As restaurant professional enthusiasts, wine and / or dedicated collectors, we always looking for ways to acquire rare or difficult to find vintage wines. The wines we are often unavailable or too heavy award from the local wine and spirits distributors. Have you considered the option of buying wine at wine auctions?

Wine auctions can be very entertaining, challenging (even for qualified bidders), but most rewarding. Believe it or not, wine auctions can offer some real buying opportunities. It is not uncommon for many wine auctions to offer “sleeper” parties, or the wines that fly low under the radar of public awareness and perception. Sometimes it’s just a matter of timing, and a great buying opportunity comes up immediately and then disappear just as quickly with a loud report from the auctioneer’s gavel and his signature cry, “sold”, spoken from the auction block. In their eagerness to win their prized wines, many bidders are not only victims of pride but also a lot of money to achieve their goals. Here are some of the basics about the auction rules and etiquette to help you on your way to becoming a skilled bidder.

Wine auctions are conducted in two basic formats – live auctions and silent auctions. Silent auctions are usually more passive bidding. Sealed bid auctions and online auction format is also used in silent auctions. Live auctions are obviously faster and more aggressively competitive. Live auctions can also be done online and in real-time Internet simulcast format also.

There are three types of wine auctions: retail, charity or voluntary sector, and then those specific to the wine industry. These types of wine auctions can take advantage of any of the auction formats (live versus quiet) and choose to include online formats, real-time simulcast Internet, or basic techniques sealed bids as well. There are more than 10,000 charity wine auctions occur every year in the U.S., while there are only about eight well-known retail wine auction houses and six reputable online auctions wine. All these retail venues behavior from one to six auctions per year.

Retail wine auctions (ie, Hart Davis Hart, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Zachy’s) are different in focus, as bidders approach and strategy. In these premises, it is quite natural for the bidder who seeks to acquire “good buy” or “steal of a deal.” Your better values can be found in these rooms. The wine auctioneer will almost always use “reserve bid” or opening bid amount, so do not be disappointed if the auctioneer does not accept a lowball bid is offered under his stated reserve bid. Remember that it is a task for the auctioneer to make money in retail wine auction house, and the market value is defined by high or winning bids. buyer’s premium (Commission additional percentage charged to you the bidder, typically 10% to 20%.) are commonly utilized by those retail galleries wine auction to cover overhead and increase revenue. You may want to figure the buyer’s premium and VAT on your bidding strategy.

Charity wine auctions (ie, California wine masters and the taste of Vail) are usually received by non-profits or charities who want to generate revenue for any cause. Charity wine auctions can also promote some incredibly rare wines, but you will usually pay a very high price that the charities are the beneficiaries of these, often more than generous offer. Charity auctions or auctions, benefit, as they are sometimes called, is an attractive perk of bidders, the sale is tax free and does not include the buyer’s premium. The biggest bonus for bidders to auctions charity wine is that if the bidder’s expenditure exceeds posted retail amount for a special wine auction lot, then the IRS allows the bidder to deduct the difference between the posted price and the actual amount paid for the goods in a charitable tax deduction on his 1040 tax return. Do not forget to check out the silent auction of these special events, fundraisers, because many of the “sleeping” parties can be found there. You can get great wines at these fundraising events and helping your local at the same auctions time.

Industry wine (i.e. Wine Barrel Auction of Napa) are some of the more esoteric venues wine auction. In essence, you must be employed in the wine industry to participate in the auction industry wine. Today more and more of these facilities will be more public in nature, because they change their events to more of a charity wine auction event.

How should I bid you may wonder? The most common method is for the bidder to keep his paddle or card up. Perhaps you have noticed some bidders gesturing with his hands and blinked, screams, etc. Depending on location, most of these methods are usually acceptable. Determine your bidding method based on the wine auctioneer, his speed, style, location, number of auction items, and the size of the bidding crowd, all of which vary with each wine auction. If the wine auctioneer does not capture your bid, do not worry, his “call you” (bid spotter) is bound and then will report your bid with a very loud “Yes”. Do not worry if you are a good bidders the auctioneer will notice you and even help you in any way he can to keep you bidding and he returned to his auction house.

Your knowledge about wine and wine market, current prices will undoubtedly help you to discover those bargains at the wine auction, where you choose to participate. The auction house last word and authority for each transaction, the auctioneer. Follows the right auction etiquette, and not make these common mistakes! Following proper protocol, you win praise, while engaging in inappropriate actions may result in public reprimand, or worse, your expulsion from the auction. The auctioneer’s duty to act impartially in order to keep pace in the auction quickly and smoothly.

Wine Auctioneer Tip: Bidder dos and don’ts

The Dos

  • Please note a wine auction or two first before you bid. Expensive lessons are learned the hard way
  • Participate in the wine auction preview! – Personally inspect the state of all wine batches you intend to bid on.
  • Knowing the history of wine (ie, previous owners, storage conditions, etc.) will only help you.
  • Please read the auction catalog. Note any discrepancies between the actual auction lots and range descriptions.
  • Read the Auction House Rules in order to better understand the required auction etiquette and protocols.
  • Participate in the beginning of the wine auction. It is not uncommon to find some bargains at the beginning of the wine auction bidders while still acclimating to the wine auctioneer and auction site.
  • Listen to the auctioneer. The wine auctioneer will go to some lengths, even tell the bidders’ this is a bargain and value “, in order to sell a lot of wine, rather than” pass “the wine of the auction block, but to sell it.
  • Stay to the end of the wine auction. Most of the buying opportunities are available at the end of the auction when the crowd thins out and most of the showcase wines have previously sold.

The Don’ts

  • Do not wave to other bidders as hand signals are often interpreted as a bid by the wine auctioneer.
  • Do not engage in interaction (violation of the Sherman Act), or conspiring to fix bid prices.
  • Do not drive up the bid if you do not intend to buy. Running up the bid to spite other bidders will only get you an unwilling target of wrathful second bidder.
  • Never interrupt wine auctioneer or his clerk during production year’s auction.