How much is my Champagne Worth? Valuing Wines
2nd November 2023
You’ve just discovered an old bottle of, or a death in the family has seen you being left with a selection of old wines that you are intrigued to know their value, how do you value wines?
For this article we will focus on Champagne and those looking to sell. Please contact 01206 700888 (UK) or visit ChampagneCollectors.com to gain both a history of the old wines you have and importantly a valuation for free – You will be offered the best prices from genuine collectors rather than selling to re-sellers that need to make a cut on the profits. If you have images of the wines and contacting us from outside the UK then email: email@example.com
Most Champagne that is sold is of the non-vintage standard and designed to be purchased and consumed sooner rather than later. Though these might have some value when of age, most times you are looking to be in possession of vintage Champagne in order to see a bit more value per bottle.
Factors that will influence the value of your Champagne – Who, What, Where, When, Why:
- Who: The most important factor is the producer. Each Champagne is made by a producer, these names include well known ones such as Veuve Clicquot, Bollinger and Moët & Chandon – Though many are lesser known such as Roger Brun, H. Blin and Legret & Fils.
- What: Once you know the producer, we then determine exactly what label we have from them. Most will be non-vintage in that it is made to be enjoyed young (though can still age well and be highly collectable with age), though there are also many desirable, lesser produced labels to include vintages / Prestige / Clos labels.
- Where: Another highly important factor when it comes to the value of Champagnes (and any other wine) is where it has been stored over the years. Most older wines will struggle to prove where and how it has been stored which means that over the years, factors such as heat and light might have reduced the quality of the wine in the bottle. The more proof that the wines were stored safely in the perfect condition will undoubtedly increase the end value.
- When: What age is the Champagne? It is ideal if the wines you are looking to have valued are of age and if so, they will likely be a vintage label – This means there will be a year clearly printed on the bottle. Most times it is the older the better, there will though be certain years that are considered the best
- Why: Surprisingly, why is also an important factor in as much that how you go about selling your Champagne could decide how much you are likely to receive in money. Are you in a rush to sell, are you prepared to do some research and are you willing to wait until the best moment is to accept an offer?
Lastly, we take a look at How: Another important consideration is how are you going to sell your Champagne?
There are multiple ways to sell Champagne from doing so via eBay to approaching your local auctioneers. There are many wine resellers online that will also be willing to purchase your bottles or you might simply take a walk down to your local independent wine merchants who will either be interested in acquiring them or at least let you know of others that will.
- eBay: Though alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be sold by non-approved sellers on eBay. you will still find plenty of auctions, especially for older / collectable wine listings. The beauty of eBay is that you can have an international audience, 132 million active buyers worldwide, and it is highly likely that if you were to list your Champagne for sale, you would receive bidders. The issue with eBay is that you need to be an approved seller of alcohol which most of us will not be, being an auction website it is likely you might not get the best price and you are open to a list of end of auction disputes from damages during delivery / non-payment / complaints / refunding and more.
- Facebook: Though Facebook has a very useful marketplace feature allowing users to buy and sell items, you are not allowed to sell alcohol. Though your listing is likely to remain up for a short while and that might be just long enough to gain you an enquiry or two, it will for sure be removed and repeated violations of Facebook rules could see your account being suspended or terminated.
- Local Auction Houses: One of the most popular ways to sell unwanted items is via local auctions. These will likely be household items and non specific, though some do arrange themed auctions. There will be a seller’s premium and you can set reserve prices, but you must consider that many who attend and bid are usually resellers themselves and in the trade plus sometimes high percentage buyers fees are applied, it is likely you will not be getting the best price for your Champagne.
- Specialised Auctioneers: Across the country, there are auctions that are specific to rare and collectable wines to include famous names with their own divisions specialised in valuing and selling collectable Champagnes, names such as Bonhams and Christie’s lead this sector of the industry. If you have a considerable collection or you are aware that you possess highly desirable labels, then these kinds of auctions are worthwhile considering though again you need to be aware that though high prices are achieved, the fees will also be well above average!
- Wine Resellers: You will almost be guaranteed that your old wines will be purchased (subject to checks) via resellers. You can either have a representative visit your location to offer a value or you can easily send your wines to be valued / authenticated. Though this is likely to be a quick and easy solution, you are dealing with those who are looking to make a decent (though usually fair) profit from buying your wines, this should tell you that the price you are selling at is not the actual market value.
- Champagne Collectors: If you are looking to directly reach the people who pay the best prices for Champagne then you need to connect with the collectors. The Champagne Collectors website is a community of thousands of enthusiasts globally who all appreciate rare and collectable labels and are prepared to pay the current market rate – A solution such as Champagne Collectors gives sellers direct access to genuine buyers where safe transactions can take place.
Tips when selling your Champagne:
- List the labels you have in an easy to share spreadsheet that can be emailed.
- Take photos of the collection and if you can, each bottle to highlight the condition of label / cork areas.
- Research online each label to see if similar have been sold recently and how much for – Do consider that prices will vary drastically with likely cheaper prices on online auction websites where it is likely the Champagne has no guarantee of quality and is likely to be bad to the more expensive prices where there is some guarantee of authenticy / history / quality.
- Contact and receive a valuation via at least two independent resellers.
- Place a reserve price when listing via auctions.
- If you are not in a rush to sell, be sure to store the Champagne you have safely, and in a cool and dark place.
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.