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How To Buy Wine At Auction

July 27, 2019 Leave a comment

* * * This is a sponsored post * * *

Buying at auction is great for many reasons – it’s sustainable, it’s timely, there’s huge range, and there’s plenty of quality –  but beyond the purchasing of artworks, jewelry, furniture and collectibles, auctions are particularly great for acquiring wine.

Though many wine connoisseurs and collectors may not know it, top quality wine is available at a fraction of the cost and in large quantities at auction. Whether it’s the wine of France, Italy or Spain that takes your fancy, or whether the New World (New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, US, South America) is your ultimate preference, you can find wine in all shapes, tastes and forms at auction. The best place to find wine is through the search service Barnebys, where you’ll find thousands of online auctions at any one time and you can actively bid on these auctions from your computer, wherever you may be.

Consider yourself a wine collector? Find out what your collection is worth with ValueMyStuff, where you will receive a valuation of your item(s) within either 24 or 48 hours. If you’re interested in selling your collection at auction, ValueMyStuff can put you in touch with the right house.

Photo: Marco Mornati

There are a few tips you should know before entering the auction room, however, whether it’s online or in person. Here’s our guide to purchasing wine at auction:

Try something new

If you go to a specific vineyard for a tasting, you’re limited to that vineyard’s own range and produce. However, buying at auction provides access to all kinds of variety and wine from across the world. Auctions are the perfect chance to let your tastebuds fly and to try something new, particularly as each bottle comes at a fraction of the cost of that from a wholesaler or retailer. Mix up your usual order with something daring – it may just end up being the perfect component to your next dinner party.

wine on the shelf

Photo: Scott Warman

Do your research

Particularly if it’s an old wine, make sure you ask about provenance and condition. It’s okay to be nosey, and don’t worry about being a nuisance – it’s your right to ask these kinds of questions. Auctions are the best place to source hard-to-find or niche vintages, and you shouldn’t shy away from older wines, but be sure to understand the condition of the bottles. Other things to consider are not only the age of the wine, but also the label, the cap, the capsule, the origin, how’s it’s been stored, and at what price it’s selling for elsewhere.

Photo: Barnebys/Bukowskis

Expect to pay a buyer’s premium

Remember, the price you bid on at auction – the amount that goes down with the hammer – isn’t the final price as it doesn’t include all costs. You need to factor in the auction house’s buyer’s premium (it’s typically around 20%, but this is at the house’s discretion so be sure to ask beforehand). There may also be charges such as duty or VAT, and, if the auction house isn’t near your home, you’ll need to factor in extra costs such as shipping and transportation.

Photo: Jeff Burrows

Bid

Bidding for wine at auction is exactly like bidding on art, jewelry or antiques, but, as always, it’s best to ask questions as each auction house is unique. You’ll need to register for the auction, place your (maximum) bid, and, if you’re successful, pay any extra costs before collecting your item(s) or arranging transport. Buying at auction may seem intimidating, but it needn’t be: it’s just like online shopping, except you’re purchasing against a few other people and you’re vying for the best price. It’s all about timing: bid early and stake your claim, or wait it out and swoop in at the last minute.

And all this is made easy with Barnebys, where you can search all wines available at auction across the world. Filter by price, location or auction date – and start bidding and adding to your collection today!

Just in: Another Wine Auction From Invaluable

February 24, 2017 Leave a comment

This is a guest post, or may be rather a last minute guest announcement from Invaluable, the company wich runs wine auctions. This is truly a last minute, as the auction starts tomorrow. But – if you got some spare change, you can use it to get that bottle of Pétrus… 

Invaluable teaming up with Waddington’s, a fine wine auction house in Canada, over the next week to auction off almost 700 exceptional lots from an international collection. Waddington’s experience in auctioning dates back to 1841. There are three different auctions in the upcoming week: Fine & Rare Wine, Fine Spirits, and Fine wine.

