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Selling Vintage Port

October 21, 2012
Question by: Philip, Great Britain


I have a bottle of Dows 1963 Vintage Port and a bottle of Cockburn's 1963 Vintage Port. I would like to sell both. Any idea what is the best way to do this?


Hi Philip,  We hope you would consider enjoying those bottles yourself!  1963 is a legendary vintage, and Dow's 1963 and Cockburn's 1963 are both particularly fine examples.  If the wines have been well cellared they should still be drinking superbly.

If you are determined to sell, be aware that as a general rule only top vintages from top producers are sought in the secondary market, and it will have to be clear to any broker or potential buyer that the wine has been well stored and likely to be in good condition.

Symington Family Estates are not active in the secondary market for Ports, so we are not well placed to advise you on the value of your bottles.  Your best bet is to consult a specialist wine merchant, such as Berry Brothers & Rudd in England, or an auction house that routinely handles fine wines, such as Bonham's, Christie's or Sotheby's

Another alternative to the auction house route is a private sale to a keen port lover. There are two internet chat forums devoted to Port: The Port Forum, which is UK based, and For The Love of Port, which is based in the USA. Both have a thoroughly international following, however. Registration is free on both sites

On The Port Forum, post your query in the Port Conversations chat room. If you take a look, there are a number of threads like this already posted, with members offering advice re how the wines are drinking, price levels, etc. Interest in buying is usually expressed via the private mail function on each site, rather than publicly in the thread.

On For The Love of Port, go to the chat thread Port & Madeira Marketplace to post your message – and do read the Marketplace Disclaimer notice.

Post a full description of the bottle, including exact wording on the label, describe the fill level of the bottle, the condition of the capsule and bottle generally (e.g. signs of leakage or staining)  and all the information you can about when and where the wine was acquired, and very importantly, how and where it has been stored. If you have photos, you can post them, or send an email to the moderator asking for assistance, and they will add the photo into the thread.

Both of these forums are very friendly and helpful places, and the members are very knowledgeable and will offer candid advice. Good luck.

Impresso em

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