Vinovest Review (2022): Is Vinovest Safe and Legit?

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

the millennial money woman blog post "Vinovest Review"

Vinovest (pronounced veeno-vest) is a new platform that gives investors the chance to invest in fine wine, worth up to $100,000’s.

With Vinovest, you’ll have the option to:

  • Invest in fine wine
  • Diversify your portfolio
  • Earn profits from 10% to 13%+
  • Protect yourself against inflation
  • Protect yourself against stock market volatility

Typically, the world of fine wine investing is exclusively reserved for the ultra-wealthy.

Thanks to Vinovest, fine wine investing is available to everyone, not just the top 1%.

But, is it safe and legit?

Let’s take a deep dive into my Vinovest review and find out if Vinovest is the best fine wine investing platform for you.

Overall Rating:
4.2/5
Fees
Projected profits
Liquidity
Pros Cons

Low volatility

Open to all investors

Hedge against inflation

Unregulated industry

Long term investment

Fees are relatively high

What is Vinovest?


Vinovest is a fine wine investing platform for investors 21 and older and is the world’s first fine wine robo advisor. Vinovest composes a customized wine portfolio based on your risk tolerance.

Pros and Cons of Vinovest


Before we jump into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a big-picture look at the Vinovest pros and cons:

Pros Cons

You can invest with as little as $1,000

Fees are relatively high

Returns on fine wine have out-performed the stock market returns

You typically need to stay invested for up to 20+ years to earn a high profit

Fine wine is insured and stored in secure facilities

Fine wine investing world is unregulated

It’s free to sign-up and open an account

Minimal information on wines is offered to investors

You can have your bottle of wine shipped to your home

Fine wines are mainly stored in Europe, so shipping fees, tariffs, taxes, etc. can be very high

You can manage your wine portfolio via phone apps (IOS + Android available)        

Unless you invest $50,000+ you will not be able to select your own fine wine

One reason why Vinovest could be an attractive investment platform is that it offers the average investor the opportunity to diversify their portfolio through fine wine.

Fine wine is a proven hedge (aka protection) against rising inflation and stock market volatility.

As an example, below is a graph illustrating the consistent outperformance of wine versus the S&P 500 (which I love to invest in) over the past 30 years:

Wine Vs SP500

The fine wine performance (pink) continues increasing – which means more money in your pocket.

The stock market (brown) is very volatile and just never seems to outperform fine wine – which means less money in your pocket.

Let’s zoom in a little further:

Wine Vs SP500 Zoomed In

Here’s the gigantic difference in performance between fine wine and the S&P 500:

  • Fine wine returns: 2,020%
  • S&P 500 returns: 490%

So, if you’re already invested in the stock market, then you may want to branch out and consider other investment options to diversify your portfolio.

It’s a pretty simple process to start investing with Vinovest.

Vinovest - How it Works

Here’s really what you need to do:

  • Create your Vinovest account
  • Complete a risk tolerance questionnaire
  • Add funds to your account and start investing

Below are some additional key features for Vinovest that you should know about before reading further:

Vinovest Overview

Interface

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Usability

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Liquidity

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Customer Service

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Investment Options

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Projected Profits

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Fees

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Fees scored very low on the rating scale because they can be:

  • Expensive
  • A little confusing to new investors

Vinovest, being a fine wine investment platform, also works best if you’re invested for the long term (we’re talking several years – if not 10+ years) to get the biggest bang for your buck. 

So, if you sell your fine wine within a year (for example) and you’ve had minimal to no appreciation, then fees or potential transaction costs could eat into your profit – and you might come out with a loss after you’ve sold.

fiona smith the millennial money woman

The Bottom Line:

I think my Vinovest portfolio advisor said it the best: Wine is an emotional investment. Vinovest just helps you reach your goals.

Vinovest Features


One thing I love about Vinovest is that it comes with a lot of user-friendly features, especially for first-time wine investors like me.

Here’s a breakdown of the Vinovest features:

Vinovest Features

Minimum Needed to Open Account

$0

Minimum Needed to Start Investing

$1,000

Tiers & Fees

Starter – 2.85% annual fee

Plus – 2.70% annual fee

Premium – 2.50% annual fee

Grand Cru – 2.25% annual fee

Additional Potential Fees

- Taxes & tariffs

- Bank wire fees

- Credit card fees

- Cryptocurrency fees

- Shipping fees (if you want your wine to be sent to you)

- Early liquidation penalty fee (if you sell your wine within 60 days)

Can you sell your wine at any time?

Yes – if you sell your wine within 60 days of funding your account, you will have to pay a 3% early liquidation penalty fee

Holding Period

Minimum of 2 to 20+ years

Investment Options

- Conservative Portfolio

- Balanced Portfolio

- Aggressive Portfolio

Investment Returns

12.4% to 100+%

Year Founded

2019

Assets Under Management

$50 million – private clients

$125 million – with institutional clients

Current Users (as of August 2021)

5,000 individual clients + corporations

Do you own your wine?

Yes – you are the owner of a physical bottle of wine

Availability

- Desktop

- IOS

- Android

Is your fine wine insured?

