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This announcement hasn’t come a moment too soon for Christopher Burr, Head of Christie’s International Wine Department.

Writing in the April edition of Christie’s International Magazine, Burr notes that at a recent lunch at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York he found himself to be the only person with a glass of wine in front of him.

Taken to its illogical extreme, America’s health consciousness could pose a long-term threat to the health of the international wine trade. If, as Christopher Burr maintains, an increasing number of Americans are collecting wine for the pleasure of accumulating Robert Parker points, rather than for the pleasure of actually drinking the stuff, then there is a serious danger of the in-built rarity value of wine – i.e. the fact that people actually consume it – being depleted.

Certain sectors of the toy market have shown that as soon as there is an awareness that people are buying to collect, rather than physically enjoy, price levels can suffer. Given that large amounts of wine, like toys, are being produced year on year, if fine wines end up being collected and traded like Beanie Babies, buyers may well have to get used to some negative, as well as positive, price fluctuations.