary adjustments and ensure your plan aligns with your current objectives.
Think of these tips as just opening a bottle of wine. There is much more to know, as this advice just scratches the surface. By seeking expert guidance, collectors can ensure that their wine collections are passed down seamlessly, preserving their legacy and enriching the lives of future generations.
A shared love for wine
In short, the transfer of wine collections to the next generation carries immense significance. Beyond financial value, it can symbolize a mutual love for wine and cherished memories with family. Indeed, the transfer of a wine collection can be a testament to the joy that wine brings to our lives — and we can all raise a glass to that.
If you have questions about how to address specialty collections in your estate planning, Heritage’s wealth management services team is here to assist you. Give us a call at 877-887-8899 to learn more.
Michael Lanese joined the Argent team in 2022 as a senior portfolio manager and is responsible for managing personal and institutional portfolios. Lanese received his Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from Texas Christian University (TCU) and his MBA from Southern Methodist University (SMU).
In addition, he holds his Series 7 (securities representative), 63 (state law license), 24 (principal) and 57 (securities trader) licenses with Private Client Services (PCS). Lanese is a member of the Dallas Sommelier Society, has passed the WSET III certification and is a Level II sommelier through the International Masters Guild of Sommeliers