Grace Best-Devereux

a fine wine career

Many of us will have sipped a glass of wine or two over dinner, but for some investors and private collectors, wine is more than a passion, it’s an investment. Large quantities of expensive and rare wines are stored in purpose-built facilities or personal wine cellars. So, if that wine is damaged, the financial values involved can be very high – and that’s when loss adjuster Grace comes in.

Loss adjusters swing into action when things go wrong. If an insured collection of wine is caught in a fire or has its labels removed by a flood, Grace’s job is to assess the damage and report to the insurers the facts at hand. Grace calculates an accurate value for the damaged wine collection and makes payment recommendations so that the wine collector can receive payment.

Born in America, with British dual citizenship, Grace began her career as a sculptor. After working for a fine art museum in Seattle, she moved to London to complete a Masters’ degree with the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, where she published her dissertation on insuring contemporary art. After a stint as a gallery manager, she joined a Lloyd’s insurance broker before moving to loss adjuster McLarens.

“My education in investment wines has been accelerated over the last four years thanks to my fiancé. He’s completed most of the WSET courses and collects wines himself so I’ve been lucky to have a full-time tutor on the subject, and it’s become one of my personal passions.”

“The things I deal with can be very varied,” Grace says. “One case was a stock shortage due to the warehouse sending wines of the wrong vintage to customers. Instead of a 2019 vintage, they were sending the 2016 or 2009 vintage – so they were sending out more valuable wines than they should. In other situations, bottles have been damaged by fire or flood in private collections, and the investment value has been impacted by this partial damage.”