So you’ve been collecting for a while now and you may be asking yourself, “What is it worth?” You can of course come to an estimation of how much your wine is worth by looking up what the bottle is going for online. However, this would be a very tedious process if you were looking to price an entire collection. There are numerous reasons to have your collection appraised: perhaps you are looking to sell; maybe you are concerned with the authenticity of a wine; or perhaps you inherited the collection. An appraiser can tell you exactly what you’ve got. You may be looking to protect your investment. A proper appraisal will help you to have adequate insurance coverage should anything happen to the collection that you have so lovingly built. Insurance companies generally estimate the value of a home’s contents based on a percentage of the home’s value. If you experience a theft or loss and find yourself without any proof of your collection’s worth, you may find yourself out of luck. Insurance provides protection from fire, theft, hurricanes, flooding, and even in some cases, breakage. Having an appraisal will keep you from crying over spilt milk, or, in this case, wine. What you spent on your collection and what your collection is worth are two entirely different matters.
You can easily find an appraiser in your area online. Some websites even provide the service online, and will appraise your collection based on your inventory list, in addition to offering services in person. If you don’t have an inventory list, it may be a project to tackle this upcoming weekend. Prices vary based on the company; many wine auction sites will provide a complimentary appraisal on a bottle that you are wishing to sell. In cases of an entire collection, the cost of the appraisal will vary based on the size of your collection.
An appraiser will want to know the purpose of your appraisal. Having an inventory of your collection will be very helpful in expediting the process, and in some cases, will make the appraisal cheaper. It will tell the appraiser the different kinds of wine you have in your collection and the size of your collection. Where you store your wine will also greatly impact the value of your collection. Improper storage can destroy the wine, and therefore your investment. In insurance cases companies will want to see an appraisal that is no more than five to seven years old. So make sure you stay up to date.
Contributing Author Renee Smith
Brielle Cotterman and Paige Stover Hague are the principals of Crowninshield Consulting. Their firm partners with professional advisors throughout the country assisting with succession planning and transfer of passion investments. They also work with individual collectors who seek to inventory, evaluate, and/or transfer highly-valued items of personal property with specific wealth transfer and philanthropic objectives. For more information about their company, please contact Brielle at 765-776-0492 or Brielle@CrowninshieldConsulting.com.
By Paige Stover Hague, Esq. And Brielle Cotterman