Wine is, of course, more than just a commodity in your portfolio. But if you’re going to get serious about it as an investment, Acker thinks you should have as much intelligence and data as possible. The company, formerly Acker Merrall & Condit, America’s oldest wine shop and leading wine auction house, developed its Markets and Indices platforms to allow buyers to do deep dives into wine pricing data.
In an interview with IPO Edge, Acker CEO Irvin Goldman said the goal was to help wine enthusiasts become savvier investors. The full interview is below:
IPO Edge: Can you talk about how AI is changing wine analytics?
Most AI in the wine industry to date has been used in the retail sector regarding consumer preferences and behavior, in technology within wineries, and authentication throughout the wine industry.
IPO Edge: What was the motivation to create such a large number of indexes? Was there something about existing indexes that you wanted to improve on?
We did not think there was any platform that adequately gave a comprehensive view of the entire wine market. Our goal was to fill that gap in regard to auction market pricing. At Acker, we have access to over twenty years of data from our wine auctions that we wanted to share with users as well, to educate them as consumers, and to help guide them on their investment journey. The pre-existing wine indices were quite limited in scope, focusing on a rather prescribed set of top Burgundies and Bordeaux, for the most part. In light of that, we wanted to go above and beyond, creating a large number of indexes for every major category of wine, catering to each unique wine lover. By covering such a broad scope of elements in the wine world, be it region, producer, or vintage, our indices allow subscribers to really dig into the data in a much more analytical way.
IPO Edge: Can you tell us about the hard work required to compile so much data and your method of pulling it all together?
Fortunately, we had over two decades of underlying, raw data to pull from in building the Markets platform. Of course, it took an extensive effort to clean and unify the information as wine data is not only English, but also in French, Italian, German, Spanish, and more! I worked closely with a very small team to build what stands now as a true innovation in the wine world.
IPO Edge: Can the indexes potentially be used to predict future price behavior of individual wines? How would that work?
Yes, Acker Wine Indices allows subscribers to view an in-depth look at historic and present sales trends of highly traded wines throughout time. To extrapolate these trends into the future is in the hands of the consumer.
IPO Edge: Do you believe the mathematical tools you’ve introduced will lead more investors to treat wines as investments?
Absolutely. The in-depth analytics that are available through Acker Wine Markets help users become even savvier investors and may even introduce the concept of wine investing to some wine buyers. Through the platform’s unique features, users have access to wine market intelligence unlike ever before, with the ability to analyze the appreciation of specific wines, evaluate greater trends and performance, and share the underlying information about why wine can be a great investment