Yes – Vinovest stores and insures fine wine in a secure, climate-controlled facility

Customer Service

- By Phone

- By Email

- Customer Support Portal

- Dedicated Portfolio advisor (Higher Tier Members)

Country Availability

Any country

Investor Age Restrictions

Legal drinking age in your country of residence

While virtually anyone can become a wine investor with Vinovest, the company still approaches fine wine investing with an air of exclusivity, since you technically need $1,000 to join the fine wine investing world.

It is always nice to “belong” to an exclusive community.

In fact, while I was speaking to my Vinovest portfolio manager, she mentioned that Vinovest was just offering an exclusive champagne tasting event with one of the most renowned “Somms” (aka Master Sommeliers or wine professionals) of the world.

Although COVID has put a temporary stop on the exclusive Vinovest events, it sounds like these invite-only events are slowly starting to resume.

Vinovest Returns


You can earn some serious money if you invest (and hold) your fine wine through Vinovest.

In fact, did you know that fine wine has outperformed the stock market over the past 25+ years? 

Fine Wine Versus US Stocks

Even when the Great Recession of 2008 hit and stock prices plummeted by more than 50%, wine prices remained relatively steady.

To provide a further comparison, over the past roughly 40 years, fine wine investing has offered the following returns compared to the S&P 500:

S&P 500 Returns Fine Wine Returns

10.9%

11.60%

And to put things in an even better perspective, fine wines have seen average annual returns of 13.6% over the past 15 years.

Average annual Vinovest wine returns over the past 15 years

While fine wine might be more of an illiquid investment than stocks, I should note that fine wine is far less volatile than the stock market, so for those of you who like stability, fine wine may be a good fit.

Take a look at some additional fine wine return numbers, below.

Fine Wine Triple Digit Returns

These triple-digit returns are typically only seen with cryptocurrency – and not so much in the stock market.

One of the highest returning wines in 2021 was the sparkling Champagne Rose wine, reaching a pinnacle of 207% return on investment.

Vinovest Best Performing Wine Q1

Below is another example of the performance of Vinovest’s wines:

Vinovest 2020 Performance

While these fine wine returns are extremely appealing, just keep in mind that past performance does not indicate future results.

As with any financial commitment, make sure you do your proper research.

Vinovest Fees and Pricing


Let me be upfront about the Vinovest fees and pricing:

The fees are a bit high compared to the fees you might expect when investing in low-cost index funds in the stock market (around 0.05%).

Basically, Vinovest fees operate very similarly to how a fancy investment company operates:

They charge an annual fee based on your assets under management.

In other words, the more money you deposit with Vinovest, the lower your fee will be (keep in mind that your minimum investment through Vinovest is $1,000).

Here’s a breakdown of Vinovest’s fees:

Vinovest Fees & Pricing

Minimum Investment

$1,000

Annual Management Fee

2.85% (investments between $1,000 and $9,999)

2.70% (investments between $10,000 and $49,999)

2.50% (investments between $50,000 to $249,999)

2.25% (investments between $250,0000+)

Annual Management Fee is Used For

- Insurance

- Storage fees

- Transportation fees

- Administrative costs

- Regulatory (SEC) filings

- Fine wine seller network

- Fine wine buyer network

Penalty fee if you sell your wine within 60 days of your initial deposit

3% 

Penalty fee upon sale of wine after 60 days of initial deposit

$0

Additional Payment Fees

Credit Card – 2.9%

International Credit Card – 3.9%

Cryptocurrency - 1%

Blockchain Fee – varies

Wire – varies

While the Vinovest fees are considerably higher than your regular low-cost index fund, compared to what you would have to pay to invest, store, insure, and hold a fine wine bottle on your own, the Vinovest fees are actually pretty low.

Below are the Vinovest products that you can choose from.

Vinovest Products

As with all of my investments, I would typically go for the lowest investment minimum first and then see how things go from there.

You can actually invest in one alternative investment (fine wine) with another alternative investment (cryptocurrency)!

Vinovest BitPay

I thought that was a pretty neat concept and thought I should share this with you.

Just keep in mind that if you do decide to pay using BitPay, then you’ll have to pay some extra fees, including:

  • A cryptocurrency charge (1%)
  • A blockchain fee (varies, depending on your blockchain)

Remember to invest only as much as you are willing to lose.

Vinovest Usability & Interface


If I could, I would rate the Vinovest investor dashboard an 11 out of 10.

It’s extremely user-friendly, intuitive, and it does a great job of displaying the information in a neat and organized fashion. 

Vinovest Interface

Here’s a very zoomed-out version of the investor overview (aka home page), after you’ve signed up to Vinovest.

As you can see, the Vinovest home page is very easy-to-follow, and the data points are organized neatly as well.

Here’s what I love (and appreciate) about Vinovest:

  • Anyone can invest
  • Easy to link your bank account
  • The website platform is easy to use
  • Understandable risk tolerance questionnaire (RTQ)

The Vinovest platform itself is a simple design with an interface that’s fairly intuitive and that can help you track your fine wine portfolio.

