FOLLOWING a gap of 15 years, wine is back on the menu at a Bury St Edmunds auction centre.

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Wine lovers looking forward to a festive tipple, those on the search for the perfect Christmas present and others on the hunt for an investment opportunity may be tempted by the sale at Lacy, Scott & Knight in Risbygate Street tomorrow at 6pm.

Edward Crichton, fine art manager at Lacy, Scott & Knight, said there would be lots of rare bottles of wine in the sale, which is expected to make £20,000 to £30,000.

He said the firm held wine, port and spirits auctions until 1997 when the market effectively “dried up”.

“The good wine at that point wasn’t making huge money like it is today and for the cheap wine people were just getting in the car and going to France to buy it so the market sort of dried up really and they [wine sales] weren’t attractive financially to do.

“But because the price of good wine has shot up - there is cheap wine in the sale, but the bulk of it is good stuff - that’s where the money is and that’s why we are doing it.”

Mr Crichton said fine wine was becoming increasingly attractive to many people as an investment which has made demand, and prices, rise enormously.

“It’s a nice investment. It’s very liquid, literally, and it’s very easy to sell either through auction or a wine merchant and you have got the option of either selling it should you need to or drinking it should you wish to.”

He thought the most expensive individual wine in the sale was lot 90, Chateau d’Yquem Premier Cru Superieur Sauternes 1955, which they expect to make £500, but he added how in the job lots it would be possible to get a bottle of wine for about £5.

“It’s no coincidence the sale is held just before Christmas. Lots of people will be buying with the festive season in mind and I think people buy to take away for the right occasion....something in the family, and out comes that good bottle of plonk bought at the auction rather than something at Waitrose if you like.”

Mr Crichton said the wine, port and spirits sale would become a regular event.

The items will be available to view from 10am to 7pm today and from 10am tomorrow.

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