Investable wine index down in 2nd half of 2011, as in 2008

Here’s the 10-year chart, created from data provided by

Wine investing is a silly fad, since very few wines improve beyond a few years (this index does not track the same bottles – it’s components are continuosly updated). Most wines are undrinkable after 10-25 years, with exceptions like a few sweet wines such as Tokaji and Eisweins, in which the sugar acts as a preservative (5000 y/o Egyptian honey is still good). How is an amateur to know when to sell a wine before it expires, or even find a buyer for such an illiquid asset? I suspect that most new investors aren’t even aware that even very expensive wines can expire virtually worthless. A few sharpies in France and California may be making a lot of dough off newbies.