Craigslist wine

Anyone have any experience buying wine on Craigslist. Came across a guy with some interesting mid 70’s -mid 80’s French and Napa wines. I have little experience with older wines like this as honestly I just dont come across anything past the mid 90’s really. Would appreciate any insights/concerns/etc…seller is local and indicates all bottles have been in temp controlled storage and fill levels look good on the oldest bottles.

1981 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon
1984 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
1983 Cakebread Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
1982 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
1988 Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
1975 Chateau Pichon-Lalande
1978 Chateau Pichon-Lalande
1988 Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes
1983 Chateau Lynch-Bages
1983 Chateau Prieure-Lichine
1986 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateaneuf-du-Pape
1987 Vieux-Telegraphe

Thanks in advance for either a great night of future drinking or for saving me some money.


I don’t know that anyone can generalize about Craigslist. Those wines and that particular seller are whatever they are, you’ll just have to make your own inquiry and examination and determine your own risk tolerance versus whatever savings there presumably are to buying these.

For me, personally, I’m fairly adventurous in buying from winebid, from Commerce Corner, in private sales, and I have yet to get burned by it. I purposefully don’t buy in such dollar amounts per sale that it’s going to ruin me if I get screwed over, so I figure it’s mostly just fun money.

I’d also say that, while those are good wines, they aren’t really the kinds of wines that are likely to be fakes, or to have changed hands many times in the auction market, or anything. I myself wouldn’t be too worried if the guy and the bottles looked legit and the price was favorable.

But, back to my first point, Craigslist is just something that put you in touch with this guy and these bottles. The rest of it is about the seller, the bottles, the price, and you, and you just have to make your own determination.

I’d buy wine on CL if 3 things were true: the deal was good enough for me to be ok with pouring every bottle down the drain and I was ok with losing that $$. Are you a gambling man?

Kyle, the seller is local and he gets to inspect them, so the fact that Craigslist put the two in touch isn’t really pertinent to what the risk is now. He’s not buying them over Craigslist sight unseen and mailing off a check hoping the wines will be mailed back to him and they’ll be the right bottles and look decent.

But of course, there is more risk than if you’re buying them from K&L, and there’s no returning them if they’re corked or cooked. So, it’s a risk, and he just has to weigh the risk and his tolerance for risk against the (presumed) discount he’s getting in buying these as compared to buying them from a respected retailer.

I would never buy wine from CL, especially older bottles. But that’s just me and I’m risk averse.

In many states, you’d need to ask yourself: What are the chances that this is a State ABC Officer acting as part of an ABC sting operation?

I don’t know whether private citizens can sell to one another in California, but I do know that in some of the more restrictive states - such as Pennsylvania - the state will be running regular sting operations of one kind or another.

Even if it’s just sitting in the parking lot of a liquor store, in a border state, writing down your license plate number as you exit the store, with your liquor in hand, and then calling in an arrest as you cross the border back into the state.

Make sure they have the Coravin DogTagTM

I would buy one (88 Mondavi) and open it immediately, and if solid and well priced, then buy the remainder.

They could be lovely.

There is a good idea. [thumbs-up.gif]

all bottles have been in temp controlled storage

Since when? I don’t think these wines have spent their entire life under idea conditions and when you are talking 30+ year old wines I wouldn’t touch without tasting one first unless there is something you really want (birth year or anniversary bottle, ect.)


This. Meet him and inspect the bottles; pop and pour one if it makes you more comfortable. Like Chris said these bottles have little chance of being forgeries. Like others, I am paranoid about CL and a few other sites but there are good deals to be had.

Agreed with Todd and Rick here. Regardless of what or anyone else says (including folks here on this board and others!!!), the proof will be in the wines themselves . . .

Give it a shot and let us know - and perhaps this will take some away from so aggressively bidding on WineBid in the future :slight_smile:


By the way, Craigslist prohibits the sale of alcohol. Not sure how that would affect you if your transaction turns sour, if you’ll pardon the expression.
Phil Jones

It’s not legal in California to sell wine without a license. That said, our state is broke and I highly doubt we have funds in the budget for sting operations on selling wine through Craigslist.

Wait… isn’t this two things? What’s the magic third?

Great idea of paying for one versus everything. Can’t speak to legality.

This seems paranoid, but only because I’ve never heard of this happening and I’d like to think there are more important vice laws for state governments to enforce. Does this actually happen?

I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to sell alcohol on craigslist in California. That being said, doubt this would be a sting operation but, you never do know with the Wild West that is CL

You’re far more brave than me for even considering it. I always pictured craigslist wine to be half-empty bottles of 12yr old Yellowtail that have spent their lives baking in a hot closet. Proceed at your own risk

The PA officers will drive unmarked cars over to NJ, or down to DE, sit in the parking lot of the liquor stores, watch for the cars with PA license plates, witness the PA residents come back out of the store with liquor/beer/wine in their arms [probable cause], and then either follow them back across the state line, or call in the license plate and the automobile description and have a state patrol officer arrest them when they cross back over the border.

And then there’s the whole underage thing.

If you get caught selling liquor to ABC officers posing as minors, then there will be photographs, distributed to all the local newspapers, of you getting frog-marched off to your arraignment.