The leading rare wine specialist will bring their expertise to the rare spirits market
New York, NY, February 17, 2022 – Benchmark Wine Group, the leading source of fine and rare wine for wine retailers, restaurants and collectors around the world, is excited to announce the licensing of a new affiliate to allow expansion into spirits.
Spirits collecting has risen dramatically in the last few years. About $350 million of rare spirits was traded at auction worldwide in the last 12 months, about 25% more than the year before, according to Spirits Market Journal. Bottles are regularly fetching well into the five figures, with very top rarities realizing well over $500,000 per bottle. Many of Benchmark’s wine collector customers also collect spirits. By expanding into spirits, Benchmark will be an even more full-service resource to its customers by making rare spirits available for their purchase and offering an easy, legal avenue for their sale.
“We’re excited to be able to bring the same high degree of customer service and guarantee of quality to the rare spirits market that we have to the rare wine market. Collecting these products for fun and profit has become one of the most popular new hobbies,” notes David Parker, CEO of Benchmark.
With the huge auction valuation database now available from Spirits Market Journal, the most comprehensive and trusted resource for spirits auction data, published by First Growth Technologies, an affiliate of Benchmark, along with the new licensed affiliate allowing trade in fine spirits, Benchmark now has all the pieces needed to provide the same exceptional services that the rare wine industry has come to expect from the company.
“Spirits Market Journal now features over 700,000 spirits trades from virtually every important auction venue in the world. No one else covers the vast number of auctions that we do. We’re gratified by the great response it has received, with major auction appraisers, retailers and collectors all enthusiastically using the site,” states Peter Gibson, Editor, Spirits Market Journal.
The Benchmark team has been watching the rare spirits market grow for several years, and recognized the similarities it has with the rare wine market. As Benchmark looked to expand its reach to more fully serve its East Coast customers, the team found that the proper licensing for spirits was also available in Washington DC. Together with the valuation dataset their affiliated company was well positioned to create, all of the pieces are in place to be able to bring the same degree of service to this market as Benchmark has done for wine. This expands the market Benchmark deals in by about 70% and the company expects to expand the customer and product sources by a similar amount, with only a modest increase in staffing and investment. Benchmark sees a strong growth potential in collectible spirits into the future.
Benchmark will be dealing in a wide variety of spirits, with special focus on the rarest and oldest products, as well as specially labeled individual barrel products. While Scotch is still king, American, Japanese and Irish whiskies are growing quickly in popularity, with plenty of room to continue to grow in the market. Cognacs and Armagnacs are also highly prized, and Benchmark is now seeing collectable rums and Chartreuse trade on a regular basis. As with collectible wine, the team’s best-in-industry data will allow the company to trade efficiently and accurately in these, as well as virtually all other high-end distilled spirits.
Benchmark will begin its focus on spirits through selling at auction. Rare spirits are thinly traded, so the most effective way to realize accurate market pricing is to use its auction capabilities to drive initial retail trades. Broader retail sales become a natural follow on.
Benchmark is partnering with its affiliate brand, Brentwood Auctions, to host and run the auctions. The first rare spirits auction will be held on the newly updated Brentwood Auctions site from February 23 through March 9 at www.brentwood.auction as well at the legacy location www.brentwoodwine.com.
“Our first rare spirits auction is being held on our newly updated site, with each lot fully photographed and described. We have a great selection that’s only a small taste of things to come,” notes Matthew Coelho, Auction Director, Brentwood Auctions. “We’re actively engaged with a broad number of producers, suppliers, brokers and collectors, all of whom have shown a lot of interest in making top product available. Brands represented include those from Buffalo Trace, Remy Martin, Old Rip Van Winkle, WhistlePig, DRC, James Beam, Bhatka, Kentucky Peerless and many others. Interested sellers can contact us at [email protected]”.
About Benchmark Wine Group
Established in 2002, Benchmark Wine Group is the leading source of fine and rare wine for wine retailers, restaurants and collectors around the world. Based in Napa Valley, they acquire the most sought-after wines from private individuals and professional contacts and are the largest rare wine reseller in the country. Spirits will be transacted by their new affiliate doing business as Benchmark Wine & Spirits.