Royal Ascot is one of the sporting highlights of the English summer and I’ve been astute enough in the past to actually win a substantial four figure sum at the meeting. But that is very much the exception and I blew some of it on a well-known premium pink champagne. It is a little-known fact that punters lose 99% of the time and that the bookmakers and professional gamblers always clean up eventually. Contrast that with the fine wine investment market where the variables are much less and the racing certainties and form are more solid. These days with global warming, vastly improved viticulture and better wine-making techniques there is no excuse for a poor vintage. The demand for champagne will only increase as the global economy improves and people’s aspirations to drink premium luxury cuvees are satisfied. The champenois have been trading on this luxury and exclusivity for years and understand it so well, hence their fierce protection of their brand from fakes. In the Wine Derby champagne would be a banker every time.