Vinovest Custody and Insurance

Vinovest Storage & Insurance


Vinovest doesn’t take chances with your fine wine.

In fact, Vinovest stores your physical bottles of fine wine in an insured, secure, and climate-controlled facility – which you can actually visit.

When I talked to my Vinovest customer service representative, she mentioned that Vinovest’s goal is to store the wine as close to where it’s purchased as possible.

Some top-of-the-line fine wine storage locations include:

  • Berlin
  • Beijing
  • London
  • California (coming soon)
Vinovest Sustainability

While you can elect to have your fine wines shipped to your place, you might be hit with several:

  • Taxes
  • Tariffs
  • Additional shipping fees

Seeing that most of Vinovest’s customers live in the United States, if you request your bottles of fine wine to be shipped to your home, then you might be hit with several additional shipping costs.

If you just want to see your fine wine bottles, then there’s another way…

So while you don’t actually keep the physical bottle of wine, you can – at any time – request for Vinovest to either send you a picture of the bottle or even send you the bottle itself.

Vinovest Customer Service Review

I’m drawing from my own experience after speaking with a Vinovest personal representative.

I have nothing but positive comments about my experience in speaking with a Vinovest customer service representative.

Not only was she extremely responsive and knowledgeable, but she also did not push me into buying Vinovest products.

Instead, I felt like she actually took the time to listen to my questions and concerns.

I always like reading about the customer service of a company – because I feel like a company’s customer service can either make or break the relationship with investors like you and me.

There are 5 ways you can have your questions for Vinovest answered:

Vinovest Contact Methods

Email

hello@vinovest.co

Phone

213-410-4546

Website

Customer Support Portal

Social Media

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

Portfolio Advisor

Premium & Grand Cru Members Only

Just keep in mind that Vinovest is located in the PST time zone, so depending on where you live, don’t expect an immediate response due to the time difference.

Even if you’re in the Starter Package, you can connect with a point person, which could be a Portfolio Manager (just not as often as if you were enrolled in other, higher-priced packages).

Even if you’re not a Premium or Grand Cru member, then you have the customer service team, which you can contact by any of the methods I mentioned earlier – plus you have your own AI Algorithm to help optimize your investment portfolio.

From my experience, just as you open your Vinovest account, you’ll be contacted by a customer service representative via text message:

Vinovest Text Message 1

While I still don’t know whether the text messages were auto-generated (seeing that this happened on a Sunday evening) or if it was a real human at the other end, I was able to set up a call with a Vinovest rep within 2 hours of receiving this text message.

Vinovest Text Message 2

The response rate times were very swift too.

I’m a big fan of fast responders, so I’d say this was a big positive in my customer service experience with Vinovest.

Vinovest is recently accredited with the BBB (as of August 21, 2020) and currently (late 2021) has a rating of A- with the BBB (which is pretty good!).

Vinovest BBB

Because Vinovest is so new, there is not much information to review – at least not on the BBB, so just keep your eyes and ears open for reviews, complaints, etc. on the BBB.

We have more luck with TrustPilot, which actually has a pretty good Vinovest review, which you can see below:

Vinovest Trustpilot Reviews

Out of 68 total reviews, to have 85% of people rate Vinovest at “Good” or “Excellent” is a very positive indicator – and I find TrustPilot to be accurate.

While Vinovest does appear to have a pretty good overall rating with its customers, I still think it’s important to periodically read the reviews – both good and bad – to make sure you know what an experience with Vinovest could look like for you in the future.

Other common complaints include:

  • Customer service not responding
  • Wine annual returns are below average
  • Being charged service fees, bank fees, etc.
  • Money transfers not appearing in one’s bank account

Chances are, these complaints are one-offs since there were only 8 one-star complaints (out of 68 total reviews) over the past roughly 12 months.

Take these reviews with a grain of salt.

What Does Vinovest Offer?


Vinovest has become a very popular name in the fine wine world.

Why does this matter to you?

When it comes to buying and selling fine wines, you have exclusive access to Vinovest’s network – which means 2 things:

  • You can buy fine wine for less 
  • You can sell fine wine for more profit

That’s because Vinovest gives you the chance to leverage its global network.

Vinovest Sourcing

Vinovest utilizes its expert fine wine advisory team (read more below, about the Master Sommeliers on the Vinovest team) to hand-select the vintage wines that have a high chance of appreciating.

If you decided to invest in wine yourself, then you’d have to choose from more than 565,000 different vintage wines… talk about an information overload!

The number of different vintage wines

Source: Liv-ex

Vinovest saves you time, energy, and ultimately money by using its fine wine experts to help you determine which fine wine could best match your risk preference.

One of the databases Vinovest draws from is its Vinovest 100 Index, as illustrated below.

Vinovest 100 Index

The Vinovest 100 Index has tracked the fine wine market since 1983.

For almost 4 decades, the fine wine market has returned positive numbers, except for 2 years: 1997 and 1998 (mainly due to poor harvesting returns).

