Selling Port? Port for sale? Excellent. Start here.
Posted: 16:23 Sun 27 Apr 2014
•◊• Standard advice to would-be vendors •◊•Some new members of ThePortForum.com join because they have a bottle, or some bottles, for sale. Excellent. We welcome such visitors, from the likes of whom we have bought bottles and cases in the past. Please do start a thread†, saying what you have, where it is, and how it was stored. If you have pictures, even better, we love pictures.
But some readers might want a feel for what is likely to follow, so we have jointly composed this standard advice, that covers the most frequently-seen situations.
Money? Port, even old Port, is less valuable than you might be hoping. If you have come in hope of a new car or conservatory, this might be disappointing.
Selling at auction, through one of the big auction houses, is likely to net you about half the retail price. (Auction prices are less than retail which is why wine merchants buy at auction, and there are seller’s commission and transport costs.) Selling to a wine merchant is likely to net you about the same, half retail. As a guide, vintage port (rather than LBV, Crusted, or other types), of a good name, from a good year, four or so decades old, of good provenance, might be as much as £80 a bottle. If not all these ducks are in a row, it will be less. Indeed, much of the Port previously offered for sale on ThePortForum.com had a fair value between £10 and £30 per bottle (perhaps about $20 to $60 in the USA). But some was worth more; perhaps yours will be.
So our usual advice is not to sell.
If you are selling to free space, do consider professional storage. Several UK-based regulars on ThePortForum.com store Port at Seckford Wines; others use Fine+Rare; others, needing greater accessibility, use Big Yellow in Fulham; some use or have used Octavian Vaults. If the quantity is small then the cost will be modest.
If you were given these bottles as a christening present, we advise that you hold them. When you are thirty or forty years old it will give you great pleasure to open with friends bottles you will have owned since you were a toddler. (Recall Alan Clark on Heseltine: “he had to buy all his furniture”. Your friends will have had to buy their own wine; yours came to you as a child.) Selling will net you small money; holding and drinking later can give you great pleasure.
If you are the father of the vendor, a teenager with non-vinous uses for money, then you are probably the best purchaser. Buy, and share with your offspring when they are old enough to regret having sold.
But if, despite all this, you still want to sell, then we might be the best purchaser. Please do start a thread† describing what you have. If possible, please post a picture of the bottle or of the unopened case. When did you acquire it, and where has it been stored? Where is it now located: which country (UK? USA? Other), and approximately where within that? And—very important—check back after a day or two (have the bulletin board notify you of responses) to read the replies, and to answer readers’ questions about your bottles.
† After you have started your thread it won’t appear until it has been approved. We’re sorry about the need for this administration, but otherwise spammers proliferate.