Archive for the News Category

Tokaji and its place in History.

Posted in News, Upcoming sales with tags on March 27, 2018 by Bid for Wine

Tokaji Aszu wines have long been revered throughout Europe, and in particular the sweet wines were served in the courts of Louis XIV, Catherine the Great and our own Queen Victoria amongst others.

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The region’s most recent past is equally not immune to historical references. Production was curtailed, vineyards abandoned and the wines rarely exported during the Second World War and throughout the Soviet annexation of Hungary that continued until 1990.

As the fall of Berlin Wall ushered in a wave of democratization behind the iron Curtain, Hungary was once again able to turn back to its historical vineyards around the town of Tokaj.

In an incredibly prescient move The Royal Tokaji Company was the first foreign investor in a newly privatised Hungarian vineyard. Many similar partnerships would follow as the new Hungarian government turned previously state-owned entities into private entreprises. So it was that in 1990, just months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the steady process of revitalizing Europe’s oldest sweet wine region began.

The most revered of the wines was the ethereal “Essencia”, the very essence of the botrytised Furmint grape. Grapes barely pressed but left to ‘bleed’ under the weight of the grapes above them for a few days. The result a nectar straight from the heart of the great, packed full of sugar.

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Fermentation and maturation is long, resulting in a wine of such complexity and yet less than 3% alcohol and over 600g of sugar per litre for the 1999.

Given this process; it is not surprising that The Royal Tokaji Essencia is only made in minute quantities, akin to the very smallest plots in Burgundy. In addition, they are only released in years when the fully botrytised grapes are at their most unctuous.

In 1999, The Royal Tokaji Company released just 1200 bottles of their Essencia, in 500ml bottles. That is just 600 litres of the sweet nectar.

A quick search online will yield very few, if any, stockists. Safe to say that most bottles have been enjoyed in hedonistic evenings, or are carefully resting in private cellars across the globe alongside the great wines of the world.

We are exceptionally pleased that one member has decided to offer their rare bottle on Bid for Wine. Number 1126 for those wondering!

It comes at quite a price, but is one of the most amazing experiences of any wine connoisseur’s life and surely earns its place along side the great Romanée-Conti, Pétrus and Henri Jayer wines.

Royal Tokaji Essencia 1999 in original presentation case, certificate and a crystal spoon from which to sip this extraordinary, historical nectar.

View the wine here…


Looking for…..wines from the land down under!

Posted in News with tags on February 15, 2018 by Bid for Wine


We are being asked more and more for excellent examples of Australian wines from the top tier vineyards.

Our buyers are currently on the look out for good well-stored parcels of these wines, whether in bond or duty paid and ideally in their original packaging.



Chris Ringland
Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier
Clarendon Hills
Dutschke Oscar Semmler Shiraz
Fox Creek Shiraz
Greenock Creek
Henry’s Drive Shiraz
Kaesler Old Bastard Shiraz
Kalleske Greenock Shiraz
Magpie Estate The Malcolm Shiraz
Mount Mary
Two Hands
Wild Duck Creek
Yarra Yering

We would welcome your lists and advice on pricing and method of sale – whether auction sale – or a managed sale at a fixed price.

Interested vendors can email for a free appraisal of your holdings.

Only the best barrels in the best years! Caymus Special Selection 2014

Posted in News, Upcoming sales on February 14, 2018 by Bid for Wine

Caymus Vineyards have been making wine in the Napa Valley town of Rutherford since 1972. It is a family run business with all members of the Wagner clan involved in the wine production.

The Caymus Special Selection is the flagship wine of the Wagner family and is comprised of the very best barrels of the vintage. This wine is not produced in difficult years. Cabernets are produced under the winemaking hand of Chuck Wagner.

