When endless reams of wine bottles are on perpetual display in the vast majority of stores, available for purchase, the concept of rare wine might seem like an improbability to many; for wine collectors and connoisseurs, however, locating and possessing rare wines is an exciting endeavor into which they’re willing to pour hundreds of hours.

Collectors and connoisseurs aren’t the only purveyors of fine, rare wines these days – the business is becoming relatively lucrative and many are dipping their toes into the water. Whether it’s to procure a treasured gift for a loved one or purchase a vintage bottle for a special celebration, more and more people are embracing this niche industry and scouring available resources to find rare wines and ‘back vintages’ on which to spend big bucks.

If you’re fancying a deep dive into the world of rare and vintage wines, but don’t know where to start, we have some tips to help.

Online Retailers

According to Underground Cellar, the best and most consistent place to source the best selection of rare and vintage wines is – surprise, surprise – the internet. The minor caveat of this is to be scrupulously discerning; whilst an asset, there are also many opportunities to find yourself in a scamming situation on the internet.

An extensive internet search will reveal a plethora of valuable vintage and rare wines that can be found nowhere else, but this is only if you utilize trusted, reputable sources – fraudsters are always looking for an opportunity to make easy bucks from naïve shoppers. The best online retailers of these types of wines will diligently inspect each bottle according to their own strict guidelines, checking for authenticity.

Not only are you guaranteed to obtain the most obscure bottles of wines worry-free, but trusted online retailers are ordinarily in the unique position of being able to offer rare wines at the best prices possible with safe shipment guaranteed – even offering deals to make purchasing more tantalizing to customers.

Auctions

Providing you have a carefully constructed, prudent plan in place beforehand, rare wine auctions are possibly the best option for collectors and connoisseurs to acquire their vintage wines.

You would do well to ingratiate yourself with other collectors by attending pre-auction dinners. This will help you to become more astute when choosing your rare wines, as well as provide you with information regarding upcoming auctions you may not have heard about yet.

Despite the benefits of such a game plan, this isn’t the only route into rare wine auctions. Perhaps the most effective route is to be fully aware of the specific vintage you’re seeking, hand-picking the auctions you know will contain your chosen wine. This requires plenty of research before the auction and the obtainment of each available wine’s provenance – if this can’t be guaranteed, the auction house is likely untrustworthy.

Weird and Wonderful

If you prefer a more authentic experience, try the more traditional method of in-person treasure-hunting. Whilst this is a more time-consuming method, it is a much more hands-on experience that suits the more eclectic wine collectors out there – particularly those who have no issue getting their hands dirty!

The key here is to keep an eye out for vacant properties (particularly large properties in rural areas, such as farmhouses), where the owner has either recently passed away or placed into care with no one to claim the property; these are often veritable treasure troves for wine collectors, storing an abundance of rare vintages that often cannot be found anywhere else.

Whether you are just starting in the world of wine collecting, building an already-established collection, or sourcing a one-off for a special occasion, there are various routes available for you to choose from, according to your wants and needs. The one thing you ought to remain, regardless of your sourcing method – according to experts – is fastidious, retaining a rigorous system throughout the process.