These three auctions by Waddington’s take place on February 25 and the 28th. We’ll be auctioning off nearly 700 wine and rare wines and spirits. Saturday’s auction begins at Toronto’s Nota Bene Restaurant where Chef David Lee will prepare an exquisite three-course lunch before we launch into the auction. This auction is followed by two auctions on the 28th; the first offers fine spirits and the second offers fine wines.

Here are a few noteworthy lots from the upcoming events:

Lot 87: CHÂTEAU PÉTRUS 2009

Estimated Price: $19,900 – $23,100

Quantity: 6, Size: 750ml

Notes: This 100% Merlot has a dense plum/purple color and a sweet nose of mulberries, black cherries, some subtle toast and licorice as well as a floral element. A wine of great intensity, a multidimensional mouthfeel and full-bodied, stunning concentration, the 2009 Petrus is everything one would expect of it.

Lot 1: Armagnac Chateau de Laubade

Estimated Price: $1,100 – $1,300

Quantity: 1, Size: 750ml

Notes: Bottled in 1948, in original wooden box

Lot 76: Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon

Estimated Price: $7,300 – $8,500

Quantity: 1

Notes: The blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc was bottled in 1999. It boasts an opaque purple color along with a gorgeously pure nose of creme de cassis, charcoal, and floral characteristics. The wine is opulent, dense, and rich, with exceptional purity, a viscous texture, and impressive underlying tannin that frames its large but elegant personality.

We have a variety of wine and spirits along with collectibles up for auction daily, so stay up to date with Invaluable; you never know what you’ll find.

Online Wine Auction, December 4th and 5th – Petrus, Anyone?

December 3, 2015 2 comments

I was asked to help promote a live wine auction which will take place online, hosted by the company called Invaluable, so text below is simply an information about this Holiday Auction. Whether you are planning to bid or not, I think it is fun to scroll through the offering of some of the most coveted wines in the world. And by the way, if anyone is still thinking what to get me for the holidays, I’m telling you right now – I’m not very picky, so anything from this collection will do… Deal?

This two day auction, Zachys Early Fall Auction NYC, starts at 9:30 AM EST on December 4th and 5th. We will be auctioning off over 1,800 exceptional lots from an international collection. Collecting wine has been a labor of love for this dedicated connoisseur. He has lived in Germany and Thailand, and has bought selectively in each country. He then painstakingly air-shipped his wines to New York under temperature-controlled conditions. In New York, the wines were stored in a custom-built temperature-controlled home cellar.

Here are a few noteworthy lots from the event:

Lot 245Petrus 2000
Estimated Price: $36,000-$55,000
Quantity: 12, Size: 750ml
Notes: Three lightly scuffed labels, one scuffed label, two 6-pack original wood cases

Lot 334Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2000
Estimated Price: $24,000-$36,000
Quantity: 1, Size: 15L
Notes: This 15L bottle was bought by Mr. Hudson at the 2008 South Beach Wine and Food Festival Auction, at which Baroness de Rothschild was the donor.

Lot 112Chateau Haut Brion 1989
Estimated Price: $12,000-$18,000
Quantity: 12, Size: 750ml
Notes: Producer:Haut Brion. 1.5cm or better, one lightly damp-stained label, one lightly marked label

Finally, don’t forget the two charitable consignments in this sale. The first is Lot 263, a 19th-century shipwrecked bottle of Château Gruaud Larose from the “Marie Therese”, bottled with the ’00 vintage and sold to benefit les Jardins du Monde with an estimated price of $2,000 – $3,000. There is also a section of fine Burgundy consigned by Bob Dickinson, a meticulous and generous collector, sold to benefit Camillus House in Miami (Lots 1259-1309).

Invaluable has a variety of wine and spirits along with collectibles up for auction daily, so you might want to get on the mailing list with them, you never know what you might find.

Happy [Fine Wine] hunting! Cheers!

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