How to sell vintage wine

Updated March 23, 2017

So you just unearthed several cases of your grandfather's Chateauneuf du Pape Rayas and you would like to sell it? Vintage wines can be sold on eBay, through wine auctions or through online wine dealers. Make sure you know what you're selling and to whom. You also have to make sure you pack the wine properly so your £650 bottle doesn't wind up losing value from being overheated ... or even broken.

Determine the value of your wine. You can hire an appraiser, or you can use research sites such as and to find out what your wine sells for at retail. Look for the "score" reviewers gave that particular wine (it will be from 1 to 100). That will be key in determining its value. One site,, says it values wine by dividing the average retail price of a wine with a given score by the average retail price for all wines with that score. If the average value equals 100 per cent, any price below that is a good value.

List your wine on an auction site such as eBay or visit sites like's list of 10 Best Online Wine Shops or's reviews of online wine retailers to seek potential buyers. When you talk to possible buyers, they may want to know thing like where the wine has been stored, whether it's in the original containers and whether it has been exposed to dampness, smoke, or heat. Go with the price that sounds most reasonable to you--but be cautious. Less-reputable buyers may offer a great deal and renege when the wine arrives.

Arrange for payment, either by a company such as PayPal or a company in your area. Some buyers will want to look at the wine cellar before they acquire the wine. If you are unknown to a wine buyer, and out of town, they are unlikely to pay you sight unseen and may only pay after they have had a chance to inspect the wine.

Pack the wine in cell boxes wrapped with bubble wrap and insulated by packing peanuts if you want to send it yourself. Better yet, protect your investment by hiring a company that specialises in transporting wine. Such companies have no legal issues with wine transport. They can also insure the safety of your wine and maintain it at a constant temperature. lists companies that can pick up and transport the wine same day.

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About the Author

Jane Doyle has been writing for newspapers and magazines for more than 30 years. She served as associate editor for a business/lifestyle publication and has written articles for magazines ranging from "Bank Director" to "Natural Home." Doyle holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Kansas.