Founded in 1749 Justerini & Brooks is one of the most prestigious names in the world of fine wine and spirits. The very same family as the world famous J&B whiskey and personal fine wine merchant to Her Majesty The Queen. As an international merchant, Justerini & Brooks now looks after customers in over sixty countries around the world.
Buy wine, store wine and sell wine – Justerini & Brooks cover all the major bases of a high end wine business. We interviewed Tom Jenkins, Broking Manager at Justerini & Brooks, who says that being the oldest wine merchant in the UK lends to a “a strong reputation for quality customer service”.
Sell Wine Guide: We understand that as part of your business you may purchase wine from collectors. Can you describe how the process usually works when you buy wine from private individuals?
Tom Jenkins, Broking Manager at Justerini & Brooks: We can either offer a broking service or a cash price. Usually we give a market valuation and offer both options. Vendors can decide which option works best for them.
Sell Wine Guide: In your website it states that you offer 2 options for people selling their wine to you, a broking service and the second simply says to contact you – is the second option a “straight purchase by Justerini & Brooks”?
Tom Jenkins: Yes, we can also offer to purchase the wines outright if the wines are of interest to us.
Sell Wine Guide: Does a seller need to have his/her wine at your storage facility in order to be available for selling the wine?
Tom Jenkins: We would require the client to transfer their wines to our warehouse under their title prior to broking. This is so that we can verify condition before selling the cases. For outright purchases we can arrange inspection/collection in situ.
Sell Wine Guide: What are the typical types of wines trade on your platform? Are there sales of relatively obscure wines?
Tom Jenkins: We mostly trade the biggest and best names from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and Port. We also trade some more esoteric wines from California, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia. We will advise the vendor whether there is likely to be interest so we don’t waste their time.
Sell Wine Guide: Are there certain thresholds for purchases (like lots size etc.)
Tom Jenkins: We will accept any size of consignment whether it’s a case or a whole cellar providing it’s suitable for broking. The minimum broking fee is £20 for cases under £200. For everything else there’s a 10% broking fee.
Sell Wine Guide: Does Justerini & Brooks appraise collections, what are the costs?
Tom Jenkins: We provide valuations free of charge. Most of the wines/cellar we buy are stored under bond in professional storage facilities; however, with the duty paid cellars we will arrange inspection/collection.
Sell Wine Guide: How do you rate the Provenance of a collection?
Tom Jenkins: We would ask the client to provide details of purchase history, ideally backed up by original invoices. We would then assess the storage; generally we buy from bonded warehouses, and finally review photos of the wines to check labels, levels, capsules etc.
Sell Wine Guide: For a first time seller who wants to sell some of his wine, what are the important things he needs to take into account?
Tom Jenkins: Sell through a reputable merchant or auction house. Think about cellar management i.e. sell the wines with the shortest drinking window first. Do your research on the market- are you selling at the right time?
Sell Wine Guide: What are some of the things that you feel are an advantage of selling your wine collection on Justerini & Brooks? What are the listing prices, commissions and premiums for a seller and buyer?
Tom Jenkins: We are the oldest wine merchant in the UK so have a strong reputation for quality customer service. We are owned by Diageo Plc so payment is assured. If you are broking/storing through us your wine is insured to replacement value.
Sell Wine Guide: Any additional tips for prospective sellers?
Tom Jenkins: Be patient, broking often provides the best return but may require patience depending on the market conditions and the level of demand for your wine.