Monday, May 12, 2008

Who Collects Wine?

I am a collector by nature. Books, magazines, DVDs, and wine. Though I am an amateur collector when it comes to wines. I only have around 250 wines and very few of them are worth more than $100. I generally buy wines I intend to drink. I don't buy wine as an investment or simply to show off the rarities I possess. But my wife is not a collector. I guess our house would not be big enough if she was a collector as well.

It was the May 2008 issue of Decanter that got me thinking in this vein. I read an article, "Collecting: It's A Man's World" by Rosi Hanson. The basic premise is that men are the wine collectors in the world and that few women take on that role. The article begins: "Men collect, women appreciate--discuss."

Though there are exceptions, it seems that wine collecting is primarily a male hobby. There is even a psychologist quoted who states that collecting in general is a male thing. There are then quotes from several other people, all giving support to Rosi's premise.

Though women may not be collecting wine, they are definitely spending more time learning about wine. And such learning may be more important to them than the idea of collecting wine. Though I am sure that in time, more women will start collecting wine.

So, are you a collector? If so, why are you one? If not, why not? Do you know any female wine collectors?


Taster B said...

I think I also read a similar article that said men collect wine more than women. I don't remember seeing any actual statistics which would be irrefutable. While I find psychological gender profiling largely irrelevant, I guess there might be a tendency to collecting 'trophies' whether they be medals, horses, wines, etc that may be more marked in the male of the species. However, I've known a few female collectors of 'things' (not wine). Perhaps, any disparity between the sexes in this activity is simply due to the fact that historically the wine collecting world has been more or less closed to women. Women probably just need time to catch up.

Anonymous said...

Not only do women not collect wine but they don't buy as much fine wine as men. 95% of our customers are men and we are at the moment discussing how we can attract more women to buy. Many of our regular customers (all men)often quote their wifes when giving feedback on the wine, so i KNOW the girls are enjoying the mens collections but they wouldn't purchase one themselves...Why i honestly do not know.
BTW - Nice blog!

Leigh said...

I've been drinking wine for years, but do not collect it. I think perhaps the combination of a lack of expert knowledge and cost of collecting are the main reasons. I collect books, even some first editions, but the financial layout is pretty low. I do hope to begin putting together a modest wine collection after my daughter graduates from college next year.

Thanks for the visit and link - I appreciate the encouragement.

Richard Auffrey said...

Taster B: I would agree that a significant factor is problem the historical aspect. As time goes by, I believe we will see more and more women get into wine collecting.

Anna: Interestingly, most studies show women buy more wine than men, though they rarely differentiate between fine wine and every day wines. It certainly would not surprise me that more men buy fine wines than women.

Leigh: Cost is surely a significant factor. At the last wine auction I attended, so many of the lost sold for over $1000, which is certainly not within my pocket range. And it is probably not within the range of many of us. Maybe the more women who make a significant income will begin to lead to more women wine collectors.