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Frequently asked questions FAQ

Here we answers questions that we think come up a lot. If you don’t find an answer you’re looking for. Please let us know and we’ll try to help out.

Q: Is selling alcohol by a private individual legal?


A: In the U.S. the Constitution’s 21st amendment (the repeal of prohibition) allows each state to govern and regulate alcohol regardless of the Federal commerce clauses. As a result each State can and does enact it’s own laws. and Hotwine, Inc. make no representations as to the legality of selling wine as a private individual. Please contact relevant regulators in your state or country.

Q: What is seller’s premium?

A: Seller’s premium is akin to seller’s commission and is basically the commission the consignor and/or auction house takes out of the price they get from the buyer. So if they managed to sell one of your bottles for $100, you’ll get $85 and they’ll earn $15. Other costs may also apply, read the fine details. Read more

Q: What is provenance and how does it affect the value of my wine?

A: Provenance is a concept that basically implies the history and quality of the wine. It’s derived from the wine’s storage condition, bottle condition, purchase circumstances etc. A good provenance (like having original wooden cases) can increase the value of your wine while negative indicators (like lack of consistent storage conditions) will likely reduce the value of the wine. Read more

Q: I have a singe expensive wine bottle I got as a present. Will such a small lot interest any of the sell wine stores?

A: Yes, even a single bottle can be sold if it fits what stores might be looking for. We’ve seen single bottle purchases many times. In many occasions it was for vintage Champagne bottles people got for their wedding. It’s a good idea to keep the box it came with.

Q: My wine was kept in a closet or basement that’s not temperature controlled. Does that mean it can’t sell?

A: It’s not a disqualifier. While wine stores prefer wine that was stored in temperature controlled environments; we’ve witnessed purchases and tasted bottles that were excellent even though they were in room temperature for 20 years.

Q: The wine I want to sell isn’t well known, is there a market for it?

A: It depends on the wine of course, but it usually doesn’t hurt to ask. It’s a good idea to research the price on Not all wine collectors are affluent and sometimes they’re willing to take a chance on obscure bottles (which are sometimes amazing) – these collectors can be found on websites like We can also take a look and let you know what we think.

Q: I looked up my wine on and couldn’t find a match. What should I do?

A: Not all wines have a price match on I would recommend doing a google search on the name, which can bring up more correct spelling and perhaps more information on the wine. An obscure wine can still have value.

Q: What are the common reasons people sell their wine?

A: Generally speaking it typically splits into one of these 3 categories:

  • A wine collector that is downsizing his collection for money or for making room (physical and budget) for new wine

  • Divorce situations and inheritance or estate sale

  • A person who isn’t really a wine collector but has some fine wine. Typically because they got a gift

Have a question that needs an answer? Let us know?

We are here to assist. Contact us by email, send us your list, we'll let you know what we think.

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