One of the most frequent questions I get concerns the private sale of wine. The typical scenario is that the person involved has been given a bottle as a present some time ago or alternatively, they may have inherited it in some manner, and they are now interested in monetizing it. Without wanting to sound unduly negative, the prospect of getting any money whatsoever for the bottle is somewhat remote.
First of all, any serious buyer of wine is going to want to know its provenance – who has owned it previously and under what conditions it has been stored. Ideally, wine should be stored in a climate controlled environment at a temperature somewhere between 55F and 65F. See Home Storage for details. If it hasn’t been stored within this temperature range for any length of time, the condition will deteriorate rapidly.
Secondly, most collectors are interested in a case rather than a single bottle and thirdly, in Ontario, a private citizen is not allowed to sell wine to another private citizen. So unless you are a serious wine collector, my advice is to forget about trying to sell it, prepare a special occasion meal, open the bottle and cross your fingers that it is drinkable.
On the other hand, if you are a serious wine collector, you can provide details of the wine’s provenance and you are looking to offload a case or more, you should contact Iron Gate who can arrange for the wine to be appraised and facilitate the sale of your wine in the USA. They take care of all the paperwork and the shipping costs are insubstantial. Iron Gate can also handle estate sales. See Liquid Assets, written by Warren Porter of Iron Gate in May 2011, for a detailed exploration of this topic.
Vinfolio are based in California and provide an online trading platform, which facilitates the direct sale of wine from one private collector to another. However note that this practice is illegal in Ontario.