Could French Wine Solve the Eurozone Debt Crisis?

While the debt crisis deepens, investors look to French wines for safe investments

Could wine be the solution to Europe's worsening debt crisis? Some say yes; while other investments tank, financial managers are investing heavily in French wines, calling it a "safe investment." 

One prime example Reuters and The Local point to: the French asset management company Uzes Gestation has created the first "wine fund" for investors, called Uzes Grand Crus. To enter in the mutual fund, investors must pay about £250,000 (or $313,600). From there, Reuters reports, the fund buys cases of wines from wine traders and resells them.

The wines, which mostly from the Burgundy and Bordeaux regions, have to meet some pretty high standards. Said wine expert Hugues Lapauw, who picks the wines for the fund, to The Local, "we buy what we believe to be underpriced following a comprehensive analysis... For quality, we base our choice on a panel of 25 tasters. We do not look for collectable wines, nor for vintages that are more than 10 to 15 years old."

Why the sudden lurch toward the wine market? In a region faltering by bailouts and debt, wine is increasingly seen by investors as a "safe" bet. They're even being called "passion investments." Said Jean-Marie Godet, deputy CEO of Uzes Gestion to Reuters, wine has outperformed most financial markets since the 1950s. And financial experts predict that the demand for wine, especially grand crus, will continue to rise both in France and abroad. Grand crus are limited in availability, and sell on average for $130 per bottle. Those are financial trends that everyone can toast to.