Sometimes a very good red wine doesn’t vanish in a glass but it changes into a real value for the collector’s world. As a matter of fact, auction houses like Sotheby’s or Christie’s have a particular sector devoted to the vintage wines.

Up to twenty years ago there were mostly French wines, now you can find many Italian ones.

If you attend an auction of wines you can lose your head, not because of the alcohol but because of skyrocketing costs of the units sold.

At auctions you can find the best red wine in the world or champagne, too. The most expensive bottle sold at Christie’s is a Jeroboam of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1945, 310.700 dollars. The buyer is anonymous. A Chateau Lafite 1787 with the initials of Thomas Jefferson, Th.J., was sold for 156.450 dollars. A Chateau Margaux 1787 was destroyed by a waiter. Insurance paid 225.000 dollars, the owner wanted 500.000.

Francis Ford Coppola paid 24.675 dollars for an Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon 1941 from Napa Valley.This is the most expensive American wine till now.

It has finished fermenting during Pearl Harbor, according to the filmmaker.

Among Italian wines you can find Tuscan and Piedmontese ones: just very good and rare red wines suitable to age. In Italy, Bolaffi is an auction house specialized in vintage wines.

The bottles have to be well preserved and guaranteed.

You can find some good Super Tuscans: Masseto, a fine red wine made in Bolgheri, a batch sold for more of 10.000 dollars; Ornellaia, the wine by Frescobaldi family, for more of 5.000. Among Piedmontese wines, Barolo Monfortino Riserva Giacomo Conterno (1955-2011) for 4500 and more.

Sotheby’s and Christie’s sells red Italian wines too. You can find batches of six or twelve bottles of high quality Barbaresco Gaja 1989 and Sassicaia 2000, the famous Super Tuscan. Bidding starts from 3000 dollars.

Some of the best collectors of wine in the world are American. Thomas Jefferson, the third president of United States, was a wine lover. He was a wine advisor for George Washington, too. Leslie Rudd, the owner of one of the best restaurants in Napa Valley, has probably more than 10.000 rare wines. An other example is the billionaire Bill Koch, that complains for buying many bad wines too. The English composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, author of some of the best musicals performed in Broadway, is a wine lover thanks to his uncle. Robert Rosania, a real estate agent in New York, is considered a big collector of champagne. Gene Mulvihill, owner of the restaurant Latour in New Jersey, has collected more than 135.000 bottles of wine in his life.

Not everybody can become a wine collector but anyone can learn how to know and appreciate good wine. What else, then? Just step into a winery tour  in Tuscany, one of the most important wine regions – an easy and most pleasant choice.