Know Your Grapes – Appraising Wine

Know Your Grapes – Appraising Wine


Selecting an appraiser for your valuable assets is difficult enough; don’t get “tanked” over selecting one for your wine collection!


As with any appraisal, when selecting a qualified appraiser look for a formal, up to date, education in appraisal theory, procedures, ethics, and law. The appraiser you hire should also be familiar with the type of property you want appraised and know how to value it correctly. 



Wine is no different.



Where a wine retailer, wholesaler or importer may have “in depth” knowledge of the product and the trade, they may not know how to proceed in researching the proper values that you need for your purposes. This is where the formal appraisal methodology training comes in. On the other hand, a well-trained and otherwise competent appraiser may not have the necessary expertise in the trade or product. 

Wine, like other asset classes including art, antiques and firearms includes the areas of product knowledge, market knowledge and appraisal methodology. In an attempt to keep this simple, personal property appraisal methodology, industry accepted standards, will be assumed. (I know the problem with assumptions, no need to remind me here) Your appraiser must be well versed in all three

In this article I’ll list just a few aspects of Product Knowledge. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list, just things to think about. 

Does your appraiser know

Wine corks on table

Wine Appellations: (DOC) Denominazione di Origine Controllata in Italy, (AOC) Appellation D’Origine Contrôlée  in France, (AVA) American Viticultural Areas, (DVAs) Designated Viticultural Areas in Canada

Regional Classifications: Burgundy, Bordeaux, German

Grapes, Grapes & More Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Nebbiolo,          Niagra, Pinotage, Delaware, Dolcetto, Sémillon, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir

The Effects of… on the Product/Value: Climate/Micro-climate, Tannins, Alcohol, Bottle Size (size does matter),  Storage, Temperature, Relative Humidity, Bottle Color, Vibration (trick question? …or not),FoilLabel, Condition, Ullage, Sediment, Corks v. Screw Caps


*Watch for my next article where I will discuss Market Knowledge.   


Emerald Art Services, LLC provides wine appraisals for insurance, equitable distribution and liquidation. We also provide collection inventory management and related software.                                                              


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