The Vinovest 100 Index tracks fine wines from some of the following locations:

  • Spain
  • Tuscany
  • Bordeaux
  • California
  • Burgundy
  • Champagne

If you’re looking for consistent, high-yielding investment returns, then fine wine might be your calling.

With Vinovest, you’ll be given 4 investment options:

  1. The Starter 
  2. The Plus
  3. The Premium
  4. The Grand Cru

Take a look at the packages, below.

Vinovest Packages

While the most popular package is the Plus, I would probably suggest beginning your fine wine investment journey with the Starter package, just so you can learn the ropes and see if fine wine investing is even something you’re interested in.

While you do receive access to a point person even if you’re in the Starter Package, your communication will likely be limited and you won’t have the chance to customize your investments as much as if you invested more.

While it’s doubtful, at least based on the Vinovest 100 Index, that you’ll lose significant amounts of money from your fine wine investment, you should always do your research before financially committing.

Additional buyer types of Vinovest include:

  • Large restaurants
  • Corporate investors
  • International hotel groups
  • Large scale wine importers

After the Vinovest team analyzes the fine wine bottles, their history, and their price appreciation potential, the team purchases a select number of fine wine bottles to be held at the Vinovest secure facility.

Once a customized fine wine investment portfolio is developed for you, Vinovest then assigns you bottles of their fine wine repertoire.

Vinovest 533 Return

How Does Vinovest Select Your Wine?


One of the main reasons investors use Vinovest is because Vinovest does all the work for you – analyzing, storing, insuring, transporting, networking with sellers, etc.

First, you answer the risk tolerance questionnaire (which takes a few seconds).

Next, you transfer your funds to your Vinovest account.

Lastly, Vinovest selects the best wines (sometimes wine cases) for your investment portfolio.

Vinovest Sample Portfolio

Because Vinovest has relationships with some of the greatest vineyards in the world, it can buy wine cases in bulk directly from these vineyards so that you can purchase wine for a lower market price.

All you do is invest your money and wait for a paycheck in the mail that’s hopefully bigger than the amount you invested in.

Below is an outline of how Vinovest actually works:

How Vinovest Works

1. Analyze

Assess the qualities of each fine wine

2. Risk Tolerance Questionnaire

You answer the RTQ

3. Source

Vinovest sources wines directly from global wineries, wine exchanges, and other merchants

4. Invest

Based on your risk level, you are provided with a customized fine wine investment portfolio

5. Buy

You buy the physical wine

6. Storage

Fine wines are safely stored and insured at a secure location

7. Holding Period

Average holding period lasts between 2 to 20+ years

8. Sale

You can sell the fine wine at any time

As you can see, there are many steps involved with owning fine wine, and Vinovest really does the grunt work for you.

Otherwise, if you invest less than $50,000, you will not have a say over which bottles of fine wine you can invest in.

The bottles of fine wine will be assigned to you, based on your risk tolerance questionnaire answers.

Here’s what separates Vinovest from the rest:

Vinovest employs Master Sommeliers (or “Master Soms” as my portfolio advisor referred to them).

The very first Master Sommelier title was bestowed in the UK in 1969, and now there are 269 Master Sommeliers in the world, 172 of which belong to the Americas chapter.

Some considerations that are used in a Sommelier’s assessment of fine wine include:

  • Intensity of flavor
  • Length on the palate
  • Complexity of flavors 
  • Concentration of flavor
  • Harmony between aromatics and the palate

What’s so important about the Sommeliers?

Vinovest employs 2 Master Sommeliers and one Advanced Sommelier (which is a level below the Master Sommelier title). 

These Sommeliers make up the Vinovest Advisory Council.

Vinovest Council

This is the very council that reviews the fine wines that are selected for your portfolio.

In other words, you don’t have to do hours and hours of research, comparison, and analysis on your own to select a wine that you think might do well in the future.

You can count on this highly specialized and expert team of Sommeliers on the Vinovest Advisory Council to help you achieve the high returns that you are looking for with your fine wine investments.

Nevertheless, whenever you do sell your Vinovest investments, your expected profit could be pretty high (this typically depends on the amount of time you stay invested).

Vinovest: The Risk Tolerance Questionnaire [aka RTQ]


In order to successfully start your fine wine investing account with Vinovest, you do need to complete a risk tolerance questionnaire.

Here’s what the risk tolerance questionnaire is really for:

  • KYC
  • Suitability
  • First transaction

…And here’s what all of this means in plain English:

Vinovest Jargon Definition

KYC

“Know Your Client” – discussion of your financial profile

Suitability

Match Vinovest’s minimum required investment to your investment profile

First Transaction

Helps you better understand which fine wine would be the best match, given your responses to the RTQ

Here’s a look at the risk tolerance questionnaire:

Vinovest Risk Tolerance Questionnaire

…That’s it.

Honestly, I was expecting to answer a much more complex risk tolerance questionnaire.

Why?

Since I’m from the corporate finance world of investment management, I’m used to giving clients RTQs that are typically at least 10+ questions long.

Plus, the questions on the risk tolerance questionnaires that I used were very in-depth, specific questions about your investing style and preference.

