Any tips on finding large lots of wine? (In particular, young ports)

Am “just” getting into wines, and would love to figure out how to find larger lots of wine, especially young vintage ports. I did see someone posted a question about how to sell a 600 bottle VP collection a few years ago, but they ended up selling it to some auction house.

Winebid seems to sell smaller lots - any other suggestions? Thanks!

?Are you ITB? This is an unusual request. Who needs more than a case of Porto?

Traditional auction houses (HDH, Zachys et al) frequently offer case lots of vintage port. I’m sure you can find many retailers who would be happy to sell you all the young vintage port you could desire!

Me! [cheers.gif]

Curious as to why you’re interested in purchasing a large quantity of young port, especially when you’re “just” starting out. Personally I’d suggest acquiring a wider base of wines to explore.

Regardless, to answer you query, find a good retailer local to you and they’ll be more than glad to source you the port you want. If you’re looking for something specific, wine-searcher can help out. Alternatively, if you know the quinta you’re interested in, you can reach out to their importer and see how you can acquire a large quantity of port. I’m sure they’ll be more than glad to work with you in coordinating the transaction.

To explain: I’ve found that the difference between LBV and VP is really noticeable to my palate, as well as to my wallet :slight_smile:
Doing the math for my remaining wine-drinking years and our family’s port consumption, I’d love to buy in bulk to bring the cost down, possibly from an estate sale? Having stumbled across that 600-bottle deal that never materialized, I’m just wondering if there are better places to find more deals such as that?
Also, large lots usually include wines I’d never dream of trying - great way to branch out.

Regarding branching out to non-port:
For port, there’s the $6 Trader Joe’s ruby, the $15ish LBV, and the $100 young VP. For non-fortified, there’s a million options, and I’m happy stumbling across new things (with my Monte Bello’s for special occasions).

Thanks for the tips so far! Any other suggestions?

While I cannot help you find larger lots other than to suggest auctions, aged vintage Port is widely available at retail, often less than current release price. Unless you’re looking to load up on a particular year or producer, I’d advise you to look around because it is relatively easy to find genuine bargains.

As just one example, the 1994 Warre VP is available in case quantities for ~$65 from Flickinger, which is less than the 2017 Warre VP and you have the benefit of an additional 23 years of age. As a younger wine buyer, that would be a major plus for me.

Don’t forget Single Quinta Vintage Ports. Easier on the budget than regular Vintage.

I think you’re likely to find a good price on a large lot from a retailer that has fairly good inventory. I like port as well, but it’s no secret that it does not fly off of shelves.

Not sure where you are, but a store in Neenah, WI called Club Liquor is pretty deep on port back to the late 90’s. They have several houses, but a lot more along the lines of Romariz than the top tier producers. I would bet that if you call them and ask them for a price on all they have (it won’t be 600 bottle, but it’s easily a few hundred) that you can make a deal.

It’s been a while since I browsed the port in the basement, but last I did there was Warren’s, Dow’s, Smith Woodhouse, Romariz and others I’m forgetting. Possibly some Quinta de Noval?

Good luck

Good ideas!
I’m in the CA Bay Area.

One of the biggest mistakes people make in starting out buying wine is thinking their tastes will never change. They buy too much of what they like now and then in five years have a cellar full of wines they are not that wild about. I think what people are hinting to you without outright saying it is that be careful buying too much until you learn more. We are just trying to help protect you from mistakes that the rest of us have made.

In five years, you could much prefer Taylor Fladgate to Graham or Dow to Warre or vice versa. Or, you may love sherry and madeira and wish you had less port. Or you could get into subtler wines like Loire Cabernet Francs.

Obviously, you have to do what you want to do and learn from your mistakes just like the rest of us have, but please be careful buying too much too soon.


Couldn’t agree with this more. I still have 4 bottles of Caymus left I paid a good chunk of change for that I bought when I first got into wine. You couldn’t pay me to drink that stuff now.

I am also questioning why you would be so Port focused. There is plenty out there with serious bottle age that you can purchase. The market is flat. I see no need to buy today when you can almost certainly get the same wine whenever you need it for the same price.

Lots of good advice here, and self-reflective questions that hopefully give you pause or certainty in your course of actions.

I just think I would seriously regret a cellar of 600 bottles of Kendall Jackson Chard, which is what I started out drinking 20 years ago before exploring all the possibilities and really discovering my palate. And even that has changed.

Edit: Acknowledging VP is on another level, overall narrative still applies.

Anyone who likes vintage port is lucky. It’s hard to think of any other wine region where the very top wines, wines that both critics and drinkers rave about, are just sitting out there in volume at the $50-75 price range. There is plenty of e.g. 2003 Taylor or 2000 Fonseca around for that price if you check Winesearcher. Case lots often pop up at auction without much competition if they are less than, say, 40 years old. Contra Mark I can see wanting to lay some aside now for the security of owning it and to check in as it ages, but you shouldn’t have much problem in doing so.

(But I do agree 600 bottles seems wildly excessive – 60 bottles would be more reasonable and still probably more than you need given the availability)

It is fair to suggest diversity in the cellar, I myself have been trying to do more of the same and stock wines that I may appreciate more as time passes. While I do agree and recognize tastes change, I also have consistently enjoyed port for at least the last decade. I have also, on a regularly basis, enjoyed a glass of port as a night cap or in lieu of dessert. So I can appreciate someone looking for port and appreciate everyone’s feedback in this thread.

I guess the main difference between my process and what the OP is suggesting, I seek out deals on weekly/monthly basis at retail or on WineBid for single quinta or vintage port, to keep a steady supply in the cellar. While this is more work, it also provides more diversity, since I am drinking more of what’s available, not the same stock of several hundred bottles.

For me personally, having different vintages of different houses and quintas, provides enough variation for me not to lose interest in port, at least for the application in which I enjoy it. The draw is that it is more tedious, but seems worth the effort.

Thank you for everyone’s feedback so far!

Yes, 600 might seem a bit excessive, but doing the math: 1 bottle a week = 52 a year = 520 in 10 years. I hope to be drinking VP for more than 10 years, and 1 a week doesn’t seem extreme, skipping a week (-) and gifts / dinner parties (+) once covid blows over.

Ideally, I could cut out the middleman, and find someone that’s selling an estate, or a wine shop that wants to remove inventory. Definitely don’t want to get all the same lodge, but man those '17 TF & Fonsecas (and even the '16 TF) are incredible! :slight_smile:

Also, searching constantly for deals is hard & time consuming, especially with 4 younger kids, although the search can be thrilling.

You’re welcome to consume as much port as you want. The question then becomes why do you feel the need to purchase 10 years worth of port consumption at once vs. purchasing either as the need arises or in smaller lot increments over a few years. As some have noted, even mature ports are affordable and they will very likely continue to be so in 10 years time. To me it seems like you could put some of that money towards other things now and purchase some more port for your future consumption at a later date.

The economics of Rodrigo’s point is another reason as to why I routinely search for deals and purchase smaller quantities at a time. It is very manageable from a cash flow perspective and does not hinder my ability to spend on other things. Although I only have one youngen at the moment and he is fairly manageable so far.