26 Mar Living the dream….
It was with great surprise when I turned up for work after the Christmas break at the beginning of the year to find out that Mossgreen-Webbs was no more. Mossgreen-Webbs New Zealand had a great year especially within the Rare and Fine Wine department. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as Head of the Rare and Fine Wine departments both in New Zealand and Australia and even with the unfortunate demise of both companies will always be very grateful for the opportunity to run these departments.
However, every cloud has a silver lining and here I am setting up my own Rare and Fine Wine and Spirits auction house. The idea for this was a long time coming. The first wine auctions I ever attended were in London in the early 90’s while I was studying for the diploma of wine with the WSET. Several of us would get our pennies together and head off to the auctions at either Christies or Sotheby’s to taste as many wines as we could and then we would bid on a bottle that wasn’t going to set us back too much. This was normally a single bottle of wine that we would share so we could taste and discuss rather enthusiastically. Believe me when I say this wasn’t a bunch of students doing it large. More often than not there were 10 of us sharing a bottle that we would make last as we sipped and swirled and waxed lyrical about what was in our glass. It was during this time in my life that the seed was sown.
Fast forward to now and here we are with the start-up of The Wine Auction Room. If you look back to my student days this has been a long time coming. However, it also represents a great deal of change in the auction market not only for wine auctions but also the whole auction landscape. We have taken on board these changes and will utilise them to the fullest extent with our auctions. Not only will we have the traditional live auctions but have improved on these to open them up to others to bid online remotely while the auction is being called. We will also incorporate an app for the live auctions so wherever you are you can bid from your mobile device. We always like to see people at the live auctions but also realise with the busy lives we lead these days it’s not always possible to get to the auction room. Of course we will continue to host online only auctions as well. Expect to see an auction every month; either an online or live auction.
Having the influence of critic scores and tasting notes is also something we want to expand to give the buyer the best information possible to make an informed decision on lots they are interested in. While we cannot visit the source cellar of all of our auctioned wines; we do plan to give potential buyers as much information as we can about the cellars these wines have come from.
Storage of wine is always incredibly important and we store all wines available for auction in a secure and temperature controlled environment. We also offer our vendors a comprehensive insurance cover (to our knowledge the only wine auction house in NZ to do this) where as long as we have a signed agreement to auction their wines they will be insured from the time the wines leave their cellars. We always treat all wines we have for auction with the greatest respect but unfortunately this is not always the case with courier companies. The Wine Auction Room will also have a separate ‘Trust’ account for all vendor funds. This is not compulsory in New Zealand but we see this as the ethical way forward.
So there you have it. We don’t necessarily want to be the biggest rare and fine wine auction house in New Zealand but we do want to be the most ethical and trustworthy.