In his words:

“A rich, dense ruby color hints at the dark fruit nose of blackberry and currant that carries through to the palate, interwoven with complex aromas of black licorice, anise and crème de cassis. On the palate, the wine opens up to reveal an earthiness, with brown spice, cigar box and ripe dark fruits that linger throughout the extracted and long finish. The texture is opulent and rich, yet has a velvety quality with supple density. Rich, fine-grained tannins are balanced with ripe fruit, acidity and oak.”

Pushing the limits of richness and concentration, this Cabernet is enjoyable upon release or improves with aging a decade or more. Fine, luxurious tannins give structure to intense flavours of supple cacao bean, chocolate and dark fruits.

Critical acclaim agrees, the wine is rated over 90 points by various writers and publications.


Bid For Wine are offering 10 cases for sale. Grab a case or two for yourself and enjoy the evolution over the next few years.



Registering to bid

Posted in News, Site improvements and modifications on April 20, 2015 by Bid for Wine

We have today launched a feature much requested by both buyers and sellers. From today all new bidders will be asked to register a credit or debit card with us before bidding – this will not only allow us to process payments faster (if you request that we take payment from the card) but will, we hope, help prevent the rare but irritating cases where bids are exuberantly placed after several glasses of vino and then forgotten about..! We have also amended the following sections of our terms and conditions of business to reflect this change (in bold) as below:

Terms and Conditions of Use

9. By bidding on an item you agree to be bound by the conditions of sale included in the item’s description so long as those conditions of sale are not in violation of this Agreement or unlawful. As a bidder, if you have the highest bid at the end of the auction, at or above the minimum bid price (or in the case of reserve auctions, at or above the reserve price), and your bid is accepted by the seller, you are obliged to complete the transaction. Further, you are obliged to complete the transaction with the seller if you purchase an item through one of our fixed price formats. Bids are not retractable except in exceptional circumstances such as the seller materially changing the description of the item after your bid or clear typographical errors, or when you can not authenticate the identity of the seller. We may request that you register a credit/debit card with us prior to bidding. This may be used to collect payment for lots bought via the site where these have been consigned to Bid for Wine. Payment for ‘direct’ listings will not be collected from registered cards[…]

Contract between Bid for Wine and the buyer

5.    Payment for wines sold on consignment with Bid for Wine should be received as cleared funds within 7 days of the date of invoice. Where payment has not been received we may debit any credit/debit card you hold on file with us.

Bid for Wine’s 5th Birthday Celebrations including a 0% commission offer.

Posted in News on September 25, 2013 by AB

This October marks Bid for Wine’s 5th Birthday – an exciting milestone – and we’ve decided to celebrate by offering a 0% commission deal for all sales via the site’s marketplace style ‘direct listings’ during October. This will give you effectively free access to over 9000 buyers around the world!

We started Bid for Wine in 2008 to give people an easy and low cost way to sell excess bottles, wines one will never drink because tastes have changed or cases bought for investment. When we launched Lehman Brothers had just collapsed and the world seemed to be in meltdown so it was an inauspicious start. Since then and over 25,000 lots later we’ve established a successful operation in Singapore and now offer a market leading calendar of sales for clients who want a fully managed service. Additionally our partnership with Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions gives you access to a broad range of complementary auction services across fields ranging from books to fine jewellery.

We want to use our birthday to remind people of Bid for Wine’s core offering though. The site is the UK’s only genuine peer-to-peer venue for wine sales by auction or, alternatively, if you’ve an entire cellar to clear then we can manage the whole process – we’re always very pleased to provide no-obligation valuations for potential consignors (just send us an email).

We’re often asked about the security and provenance issues which might arise from direct sales. Before anyone is allowed to sell with us they’re automatically vetted and if further investigations are needed then we do them. As anyone who uses the site will know feedback is incredibly important too – no-one likes getting a bad reputation. There’s also a real sense of community on the site – lots of our customers in the city will sell to one another and then meet up over lunch to swap their bottles – which means that people know one another and do call us if they see anything potentially untoward. Finally Chris and I are also in regular contact with a range of industry experts including several MWs who we use to advise on older wines and some other queries.