For example, if I’m in a conservative portfolio and I just don’t like the wines offered in this portfolio, I could contact my portfolio advisor (yes, even if I’m in the Starter Package), and whenever I invest my next $1,000 (or more), I would invest in a different portfolio (like an aggressive portfolio).

fiona smith the millennial money woman

The Bottom Line:

While I think it’s great that Vinovest asks about your investing timeline and the amount of money you can invest… I feel like the RTQ could be a little more developed so that the fine wine investment portfolio could be more customized to the investor’s long-term goals.

That’s just my opinion.

On the bright side, it will take you literally only seconds to complete the RTQ with Vinovest!

Vinovest Product Selection


Vinovest offers many different wine selections, such as some of the following:

Vinovest Wine Selections

So which fine wine should you invest in?

When you sign up to Vinovest, you complete a risk tolerance questionnaire, and based on that risk tolerance questionnaire, Vinovest’s AI-based robo advisor will construct a customized wine portfolio for you.

There are 3 main types of Vinovest portfolios to choose from:

  • Balanced Portfolio
  • Aggressive Portfolio
  • Conservative Portfolio

Here’s what these 3 portfolios mean in plain English:

Portfolio Type Description

Conservative

- For people who don’t like taking a lot of risk

- Wines come from mature, blue-chip wineries

- The portfolio focuses on stability and not so much on returns

Balanced

- For people who are ok taking some risk

- Wines come from mature, blue-chip wineries

- The portfolio may have more room for growth

Aggressive

- For people who are comfortable taking risk

- Wines come from wineries in emerging wine industries across the globe

- Might also include Burgundies, Champagnes, etc.

- The portfolio focuses on emerging wine regions and vintages 

The good news is that even if you’re not well versed when it comes to wine investing, you can rely on the Vinovest team of analysts to make an informed and relatively calculated decision to help your investment earn money in the long run.

You can switch your wine portfolio (like from conservative to aggressive) whenever you deposit more funds in your Vinovest account.

Just remember to never invest more than what you are comfortable losing.

Selling Your Wine on Vinovest


The good news is that your money is technically not locked up and you could sell your wine at any point in time (if you choose to).

If you do want to sell your wine, there are typically 3 ways you can pursue it:

  • Request Vinovest to send you your wine bottle and sell the wine yourself
  • Request to sell your wine through Vinovest by contacting your point person
  • Request to sell your wine through Vinovest by pressing the “Sell my Wine” button in your online dashboard, which triggers a liquidation event

If it was up to me, I’d probably stick to using the Vinovest platform to sell my wine.

It might take a little longer to liquidate your wine holdings because it all depends on the buyer – and whether there is a buyer in the market to purchase your particular wine.

Vinovest will NOT charge you any fees for selling your wine.

Unless you sell it within 60 days after your initial deposit.

If that’s the case, Vinovest charges you a 3% penalty fee.

Is Vinovest Worth It?


The answer is not as straightforward as I wish it could be.

Vinovest could be worth your time and money if you:

  • Don’t have high-interest debt
  • Are ready to invest in fine wines
  • Want to protect yourself against inflation
  • Want to diversify your investment portfolio
  • Want to earn potential returns between 10% to 13%+
  • Want to protect yourself against stock market volatility
  • Don’t mind having your money locked up for 3 to 10 years+
  • Want to invest in something that isn’t correlated with the stock market

If you relate to these points, then Vinovest could very likely be one of the best investment platforms for you.

Especially if you’re already invested in the stock market, then you may want to protect your money against stock market volatility.

Fine wine can be a great method to protect your overall net worth against the ups and downs of the stock market, as illustrated by this correlation chart below:

Fine Wine Versus Mainstream Assets

The graph above illustrates the returns of mainstream assets versus fine wine investments (depicted in the bold, gold line).

Mainstream assets include:

  • Oil
  • Gold
  • Stocks & bonds

As you can see from the chart above, the price of fine wine, from 1988 to 2018, has consistently performed in line with or outperformed the major asset classes.

fiona smith the millennial money woman

The Bottom Line:

If you want to invest in something independent of the stock market, then investing in fine wine could be a good choice.

The economic environment does not appear to influence the value of fine wine, so a wine investment could preserve your overall net worth in a recession.

Wine Versus Stocks Q1 2020

If you remember back to March-April of 2020, where stocks took a nose-dive, fine wine returns continued at a steady pace, as shown in the graph above.

You can also earn some serious money by investing in fine wine.

In fact, the chart below reveals the annualized performance of fine wine investments since 1983:

Vinovest Annual Returns 1983-2019

Apart from 2 years (1997 and 1998, both years being difficult growing seasons), fine wine has seen positive returns over a 36 year period, between 1983 to 2019.

While I’m never going to say stop investing in the stock market and dump your money into the fine wine market, I do think there is some substantial proof that fine wine could be a lucrative investment.

Just remember to spend time and do your research first, before you commit financially.

Do I Pay Taxes on my Vinovest Wines?


Yes – You have to pay taxes on any losses and/or gains from your fine wines because fine wine is considered an investment class.

