Provenance & common bottle issues

Provenance is a really important concept when it comes to wine collections and is of paramount importance when wine stores buy wines from private individuals. "Good" provenance means that the chance of a bottle of being excellent is high. The older the bottle the more important it's Provenance. Since the wine buyer won't open your bottles (they may to a sample) they try to ascertain the provenance of a wine by external factors and by assesing the wine storage conditions. Below we've listed some of the common bottle and provenance issues that you should know about and if it's not too hard, it may be a good idea note in your stock list:

  • Storage conditions: If you have a wine collection or even if you got it from someone you probably know that wine needs to be kept in cool temprature and not be exposed to heat. If your wine was kept in a temprature controlled cellar or refrigirator it's very helpful to note it when you submit your list

  • Even tough, temprature controlled storage conditions are of paramount importanct I've seen and tasted amazing 20-30 year old bottle that were just kept in a closet - so it's a good idea to shop your list anyway

  • Original Wooden Cases: sometimes abbrevated to OWC. Some collectors are really into these wooden cases and if you have them it's typcially considered a good sign for provenance and will likely fetch a higher price. Wooden cases are a thing with Bordeaux and Napa but some regions, like Burugndy don't really have them

  • You don't have to list all of the bottle conditions but it can help to know about these when the buyer will ask or inspect your bottles:

  • Stained and /or damaged labels can be caused by many factors including seepage from the actual botte or from a diffrent bottle or from condensation. Some labels can also be damaged by just being too old and some may have nicks and scuffs. Depending on the circumstances it can affect the bid on your wine

  • Capsules and corks: another indicators that are worth mention is if the cork is corroded or depressed/elevated stained or torn 

  • Fill levels: in older wines there's a slow evaporation of the wine. It doens't mean the wine is bad but typically the more the wine seems to be close to full the better it's condition. Click here for a good illustration of fill levels

Next step: find out which ways you can sell your wine

Scuffed label
Good fill level Burgundy