Feature

Tip of the week: How to buy rare wine

Know your limitations; Scout the field; Haunt the auctions; Start simple

Know your limitations. Anyone can buy a case of 2009 Château Cheval Blanc for $12,000. If you want better values or quick deliveries, cultivate an expert middleman.

Scout the field. The experts don’t advertise; you must “schmooze the right people” to find them. Restaurants with wine lists “thick in older vintages” are obvious places to look. Get to know the entire wine staff.

Haunt the auctions. Even if you don’t buy through big auction houses, attend the pre-auction BYOB dinners: “You meet a lot of people.” Try befriending the biggest collector in the room by sending over “a glass of something truly special.”

Start simple. Already spooked? A few rare-wine retailers are “safe havens,” including the Paris shop De Vinis Illustribus and London’s Antique-Wine.com.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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