If you’ve come across a dusty bottle in the attic, or recently inherited an entire wine collection, it’s worth wondering if you may be sitting on a fortune. With some wines selling for large sums, there’s a chance you might be. But it’s also possible that you aren’t. As is the case with anything, a bottle of wine is worth exactly as much as a buyer is willing to pay for it. And there are several factors that could impact a buyer’s decision.
- Your wine’s vintage. Many mistakenly believe “vintage” just means old, but older wine is not always more valuable. Research the year your wine was bottled to find out if it is considered a good vintage. Many factors will have an impact on this, including weather conditions such as the amount and timing of rainfall in your wine’s vineyard when its grapes were grown.
- How your wine has been stored. Your wine may be of great vintage, but improper storage could have rendered it worthless. When wine is stored incorrectly, air can enter the bottle causing ‘ullage’ — a lowering of a bottle’s fill level. Signs of ullage indicate the wine could have been oxidized and thus turned into vinegar. Poor storage can also make wine expand, causing it to seep through the cork. Again, this could ruin a wine’s flavour. Generally, wine should be stored in a cool (but not too cool) place out of direct sunlight to best maintain its value.
- Your wine’s appearance. If your wine bottle(s) are in very poor condition, they might be less valuable, no matter the vintage or storage. Wines with label damage, for example, are often viewed less favourably by buyers. The good news is, a bit of general wear and tear is expected of older wines in particular, so a slightly damaged bottle could still be worth selling.
It is possible to assess these factors yourself, but the best way to truly discern a wine’s value is to enlist the help of a professional wine valuator, such as The London Wine Cellar.
Our team of expert wine valuers provide a professional service at no charge nor obligation. All you need to do is fill in our quick online wine valuation form. We will get back to you within 48 hours with the subjective value of your wine (providing it meets condition checks).
The London Wine Cellar can offer you some of the most competitive rates on the market. Through our years of experience in the wine trade, we have cultivated relationships with organisations and individuals who buy fine and rare wines, bringing you great value you can trust.
Whether you have been nurturing this investment over the years and feel the time is right to release it, are restructuring your cellar, or have purchased wine from a brokerage that is no longer running (and around to assist with a sale), we can help make the process as profitable and prompt as possible. Simply start with a wine valuation and we will take it from there.
Feeling a bit nervous? Because we know only too well the many wine investment scams out there and the variety of prices that can be offered, we work tirelessly to make the process of selling your investment wine as comfortable and transparent as possible. We pride ourselves on our communication; we ensure you are kept in the loop, know what stage the process is at, and know your capital is safe. If you wish to discuss your options, or indeed process the sale in person, please come and pull up a stool next to the boys in our East London cellar (129 Richmond Road, E8 3NJ).
We are able to safely facilitate single purchases of up to £500,000
We have the means to process payments of up to £500,000 in a single transaction, and can facilitate higher amounts in multiple transactions. Once we have valued your wine, we can either pay you upon receipt of the wine, or if your wine is stored at the Burton-on-Trent Vinotheque facility, we can offer a 50% upfront payment arrangement.
- Less than 20 years old – level must be base neck or higher.
- More than 20 years old – Fill level must be high shoulder or better.
- Labels must be entirely readable, only accepted with minor rack damage or minor discolouration from damp/ adjacent breakages.
- A good rule to go by is “would you produce this bottle on your dining table to guests?”.
- Rejected if there are gaps or holes in the foil capsule.
- The cork must not be exposed.
- There must be no capsule rust.
- Rejected if the cork has pushed through the capsule more than 2mm.
Original Wooden Case
- OWC status is a common industry term meaning original wooden case. An ideal situation is that the wine you are selling is in an unopened original wooden case. This maintains the wine’s OWC status.
- If you are selling an incomplete case but still posses the OWC then please ensure you keep this for The London Wine Cellar collection personnel as this will increase your wines desirability and could affect the value.
Having your wine professionally valued is the only way to be sure it sells for the right price. Here at The London Wine Cellar, we offer a free wine valuation service with no obligation, which will provide you with accurate quotation for your wine. Once you have this quote we can arrange collection for your wine and pay you directly, provided your bottles pass a quality check, and conforms to the criteria in the aforementioned wine inspection guidelines.
To kick-start this process, simply fill in the form at the top of this page with your details and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours.