Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

fine wine is a nebulous term, used by the auction houses to describe the sort of wines they sell, which roughly coincide with those described in investment. For example, within Bordeaux, a wine would have to be of classed growth level or equivalent to qualify as ‘fine’.

The extent to which this category of wine coincides with the best wine the world produces has declined slowly but steadily since the 1970s. Buying from, selling to, and in many cases in direct competition with, the auction houses are the fine wine traders, a small group of wine merchants who specialize in servicing the needs of collectors and the like. See brokers for more details.