Welcome to The Journal – The JF Tobias Wine Blog

Welcome to The Journal, the official home of our new and improved wine blog.

The Journal aims to be the go-to place to read about all things vinous; offering expert knowledge, unparalleled access, insight, and news and views from around the world of wine.

About our wine blog

Our authors and contributors are highly knowledgeable and respected members of staff, key influencers and experts from the wine trade, and existing wine bloggers. Their expertise in wine and other areas of interest will offer our readers enjoyable, educational, and insightful entries that will provide them access to the world of wine like none other.

At JF Tobias our ultimate goal is to democratise wine for all and improve enjoyment and participation in what can sometimes be a mystifying arena. Our wine blog will be a starting point for many in demystifying the wine world, and for others, it will guide them further along their journey with wine.

We encourage wine enthusiasts and experts of all abilities and knowledge to get involved in the conversation, and have your say by rating and commenting on our author’s entries.

We sincerely hope you enjoy reading The Journal and please don’t hesitate to send us your feedback or topics you’d like us to cover. If commenting on our wine blog please be polite, respectful and avoid profanity. Anything that violates our Terms & Conditions will be removed. We also reserve the right to review and reject any comments that we deem to be inappropriate.

Interested in becoming a Journal Content Contributor?

If you’re already a wine blogger or wine writer or want to use your wine knowledge and expertise to start writing a blog, then our wine blog could be the perfect platform to launch yourself and gain more exposure.  We are always looking for Content Contributors to provide interesting and informative articles for our wine blog. Providing you have a real passion for wine, writing, and have an interest in sharing your knowledge and expertise, then we’d be interested in hearing from you. Please send us your CV, cover note and some examples of your writing to

Contributors can be based anywhere, we only require you to be creative, self-motivated, have strong writing skills, and keep to deadlines.


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  • Key factors to consider when deciding how to sell wine online

    Want to know how to sell wine online? This brief guide will cover the key factors you need to consider to ensure that when it comes to selling your wine you’re prepared as possible and are able to achieve the best wine prices.

    When the time comes to sell your wine

    Whether you’re ready to sell your wine now, or buying now to sell in future, when the time comes to part with your liquid assets and reap the rewards of your wine investment, you will want to ensure you get the highest wine valuation for your cases.

    At JF Tobias we believe that this process should be done with ease, transparency, confidence and within an efficient time frame. From our experience of buying and valuing thousands of cases, complete cellars, and massive wine collections, we’ve collated the below points to help make sure you’ve got everything required to ensure that selling your wine is a stress-free process.  

    This guide aims to offer useful advice to those who are looking to create a wine collection, interested in wine investment and for anyone who is looking to find out how to sell wine online.

    Starting a wine collection or investing in wine?

    If you’ve decided to start investing in wine or looking to creating a wine collection, then sticking to these points will help ensure that when the time comes to sell your wine you will be in the best possible position to achieve the highest wine prices.

    Along with considering our key points below, we highly advise that you speak to a wine merchant or an expert when first starting a wine investment or collection. However, be sure to do your research into any person or company beforehand so you know their advice is sound. You could do this by checking independent review sites, like Trustpilot or Feefo, or if you’re planning on using a bonded warehouse to store your wine, then you could speak to the warehouse they use. Researching and seeking independent advice could potentially save you from being scammed, so it’s worth doing.

    Ready to sell your wine?

    So you’ve got a wine collection or have been investing in wine for some time now, and you’ve been patiently waiting for your wine to mature and increase in value. If you’ve made the decision not to drink the wine you’ve been ageing, then hopefully your wine investment will provide you with some healthy returns.

    Choosing where to sell wine online is almost as important as choosing where you bought your wine from in the first place. Once again, research and independent advice is key here to ensure you get the best possible deal and don’t fall victim to scams or fraud.

    When it comes to selling wine the below points will guide you on what may affect your wine’s value and what information you should have to hand when speaking to a wine merchant or another potential purchaser.

    How to Sell Wine – Key Factors to Consider

    The below factors should be used as a guide to consider how to sell wine online only, and other wine merchants or companies may require or have other procedures in place.

    Provenance (Essential)

    When buying wine to sell on at a later date, or even simply to enjoy yourself, it is essential that you use a reputable wine merchant. One way to do this is searching online for companies that have good independent reviews. Also, make sure you receive an invoice or some proof of purchase, as this will help the buyer of your wine prove its provenance, therefore enabling them to provide an accurate wine valuation and improving the marketability of your wine.

    Bonded Warehouse

    Storage (Essential)

    Wine is an organic product and can spoil if it’s not kept in ideal conditions. Preferably, bottles should be kept on their side in dark, cool, vibration free conditions and at the right humidity. Ideally, it should remain there until it is ready to drink or to be sold on.