In general, if you make fine wine sales over $20,000 in any 1 calendar year, then Vinovest will send you an IRS tax form 1099.

Otherwise, you must self-report any gains or losses.

Vinovest Education on Fine Wine Investing


Do you want to diversify your investment portfolio with fine wine but don’t know much about the fine wine world?

You’re not alone (I’m right there with you!).

Vinovest realizes that most wine investors may not be connoisseurs – and the platform has found a solution for fine wine newbies like me by offering education opportunities.

In fact, at the end of every quarter (each year has 4 quarters), Vinovest shares a quarterly report with its investors under the Vinovest 100 section:

Vinovest Quarterly Reports

With each quarterly report, you’ll learn about:

  • Latest analyses for fine wines
  • Latest news on fine wine markets
  • Latest developments with Vinovest

Another great resource is the Vinovest 100 Index Glossary, which lists 109 wines offered around the world in places like:

  • Italy
  • Rhone
  • Bordeaux
  • California
  • Burgundy
  • Champagne
Vinovest Bordeaux

Here’s a more comprehensive list of the educational resources Vinovest offers its investors:

Resource Description

Vinovest 100 Index Glossary

A thorough list of 109 wines offered in 6 of the most popular wine countries (Italy, Rhone, Champagne, California, etc.)

Vinovest Wine Calculator

Determine how much money your wine portfolio would have been worth today if you had invested $X (you choose how much) 10 years ago

Vinovest Blog

The Vinovest Blog is an excellent resource for investors new to fine wine. You can find articles about Italian wines, culture, investing in wine, French wines, etc.

Quarterly Reports

Reports covering the macro level of fine wine investing, including the wellbeing of Vinovest, the fine wine economy, wine returns, and other fine wine trends

Help FAQs

Vinovest offers candid FAQs, where the platform lays out the pros and cons of investing in fine wine, explains its fees, and discusses other commonly asked questions

Customer Service Representative

Keep in mind you have your own dedicated portfolio advisor if you are a Grand Cru or Premium member, who can also help direct you to additional resources, should you have any questions

Monthly Newsletter (Coming Soon!)

Vinovest just hired a new community manager who will likely put together a monthly newsletter with bits of educational pieces for current members

As you can see, Vinovest certainly doesn’t keep its customers in the dark.

The Liv-Ex offers aggregate data on fine wines to ensure that the Vinovest portfolio advisors are bidding the right price at the right time.

Liv-ex Homepage

If you find that you’re seriously nerding out about fine wine (no judgment!) then you should sign up to the Liv-Ex emails so that you’re 100% in the loop.

One of my favorite educational tools is the Vinovest Wine Calculator, which you can see here:

Vinovest Wine Calculator

You’ll see this calculator as you sign-up to Vinovest.

In this case, you can see that you would have $1,708.14 if you had invested with Vionvest:

  • 10 years ago
  • Just $1,000 as your initial investment
  • Earned a 5.5% annual average return (which is very conservative)

Most fine wines return about 12% per year, so if that were the case, you could have expected the following return on a $1,000 investment about 10 years ago:

Vinovest Wine Calculator 2

Pretty awesome, huh?

That’s why I’m a big fan of the Vinovest educational materials – there is a lot of information available – as long as you know how and where to look.

Vinovest Wine: To Drink or Not to Drink?


When you invest through Vinovest, you become the owner of a wine bottle – you’re not just buying fractional shares of a whole.

You’re buying the actual “thing” (in this case, the wine).

Vinovest 2020 Annualized Returns by Portfolio Size

If you’ve looked at your investment portfolio long enough, and you want to enjoy your fine wine, then you can always submit a request to Vinovest to “liquidate” your investment (no pun intended).

Just keep in mind that fees may likely follow:

  • Transfer fees
  • Shipping fees
  • Liquidation fees

On the bright side, due to Vinovest’s extensive international network of fine wine sellers (and buyers), the next wine you purchase from Vinovest will likely be less expensive than buying the wine through a store or other seller. 

Of course, we need to enjoy the pleasures in life.

However, if you’re trying to make a profit from investing in fine wine, then drinking your investment likely isn’t the best way to make more money.

How to Open a Vinovest Account


Ready to open a Vinovest account?

First, head over to the Vinovest website and click on the big button on the left that says, “Get Started.”

How to Open a Vinovest Account 1

Here, you’ll have to decide how you want to sign up with Vinovest.

You have 3 options:

  • Sign up through Apple
  • Sign up through Google
  • Sign up through your email

I’m a big believer in signing up with email, so that’s what I decided to do.

How to Open a Vinovest Account 3

This is where you’ll have to input your personal information to create your account.

Take a look at the top of the screenshot, where you’ll notice that the account set-up process is divided into 3 steps:

  • Account creation
  • Investor profile
  • Fund account

After you create your account, the next step is to complete your investor profile.

How to Open a Vinovest Account 4

Be sure to answer these questions as accurately as possible since your answers will also help set up your fine wine investing profile.

And check out the fine wine return calculator!

How to Open a Vinovest Account 5

If I had invested $10,000 dollars 10 years ago in fine wine at 12% returns (and remember that fine wines have returned, on average, about 12% per year), then I would have had more than $31,000!

