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What Rare & Fine Wines are Valuable?

The recent skyrocketing release prices and increased global consumption of fine & rare wines has created massive volatility in the auction market. But how do you know what's valuable? Heritage Auctions can help!

Heritage Auctions provides free auction estimates on the types of wines that we normally sell at auction. If you've got a rough inventory of the wines you are considering selling then the hardest work is behind you! Submit your list in an email to FrankM@HA.com or fax to 310-492-8627. Be sure to include a cover page with your phone, email address and best time to be reached. A wine specialist will get back to you within a couple days with your estimates.

Please note, due to legal constraints there are some items which we unfortunately can't bring to market on your behalf in California. For the following items your best bet is to find a local specialty store that might be willing to take your property on consignment:

  • Cognac/Armagnac
  • Scotch/Whiskey
  • Sherry

Still think your wines might be auction-worthy? Before you contact the experts at Heritage, here are 5 things you should be prepared to discuss with our specialists so that they can assist you:

  1. How has the wine been stored?

    Wine is a fragile thing and requires a certain bare minimum in storage care to live up to its potential. The value of your wines is intimately tied to that history, so be sure to describe the conditions in the place your wines were kept, how long they were kept there and how much they may have been moved around over time.
  2. How was the wine acquired?

    Is everything still in its original box/case? Did you purchase your wines on release, or on futures? Can you trace your bottles back to the retailer or auction house from which they were purchased? Do you have receipts for everything? In the modern day, provenance can be worth as much as a 20+% premium in the value of your top labels. Be sure to include the details of where the wines started and how they've lived life so we can be better prepared to evaluate the demand for your product.
  3. What condition is the wine bottle in?

    Are there any signs of seepage? Where is the fill level with respect to the neck? Are the labels faded, torn, dirty or clean? Does the wine inside the bottle appear to have maintained a crystal-clear red color? If a wine has been stored well, buyers can be forgiving of slight cosmetic defects. It is, after all, the wine which makes the bottle valuable. These cosmetic defects can sometimes, however, indicate a problem which should be noted early in the valuation process.
  4. Do you have all the relative information from the label?

    Small differences in verbiage on some labels can make a big difference in price. Make sure you've collected all the important information like vintage, producer name, vineyard name as well as the size of the bottle. Pay special attention to words like "vieilles vignes", "vendange tardive", "selection de grains nobles" or other specific designation.
  5. What other details do you need to know?

    Is there anything else we might need to know about your wines? If you've got a particularly rare bottle and feel there is something we should take into account before providing you with estimates — let us know! Please bear in mind that wines autographed by celebrities and/or wine makers are not going to be worth more than regular bottles.

Get an auction estimate
With the above information in hand, please complete the Free Auction Evaluation Form. We will do our best to respond within a few business days. An auction estimate is the likely value your wines would obtain in a Heritage auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning, insurance, etc., please contact our Appraisal Services Department. Charges for formal written appraisals are based on our experts' time. Appraisal fee schedule can be viewed here.

Thank you very much for considering a consignment with Heritage Auctions.

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