    When selling cases of wine most wine merchants or other reputable buyers will want to know where the wine has been kept. In most cases they will expect it to have been kept in a government approved bonded warehouse. Wines that are stored in bond have not had Duty or VAT paid on them yet, and if you’re planning on selling your wine later on then you will never have to pay these wine taxes. As soon as your cases are taken out of a bonded warehouse then you are required to pay Duty and VAT, which are costs you may not be able to recover.

    You can read more about Professional Storage Facilities in our resource on Buying and Selling Wine In Bond – Find a Bonded Warehouse.

    Condition (Essential)

    Again, this comes down to how the bottles of wine have been stored. To aid the process of finding a new home for your wine, your merchant will expect to know the condition of the bottles and may request condition reports. Some buyers may accept bottles that are not in perfect condition, however, they will most likely offer a lower price for them.

    The conditions they will searching for include: torn labels, staining to the labels, cut capsules, cork seepage, corks sunken or protruding, import strips, fill levels, and the colour of wine. Read more on our Wine Inspection Guidelines.

    It is extremely important, to be honest about the condition of your wine as it will affect the accuracy of your wine valuation and your bottles may be rejected later after inspection.

    Wine Condition Report Photo

    Condition Reports (Recommended)

    When buying wine that has not been sourced directly from the estate, it is worth checking the provenance and the condition of the cases you’re looking to buy. Condition reports are usually produced by a bonded warehouse on request from a wine merchant when the cases arrive in their account.

    When buying wine from a private collector, a good wine merchant will have these reports produced to confirm the conditions of the wines, so it’s worth asking if they have them. A condition report is a high definition photo, which allows the buyer to closely examine the condition and authenticity of the wines.

    If you’re selling wine then your wine merchant may request that a condition report should be produced before confirming their commitment to buy your wines. If your wines are not in perfect condition then your wine quotation may decrease in value. Read more on our Wine Inspection Guidelines.

    Original Wooden Cases (Recommended)

    If your wine was purchased in it’s Original Wooden Case (OWC) or Original Cardboard Case (OCC), then we recommend that you continue to store it that way. Not only does it prevent the bottles getting damaged, but it will also help you get the best wine prices when the time comes to sell your wine. Non-OWC wines are harder to find buyers for, therefore you will most likely receive a lower offer for those cases/bottles.

    We also recommend that you keep your cases of wine complete. No matter how tempting it is to drink your wine, if your ultimate goal is to sell wine online then you will receive better wine values if the cases are full.

    banded owc wine case

    Drinking Window (Preferable)

    Some wines are made to have the ability to age for a few years and others can age well for decades. It is extremely important that you keep track of your wine’s drinking window. This will not only ensure you are able to enjoy your wine during its peak drinking period, and not once it has gone past its best, but also make it much easier to sell when the time comes. If your wine has gone past its peak maturity, then it could become very difficult to find a buyer.

    Price check (Preferable)

    If your wines meet the above criteria, or you stick to them whilst you’re collecting wine, then it is highly likely that you will receive the best possible wine prices. Whoever you decide to sell with, it is once again important to use a trusted and reputable wine merchant. We would highly recommend that you price check with other merchants to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.

    It is also important to confirm the commissions, charges and any logistical costs that you may incur, and whether they are included or excluded from your wine quotation.

    Broking or Cash Offers? (Dependent on your needs)

    A typical wine quotation will usually come in two forms, one will display an outright purchase or cash offer, and the other will display a broking offer. An outright purchase means that the merchant will take complete ownership of your wines, usually subject to a condition report, and you will receive the cash offer immediately after. With a brokered offer you will still have ownership of your wines and your preferred merchant will sell them on your behalf. It is worth noting that you would normally achieve higher wine values for broking offers, and a broking offer will usually also be subject to a condition report.

    How to sell wine online with JF Tobias

    Being completely focused and committed to our client’s needs and requirements is at our very core and comes from a strong belief that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in the enjoyment of wine.

    Through our online Wine Valuation and Sell Wine Tool, our clients are able to use the best-in-class solution for access to accurate market values and wine quotations, ultimately empowering them with the means to make informed decisions when buying and selling wine.


    Read more on our selling wine online service and process.

    In the near future, we’ll be releasing a Cellar Management Tool which will allow clients to store the details of their wines while also receiving further services, such as, tasting notes and suggested drinking windows, monthly wine valuations, historical wine analysis and wine prices alerts.

    Please contact us for more information, to pre-register for this service or to become an Early Adopter be part of the beta testing.



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  • A Guide to…Wine Tasting

    A wine tasting is one of those events that either fill people with joy or dread… or perhaps a healthy alternation between the two for trade-folk. Joyous or quaking with fear, it is undeniable there feels like a lot of social pressure around a event that essentially allows us to try something we like, or indeed might like.

