Every January in the Liv-ex members’ survey, we ask fine wine merchants to estimate the closing level of the Liv-ex 100 index that year. For the first time since 2013, when we first asked for predictions, the index has performed better than Liv-ex members expected. It gained 24.8% to close on 297.33; on average, merchants predicted a rise of just 5.4%.

This year, almost all merchants underestimated the gains made by the index: 98.9% thought it would perform worse than it did. The lowest guess was for a closing level of 215; the highest estimation was 300 – just 2.67 points too high. Several expected the market to decline last year, with 14.1% predicting that the index would drop.

The winner in 2016 was the person that made the second highest guess of all those surveyed – he who dares, wins. In this case, he won a magnum of Louis Roederer Brut 1990.