I’d say that’s a pretty good deal.

Once you feel comfortable with what you see, hit “finish” and move on to the last part of the process – funding your account.

How to Open a Vinovest Account 6

Here’s what I was pleasantly surprised about:

Instead of being routed to a page that requests my personal banking information, I was led to the main page of my investor Vinovest account.

It was a relief to me that I could first explore the website itself to see if I even liked it, and then consider funding my account.

How to Open a Vinovest Account 7

Here’s a look at some of the information in your investor dashboard.

As I said, it’s pretty straightforward and intuitive.

Vinovest Header

While most of the information will be displayed under the “Overview” tab of your Vinovest investor dashboard, you’ll find that the other tabs can be helpful as well, especially if you try drilling further into your details.

Vinovest Diversification Chart

The diversification chart above shows you how my aggressive fine wine investing portfolio will look.

The 0% numbers will be populated once Vinovest finds fine wines that specifically fit my criteria (and this could take several weeks before finding a match).

If you remember back to your investor dashboard, you’re given a pop-up with the option to contact your Vinovest customer service representative.

Vinovest Book a Call

This is honestly the first thing I would do – especially before funding your Vinovest account.

Typically, that would be an annoyance on any prospective investor’s part, but since I already knew the customer service phone number, I decided to dial it anyway:

Vinovest Contact

Phone Number

213-410-4546

I should also note that about 20 minutes after I created my account, I received a text message from Vinovest to set up a short call to discuss Vinovest and its investment options.

Vinovest Text Message 1

I wasn’t expecting a text message (and I couldn’t figure out whether this was automated or whether this was a real person), but I responded and about 1 hour later I received a reply, confirming my call with a Vinovest advisor.

Vinovest Text Message 2

As you can tell, the representative who contacted me was very professional and fairly responsive – considering that we were messaging each other on a Sunday evening.

I felt like my Vinovest customer service representative actually heard my concerns and questions.

She listened to understand and not to sell.

Now, if your need to chat with customer service isn’t super urgent and it can be done via chat, then you can also click on the little “chat” icon on the bottom, right-hand side of your screen:

Vinovest Chat

Note that this chat is not a live chat.

You can write a message and upload any supporting documentation (up to 5 documents) with your message.

Vinovest Contact Form

Response times may vary, but I would give it up to 72 hours.

After you’ve done your research and feel comfortable with Vinovest as your next alternative investment, then your next step would likely be linking your bank account and funding your Vinovest account.

On your homepage dashboard, click on the “Add Funds” button at the top-left of your screen. 

Vinovest Add Funds

Next, you’ll have to select how you wish to transfer your funds.

Vinovest Add Funds 2

Note that you can set up recurring payments to your Vinovest investment account – although you’re not required to do so.

You can set up the following transactions:

  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • One-time

I probably wouldn’t start with a recurring investment transaction, just because I’d like to get a feel of Vinovest first before I invest more money.

Vinovest Add Funds 3

As you can see, you can fund your Vinovest account in many different ways including:

  • Via check
  • Via bank wire
  • Via credit card
  • Cryptocurrency 
  • Linking your checking account
  • Via AliPay (primarily used in the UK)
  • Via WeChat (primarily used in China)

I do think it’s pretty neat that Vinovest offers such a variety of payment options.

If you’re trying to steer clear of paying any additional fees for funding your Vinovest account, then you’ll probably want to consider linking your bank account.

Vinovest Add Funds 4

Like most popular investment apps, Vinovest uses Plaid, which can securely connect more than 12,000 banks in North America with investment apps.

At this point, you should be set up to start investing with Vinovest.

Vinovest Alternatives


Not sure if investing in fine wine is the right next step for you at this time?

That’s no problem.

Here are a few more alternatives:

Just remember to do your research – no matter the investment type – before you commit financially. 

Vinovest Review Verdict


Not many people can say they are fine wine investors.

In fact, it’s typically only the top 1% who can boast about their latest exotic wine investments.

Not anymore.

Vinovest is the fine wine investing platform we’ve all been waiting for.

Now, you and I can invest in rare and thousand-dollar fine wines found across the world using Vinovest’s extensive global wine network.

Vinovest Investment Sommelier

While you may want to jump head-first into fine wine investing, remember that Vinovest does charge fairly high fees.

However, in exchange, Vinovest does offer storage, insurance, and expert wine connoisseurs to help you construct your wine portfolio.

On top of that, the Vinovest interface, user experience itself, and customer service (in my opinion) make up for the complexity in the fee structure and investment choices.

Moreover, there is a lot of money that you can make with fine wine investing, and here are some reasons why:

  • The demand for vintage wine typically increases
  • Investing in fine wine through Vinovest gives you a tangible item
  • Because people drink vintages, supply drops even further with time
  • You can never make more of a certain vintage wine (so supply stays low, which means your wine value increases)

So, just based on the basic economic laws of supply (low) and demand (high), fine wine does follow a recipe for high potential appreciation in value.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that wine appreciates as it gets older, so the longer you keep your wine, the more likely it is that you will see a profit.