    But why? It all boils down to confidence – the wine world can appear full of pretentious rituals and arm-waves, how can you possibly affect the right glass swill if you haven’t grown up on an châteaux estate; or spent a lot of time with people who have. Luckily things are changing, and an informal wine tasting should be seen as being a good symptom of this change. With events popping up all over the country, from the more serious to light-hearted; an increasing amount of shops heralding enomatic wine tasting machines and the good old world wide web making it all the more accessible, the wine world suddenly feels like a far more democratic one.

    However, it does help to have a few things in mind, an internal set of pointers if you will, before skipping into the room, head held high. Herewith a few suggestions that we feel lend to a more enjoyable and productive wine tasting experience…

    Remember you’re there for YOU. Yes, you. Whilst it’s important to talk to others and listen to any experts who might be lurking around, how you taste wine, and even why you’re there, is all ultimately very personal.

    Enter with an open mind… maybe you know what you like, maybe you don’t, the important thing is to try as much as you can, especially anything new or rife with preconceptions. This is best way to educate your palate.

    Talking to people makes the whole experience all the more worthwhile, and infinitely more enjoyable. Find the hosts; let them know what you like and listen what they suggest. Are there any sommeliers? They’re there for a purpose: to help and guide. Chat to fellow tasters. It’s interesting and there might be something that you’re struggling to define that they just so happen to have pinpointed. It also helps find personal descriptors for wine terms that might have previously felt a little too arm-wavy for comfort.

    Nibble away. Empty stomachs at a wine tasting are a dangerous thing; no one wants to be the one who trips on their shoe, launches into a table of glasses and upturns a plant pot for good measure. (Although if this does happen, it makes for a great story). The food is also there for a purpose (and that’s not to line empty stomachs. Eat before) – to cleanse your palette in between different wines. Tastebuds can be susceptible to influence too, so do your best to keep them fresh.

    Drink water too. Not expecting it to turn into wine, but to keep everything fresh, and hydrated. Your tastebuds, notes and head later on/the next day will thank you. And it rinses your glass.

    Make notes. However you like. They’re for your own recollection and development, not anyone else. Perhaps take pictures of labels. Number them off in your notes. Gone are the days where labels had to be soaked off into scrapbooks, let your smart phone be just that.

    Take your time. There’s no point in blustering in, gulping down and exiting… First off there’s far too much glassware around for that kind of behaviour, but also there’d be no benefit to you – to really taste a wine takes time, and checking off of the senses:

    First – LOOK. What colour is it? how viscous (thick) is it? can you glean any initial smells without moving the glass?

    Then – SWIRL. Start of slowly and see how the wine moves. Are there any legs? (residual wine on the inside of the glass that dribbles down a bit like brandy sauce on a Christmas pudding) Swirling in itself can feel a bit of a rigmarole, but you don’t need to necessarily have the perfectly attuned flick of the wrist. Swirling is designed to open out the wine, to release aromas and let it breathe a bit more before it’s sipped upon. Keep the bottom of the glass on a flat surface if need be and move its contents as you choose. Smell again and notice any difference; how has it opened out and is there anything it reminds you of?

    After, and only after – SIP. Let those smells move into your mouth…Do they grow into something else? or close off slightly? Play with the wine in your mouth, swill it around, and carefully breathe air in through the wine. There should be no tastebud left untouched. Try without the swilling and breathing. Notice the difference?

    Now comes the conundrum: to swallow or not to swallow, that is the question. Well, the good news is (noble musings notwithstanding)… it doesn’t matter; you choose. Want to drink the wine, then do (mindful of how much you’ve already drunk and how long you’re going to be at the wine tasting for)… Or rather spit, then do. Spitting is traditionally how the trade operate as this is their job, and they might be off to another 2 or 3 tastings that day alone and need to keep wits and energies up. As a consumer, you decide depending on how you feel (and maybe how delicious the wine is, sometimes)… Just keep a bit of a tab on things and remember when you last ate.

    Holding your glass. Now this can feel weighted in social norms – how to hold, where to put (especially when taking pictures and notes), do I need to keep hold of the same glass, even? All of these concerns are valid, but for the most part become apparent from wine tasting to wine tasting. Sometimes you’ll be encouraged to keep hold of your glass, sometimes you won’t. And there’ll always be some sort of surface to place it down on either way. The important thing is when it’s in your actual hands, hold it properly by the stem. Holding by the bowl not only makes it dirty, but also changes the temperature of the wine. The stem also makes for an easier swirl. Self-styled as it may be.

    So there we are – go forth and taste! With a view to expanding your knowledge, moving out of a few comfort zones and meeting a few like-minded souls. Who knows you might even enjoy it, and if not, learning something new can never be a bad thing.  Especially when the finer juice of the grape is involved.

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