No, not high-end rieslings from the famous German wine auctions. You go do that. I’m simply talking about buying wines from online auctioneers like Winebid.com. I got into it a number of years ago when Winebid was new and I didn’t have a mortgage or kids. Being me, I never spent much money. But I was amazed then at what I could buy for relative peanuts. For $20 or less back then, I got things like:
And lots more…wines you couldn’t find on store shelves, wines that weren’t necessarily great, but wines that were very interesting if not outright delicious. Certainly more fun for this wine geek than the swath of mostly new release stuff I usually have access to on local shelves.
Then came kids and the house, and my Winebid days ended. That is until a few months ago, when the happy mix of Christmas money and free time led me back to the fold. I even remembered my old password, so in I logged and off I went.
Auctions used to be something like 10 days long, maybe starting on a Thursday and then ending the week from Sunday, with a few off days before the next auction opened. Now auctions start and end each Sunday, with just 15 minutes for things to reset before the next week’s auction begins. I like this new schedule.
It used to be that you could buy dribs and drabs of bottles over a number of auctions, then consolidate everything into one shipment to make sure shipping charges didn’t negate the good deals. Perhaps my Winebid days ended way back when after the policy apparently changed where they’d charge you for storing wines not shipped immediately. That was probably reasonable for them, but this customer didn’t like the change on bit. Especially since the change seemed a bit pourous. The policy wasn’t entirely clear, and the whole confusion just turned me off.
Now, with the weekly auctions, Winebid has a clear policy and shipping schedule such that you can amass wines from two consecutive auctions without storage charges. My goal – to fill out a case over two auctions, so that with ground shipping from California to Oregon I’m paying only about $2 a bottle for packaging and transit.
So far, it’s working too well. My wife isn’t reading this, right? Seriously, I’ve managed to get some fascinating things without spending too much money. My goal for the wine cellar is to find some newer relase, high quality things at discount prices and fill in older vintages that my cellar largely lacks. Thus far, I’ve managed some interesting things within my old budget, like:
2004 Selbach Oster Rielsing Auslese* Zeltinger Schlossberg
And others…including the following two wines that I’ve tried so far.
First, the 2000 Bouchard Pommard Signature, a translucent red
Then, the 1991
I’ve looked at other wine auction sites, but none seem to have the small, well priced lots I favor like Winebid. Anyone know of other sites that do?