Investors have turned to bottles of fine wine in order to escape the daily risks and stress of current stock market trading, says a new report.

Respected fine wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd said that "alternative investments" on the stock market, such as fine wine, were seen as safer options during the current trading crisis.

More than GBP2.5m-worth (US$4.6m) of fine wine has been sold by Berrys and auction house Christie's in the past few weeks, Berrys said yesterday (23 September).

Last week was one of the darkest for international stock markets since the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Lehman Brothers' collapse into bankruptcy was quickly followed by an emergency government bailout of insurance giant AIG. Following that, Lloyds TSB swooped  in to rescue UK insurance behemoth HBOS. 

"Historically, great wines from great vintages have appreciated 10-15% per year, so its no wonder investors are putting their money into alternative funds," Berrys said. 

"And, with wine classed as a 'wasting asset', any investment is free from capital gains tax."