I encourage you only to invest as much as you are comfortable losing since the world of investing in fine wine is still speculative, unregulated, and fairly illiquid.

Vinovest FAQs

Vinovest could be a good investment, as long as you’re comfortable taking some risk in the unregulated world of fine wine.

Fine wine is a great way to diversify your investments and hedge (aka protect yourself) against rising inflation and stock market volatility.

However, fine wine investing typically only makes sense if you invest for long periods of time.

You should also be comfortable with the fact that the fine wine market is generally much less liquid than the stock market, for example.

Yes, Vinovest is legit. Vinovest is a real business run in the United States and its investment options in fine wine are legit as well. Fine wine is proven to be a legit alternative investment.

Vinovest is a legitimate alternative investment company focused on fine wine. Vinovest gives the chance for virtually anyone – not just the high rollers – to invest in fine wine that’s worth $10,000’s.

While there certainly is profit potential, it is important to realize that investing in fine wine is risky mainly because the fine wine world is not regulated like the stock market (for example).

It could make sense to invest in Vinovest if you want to diversify your portfolio, potentially protect against rising inflation, and if you are comfortable investing in something for a long period of time (we’re talking several years) before seeing any major profits.

Investing in fine wine has been a pastime for the high roller world. Not anymore. Vinovest is a fine wine investing platform that gives the average Joe a chance to invest (starting with a minimum investment of $1,000). Note that you must be 21 years or older to invest with Vinovest.

Yes, you can make money with Vinovest – but only if you’ve held your wines for a certain period of time (which typically is several years).

Your profit is proportionate to the amount of money you’ve invested in fine wine, minus any fees. (Note: you won’t pay for any selling fees if you hold the wine for more than 60 days).

Yes, Vinovest is FDIC insured – and this fact is according to a portfolio advisor that I personally spoke to, who confirmed this question for me.

In fact, any money that you keep in your Vinovest account will be insured by FDIC coverage.

That being said, any physical cases or bottles of wine that you purchase will not be insured by FDIC or SPIC coverage.

However, Vinovest insures each wine bottle against breakage and loss.

Additionally, the wines you invest in will be kept in top-of-the-line storage facilities to maintain the immaculate condition of the wines.

Vinovest was founded in 2019, so there is not a lot of history yet. Although it’s only been 3 years since Vinovest started, the company has shown promising results to its investors in the form of 13% or more annual returns.

You should consider opening a Vinovest account if:

  • You’re 21 years or older
  • You like investing in alternative assets
  • You’re looking to diversify your portfolio 
  • You want to protect yourself against inflation
  • You don’t mind staying invested for 3 to 10+ years
  • You are looking to earn returns between 10% to 13%+
  • You want to protect yourself against stock market volatility

Remember that investing in fine wine may not be the right next move for you – but it’s still important to stay informed of your options.

No, you don’t have to use Vinovest to invest in fine wines – you could start investing on your own, if you wanted to.

The downside to investing on your own is that compared to Vinovest, you probably won’t have the:

  • Wine storage
  • Wine network
  • Wine expertise
  • Wine insurance

One reason why you might want to consider Vinovest over a DIY approach is that Vinovest has already established its wine network. 

A wine network gives you:

  • Access to below-retail prices
  • Access to an extensive buyer’s network

Remember that when it comes to investing in fine wines, a lot of thought should go into this financial commitment.

And that’s where Vinovest simplifies matters for you: All you do is select the wine you want to invest in, and Vinovest does the rest. 

Closing Thoughts


Vinovest makes it possible for almost anyone to start investing in fine wine worth up to $100,000’s of dollars.

Instead of simply owning a “share” of wine, by investing with Vinovest, you are actually the owner of an exquisite bottle of wine.

While you can certainly make money investing with Vinovest, it’s important to recognize that there are risks involved when investing in fine wine.

Some of these risks include:

  • High costs and fees
  • Unregulated industry
  • Long-term investment

It’s so critical that you are cautious with how much money you invest in Vinovest – make sure that whatever you invest, you are OK losing (worst case scenario).

Think about your investment options today, because your bank accounts will thank me tomorrow.

What are your thoughts on Vinovest? Would you consider investing in the platform? Let me know in the comments section below.

Fiona Smith
Fiona Smith
Fiona Smith is the founder of The Millennial Money Woman. She holds her Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning, has advised decamillionaires for 6 years in the corporate wealth management sector and has co-founded a local non-profit community teaching financial literacy. She is the author of the personal finance book How to Get Rich from Nothing and her work is featured on Forbes and FinCon.

6 thoughts on “Vinovest Review (2022): Is Vinovest Safe and Legit?”

  1. FS–do you know if there is a similar platform for other “liquid assets” like whiskey, cognac, port or tequila, etc. Thanks!

    1. While there are likely many different “liquid” investment platforms out there (I like how you put it as “liquid” investments 🙂 ), the one I’m probably most familiar with is Whiskeyvest, which invests in assorted whiskeys. Hopefully you find what you are looking for!

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