Wickmans Fine Wine and Whisky Auctions for collectors of fine rare wine and whisky Skip Navigation LinksAuction Home » Wine Services » List of Wine Auctions in Australia
Last reviewed:  31st May 2019

Wine auctions are simply a marketplace with well defined sets of rules that allow sellers and buyers of uncommon and rare wines to negotiate a trading price anonymously. As is often the case, a buyer will know more about the wine on offer than the seller and the seller uses an auction to extract information about what a buyer is willing to pay via the auction system. The value of uncommon, rare and older wines depends on the tastes of the buyer and is known only to the buyer and will change over time.

Whilst current release, retail wines are not normally found at specialist wine auction houses, there is a growing class of auctions that are dealing now in distressed and excess current vintage stock that typically appeal to the drink now class.

By comparison to the rest of the world, Australian wine auctions are miniscule affairs, mainly trading in the higher end Australian wines such as Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace. The very limited amount of international wine imported into the country over the years and the ever growing lake of domestically produced fine wine limits Australia’s development on the world stage of fine wine trading.

Search our online database of vintage wine prices

Specialist Wine Auction Houses

Wines for enthusiasts and collectors

The following are the leading, specialist wine auction houses in Australia with national scope and frequent auctions with respectable volumes and turnover of fine and rare wines. They mainly deal in mature, old and uncommon wines and with reserves at recognised market prices, varying only slightly from auction house to auction house.

One of the major differences between a specialist and general wine auctioneer is that the specialist will give a guideline to the buyer on the historical value of a wine (low or average price paid and sometimes high price paid) where the general auction house uses RRP (recommended retail price) as a guideline for buyers which can result in un-informed buyers paying as much as 40% more than fair market price, resulting in a larger degree of regret from winners curse, which in turn affects the entire auction industry.

As well as being a clearing house for secondary market fine wines, specialist wine auction houses can also be very strong brand advocates and influencers, keeping brands and the memory of those wines in circulation for decades.

Wickman’s Fine Wine Auctions

Membership Cost: Free
Auction Frequency: Monthly
Buyer commission: 11% incl GST
Shipping Costs: $17 + insurance per carton.
Website: www.wickman.net.au

Founded in 2003 from a series of charity auctions, Wickman’s is an independent, family business and offers a very personal wine auction experience, specialising in the trading of rare and fine wines from private collectors. It is the only wine auction house to offer guaranteed provenance (a history of how the wine has been purchased and stored).

Oddbins Wine Auctions

Membership Cost: $22+ per annum.
Note: You must be a paid member before you can view the lots on offer
Auction Frequency: Monthly
Buyer commission: 15% incl GST
Shipping Costs: $16 + Insurance
Website: www.oddbins.com.au

Oddbins wines have been around since the early 90’s, Oddbins have set up a new online bidding system and have increased the frequency of their auctions so that they now have a budget and a fine wine section. You can view current auctions or past catalogues after becoming a member.

MW Wines

Membership Cost: : $27+
Note: You must be a paid member before you can bid on the lots on offer.
Auction Frequency: Monthly
Buyer commission: 15% incl GST
Shipping Costs: $16 + Insurance
Website: www.mwwines.com.au

MW Wines are a supplier of old and rare wines since the late eighties, MW Wine auctions are run professionally and efficiently and offers a museum wine shop for those who have no patience for wine auctions.

Langton’s Wine Auctions

Membership Cost: $33 per annum.
Note: You must be a paid member before you can bid on the lots on offer.
Auction Frequency: Weekly
Buyer commission: 16.5% incl GST
Shipping Costs: $10 to $15 per carton + insurance.
Website: www.langtons.com.au

Langtons wines is Australia’s most influential leader when it comes to establishing prices in the secondary wine market and was sold to the Woolworths chain (includes Dan Murphy’s) in 2009. It operates frequent auctions, sourcing large amounts of current release wines through its corporate networks. Langtons also publish the Langtons Classification guide which attempts to classify Australian wines based on past activity within the secondary wine market.

Sterling Wine Auctions

Membership Cost: Free.
Auction Frequency: Monthly
Buyer commission: 15% incl GST
Shipping Costs: $20 + Insurance
Website: www.sterlingwine.com.au

The only wine auction house based on the West coast (Perth), Sterling has been operating since the early 90’s and often has access to many of the great Western Australian wines.

General & Non Traditional Auctioneers

Budget and distressed wines

There are many auction houses in Australia that deal in art, white goods and office and house contents; and of course wine. Wine auctions are just one aspect in a general auctioneer’s portfolio.

Most of the wines on offer through these sites are often current release wines with the occasional gem that can turn up if you hunt carefully. But you must do your homework as most of these sites do not give an indication of the wines secondary market value and quote RRP (recommended retail price) instead, typically 40% more expensive.

A site such as Wine Searcher can give you comparative values of what you should expect to pay at auction or at retail.

Graysonline wine

Membership Cost: Free.
Auction Frequency: Daily
Buyer commission: 17.5% incl GST
Warranty: None (on private cellar sales)
Guaranteed provenance: No, but a detailed effort to disclose it.
Shipping Costs: $? per lot. Consolidating shipping across sales is not permitted.
Website: www.graysonline.com

Grays online (sometimes known as Grays wine online or Greys wine) are a general auctioneer who trade many different types of goods as well as having a wine section. A very well designed website, Grays provide the buyer with a lot of information, however, on their fine wine (or private cellar sales) Grays do not give a secondary market value of the lots which can often result in far higher prices being paid by buyers not doing their homework rather than as a result of fair demand for a particular wine.

Lawsons Menzies

Membership Cost: Free
Auction Frequency: Monthly
Buyer commission: 22% incl GST
Shipping Costs: Outsourced, quoted depending on winnings
Website: www.lawsonmenzies.com.au

A general, traditional auctioneer with a core business of art and bric-a-brac. They hold fairly regular fine wine auctions and use fair secondary market valuations in their catalogues.

Author: Mark Wickman
wineauction@wickman.net.au Google+ Profile 

What our customers have been saying

wickman.net.au has an aggregate rating of 4.9 out of a potential 5 stars based on 100 Google ratings and reviews
"Can highly recommend.."
".. impressed by the ease and convenience.."
"..runs a very professional operation.."
".. I highly recommend Wickmans' services as both a seller and buyer of fine wines."
Review Rating

Quick Wine or Whisky Valuation

Please send the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your contact email
  • The location of the wine or whisky
  • A list of the wine or whisky (Qty, Vintage, Winery, Wine)