We’ll also be marking the anniversary with some other offers plus a feature auction including a vertical of Jaboulet’s Hermitage La Chapelle from 1971 onwards plus lots of vintage Champagne (Dom Perignon 1995, Pol Roger 1979 and others). Do check here on the blog or join our mailing list for further details.

Full T&Cs for the 0% offer can be found here.

Changes to Bid for Wine’s Terms and Conditions

Posted in News, Site improvements and modifications on January 3, 2013 by AB

Due to the increased volumes of wine we’re handling, it was necessary for Bid for Wine to take additional warehouse staff at the end of 2012 and we are now altering our storage offering to reflect this. Where storage of lots is required (or if delivery instructions have not been received within a week of a sale), wines will be transferred to a dedicated client account to enhance accountability and to allow us to store your wines in your name.

Unfortunately warehouse administration fees will necessitate the introduction of a small up-front ‘per lot’ charge of £2.00 for transfers to the client account. Storage will be charged at our current cost of 20p per week. We recognise that this will be unwelcome but hope that the very significant economies of scale that stem from shipping lots together will go some way to mitigating the impact.

A further change is the forthcoming introduction of a buyer’s premium of 15%+VAT on all consignment auctions (my dislike of these charges is on record but they are forced by commercial necessity!). Unwelcome as this change is likely to be it will allow us to fund substantial – and long overdue – improvements to the site over the coming year. Expect to see a new bidding interface (including the option to place bids on dozens of lots in a few clicks, rather than having to flick through numerous pages) as well as simplified invoices, listing tools and more. Please note that at present buyer’s premium will not apply to wines sold by ‘direct’ listings (i.e those bought from people listing and shipping their own wines), nor those purchased from ‘fixed price’ offers such as that for our Grand Cru Burgundy beating Torii Mor Oregon Pinot Noir.

The roadmap to an improved Bid for Wine site

The roadmap to an improved Bid for Wine site

As a footnote to this, and as with the majority of auctioneers, where Bid for Wine invoices are paid for by credit card or non-UK issued debit card, the additional processing cost (2.5%+VAT) will be added to invoices. Payment by debit card, BACS or cheque will continue to be free and we will of course carry on offering shipping and storage to set ourselves apart from the competition..! We hope that planned improvements to the user experience and an even greater range of wines on offer in 2013 will offset any disappointment the new charges may cause.

Our terms and conditions of business will shortly be updated to reflect these changes. These new terms will apply to our January Feature Auction.

Minimum Commission Charges on Consigned Lots

Posted in Advice, Auction help and tips, News, Site improvements and modifications on August 6, 2012 by AB

When we founded Bid for Wine in 2008, one of our key objectives was to provide a route to market for small parcels of old, rare or unusual wines which might not otherwise be available. Since then we’ve counted Soviet-era Moldovian wine, 1960s Pouilly Fuisse and 1880s claret amongst the items consigned to us for sale. Whilst our customers appreciate having the opportunity to purchase these wines, we often hear the comment that such lots are too small to make it cost effective to pay for shipping. From an operational point of view they present a challenge too as, once warehouse charges, time and administrative overheads are taken in to account they regularly cost us substantially more to sell than we actually take in commission.

From 1st September 2012 we will be introducing a minimum charge of £12+VAT on all lots consigned for sale to reflect the true costs involved in our offering these wines for sale. We expect that this will either encourage consignors to parcel up wines for sale rather than drip-feeding them in over a period of time or that where sellers are using Bid for Wine to thin their cellar we will see an increase in multiple bottle lots rather than single bottles. From a buyer’s point of view we hope this will give you access to more of the wines you want and in larger quantities.

Finally we should add that this change will not affect lots sold via the ‘direct’ listing route – only lots which are consigned for sale. We would however note that the point regarding the disproportionately high cost of shipping does apply to ‘direct’ listings. As such you are likely to find that your wines fetch a better price when offered in lots larger than just a single bottle.