What Is A Wine Auction?

A wine auction is exactly what the name implies — an auction held in the interest of selling wine.

What sets a wine auction apart from some other auctions is that wine auctions tend to deal in extremely valuable (“auction quality”) wines.

Where Are Wine Auctions Held?

Wine auctions can be held online or in a physical location. There are many reputable online wine auction sites, which occur year round. The benefit to participating in an online wine auction is the ease with which you can participate. As with all online business, there are many reasons why online wine auctions appeal to certain customers. You can bid on your own time, browse the selections as easy as clicking a mouse, and see the bids come in for each wine you’re interested in all in a central location. Most online wine auctions allow users the ability to electronically “track” their bids, so you may not even have to be looking at the auction site to participate. It can’t get much more user friendly than that.


At a typical wine auction, usually held as a private affair or invitation only party, the only chance you have to bid is if you’re invited. If a bidder can’t make it to the event but still wants to participate, they can place absentee bids, but run the risk of being outbid without the ability to counterbid. Sure there is a certain charm to taking part in a live wine auction — the rush of bidding, the socializing that takes place with fellow wine lovers, and the old school charm of raising your bidding paddle — but as the internet generation ages into wine consumption, they will demand the ability to participate in more online auctions.

Online Wine Bidding – Wine Auction Websites

Wine Bid – The largest and most popular online wine bidding site, WineBid.com’s slogan is “Fine Wine for the Priveleged Many”. Taking a look at some of my favorite bottles, I noticed very decent prices, as to be expected from an auction setting. A 2002 Quilceda Creek Cab Sauv, for instance, will normally run you well close to $300. I found an identical bottle at WineBid.com that is selling for around $180 at the time of this writing. Yes, this is expensive, but we’re talking about a collectible bottle of wine for close to 40% off.

Auction Vine – Open since 1997, AuctionVine.com prides themselves on having a “feature rich” auction environment. While I don’t find the site as easy to navigate as WineBid.com, I must admit the site is crammed full of user options, such as Profiles, Bidding reminders, newsletters, and worldwide auction bidding.

Wine Commune – Operating similar to eBay, WineCommune.com gives users the chance to “bid” on wine and wine lots or to “buy it now” by paying a predetermined amount. I found some fairly hefty pricetags on some of my favorite rare wines, leading me to wonder what the purpose of purchasing wine through this “auction” site is — if I want to pay retail, I’ll just go to a retail store. Still, some unique bargains are to be found, such as rare wines in lots of 3 for bargain basement prices. Two bottles of Chateau Latour 2001 for $198 bucks? At under $100 per bottle, if WineCommune.com featured more deals like this they may usurp the competition.

Local Wine Auctions

If dressing nice and sitting among your fellow wine lovers is your thing, search online for a local wine auctions. Advertisements for these events are usually placed in wine magazines or club newsletters, or even in the classified ads. Be prepared — look up the recent auction prices of your favorite wines (a good place to do this would be one of the online auction sites above) and hold close to your guess. Don’t get caught up in the moment and end up paying more for the wine at auction than you would at a retail store.

A wine auction, online or in person, is a great opportunity to own rare and fine wines at a fraction of their retail cost. It can also be a venue for meeting other wine lovers. Whether you want to participate online or in a formal setting, you’re sure to enjoy bidding on your favorite bottles.

See also:

  1. What Is the Wine of the Month Club?
  2. What Are Some Good Wine Blogs?
  3. What Is the Mediterranean Diet?
  4. Good Cheap Wines: 100 Quality Wines Anyone Can Afford
  5. Wine Related Questions and Answers
  6. eBay Auctions
  7. How to Sell Artwork Online