How to Buy Wine at an Auction

Are you a serious wine collector who’s looking to level-up your wine purchasing practice? If so, buying wine at an auction may be the right next step for you. These lively events are not only fun, but educative, with plenty of impressive collectors and passionate sommeliers to chat wine with while you sip at delicious samples.

Why a Wine Auction is the Place to Find Top-Notch Wines

When it comes to sourcing and purchasing fine wine for your wine collection, there is no place quite like a live wine lot auction. There are quite often rare bottles and products that you won’t find at many merchants or even wineries. Although the live auction environment is stimulating and exciting, some collectors choose to bid online for their favorite rare vintages.

Enter the Auction with a Sense of What You Want

If you do plan to do some bidding at a live auction or online, it’s beneficial and cost-effective to have an idea of the style, items, and bottles that you plan to bid on. Take time to do your research beforehand to see what specific wines have previously sold for, and go in with a general budget of what you’d ideally like to spend.
At a wine auction, there is often an index that allows you to see what wines will be up for auction beforehand. Find the ones that interest you, and research estimations of worth online. However, live auctions are just that – live – and people are known to pay much more or much less than what a bottle may typically be worth outside of the wine lot.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Whether you’re an experienced wine auction attendee or are planning to have your first experience on the wine lot, there are plenty of people in the fine wine community who are always happy to answer your questions. Make small talk, discuss collections, and ask any questions you may have about a certain type of wine or how the auction itself usually plays out.

Know that All Wine Auctions are Different

Experienced collectors and auction-goers know that no wine auction is the same as the next, as the type of fine wine and array of varieties up for auction are always changing. Some wine lots may be known to undervalue their wine, while others typically mark up their wine. Some wine lots offer mixed lots, a collection of a variety of wines of the same wine.
Be smart about how you go about your next wine auction experience. With the right strategy and proper research, you may be able to find some spectacular wines to increase the value of your collection or to simply enjoy during a celebration.