Frequently Asked questions

At Sotheby’s Wine, we strive to offer a complete range of excellent wines at competitive prices, supported by thoughtful service and expert advice. It is always our pleasure to work with you. Please contact our friendly team at 212-894-1990 for personalized service. Alternately, you may find answers to common questions below.

  • General Questions
  • Using Our Website
  • Ordering
  • Shipping and Delivery
  • Services & Advice
General Questions
Your wine store is inside the Sotheby’s building, but can anyone shop there?

Absolutely! The Sotheby’s building at 1334 York Avenue, Manhattan, NY, 10021, is open to the public. Our retail store is located just off the lobby to the left. For more details on Sotheby’s locations and store hours, please visit our Contact Us page. To coordinate your visit with an auction in New York, please check Sotheby's auction calendar.

Are Sotheby’s wines pricier than those at my local wine store?

While Sotheby’s is known for achieving the highest auction prices on everything from art and jewellery to wine, our retail wines are carefully selected and sourced to be as competitively priced as possible. We offer a full range of wines at all price points, starting at $14.95, to suit any wine enthusiast’s palate and budget.

Why should I buy my next bottle of wine from Sotheby’s?

Sotheby’s Wine is a world-class retail and auction business. Our retail website leverages our unique expertise and years of experience to provide you, the wine buyer, with a vast range of wines, available for immediate delivery and consumption. Our retail business applies the same exacting standards used successfully in our traditional auction business for many years.

We focus on sourcing excellent wines, in pristine condition, from impeccable sources. Each wine is chosen based on its taste, its high quality, its value for money, and its authenticity in representing the region from which it comes. We offer you impeccable wine, superb service and expert advice, on your terms.

Does your staff taste every wine in the store?

Actually, we do try to taste every wine we offer for sale. Even for older and rare wines, it is likely that either our retail or auction specialists in New York, London or Hong Kong have had the pleasure of tasting it.

What do wine ratings mean?

A wine rating is a numeric score. Sotheby’s Wine rates wines on a 100-point scale, but there are other rating scales used by critics, publications and businesses when evaluating wines of a given vintage. These ratings generally reflect one person’s opinion on one bottle of a particular wine on a given day. Ratings are provided as useful guides to help buyers select wines.

Where do you buy your wines?

Sotheby’s offers an excellent selection of high-quality, well-priced wines sourced directly from top-notch wholesalers, wineries and private collections.

Are your wines inspected for quality?

To ensure that each wine is authentic and in excellent condition, our specialists inspect every bottle that is not purchased directly from a winery, direct importer or wholesaler.

Do you discount your wines?

We offer competitive prices across our entire range of wines because, when we buy wines, we make sure they can be offered at attractive prices. As a result, with very few exceptions, we do not offer discounts.

Can you help me find rare wines that are not listed on your website?

Of course! We would be delighted to help you locate a specific wine if we don’t already carry it. Please contact us and let us know what you are searching for. Also, learn more about our Wine Advisory services and team.

Using Our Website
May I print a list of wines from the Sotheby’s Wine site?

Yes. At the bottom of each web page is an option to print a PDF listing of our wine inventory. 

May I order spirits from the website?

We offer a limited selection of fine spirits, but they are only available for shipment within New York state. 

If I forget my password and/or my account number, how can I be reminded?

Go to "My Account" and enter the email address you registered with. Then click "forgot password." A reset link will be sent to you shortly.

Whom may I contact if I am unable to log in even with my password?

Just contact us via email or phone and we will be delighted to assist.

How can I report a technical problem with your website?

Please send us an email or call us directly at +212-894-1990 (10am to 6pm EST) to advise of the problem. We want your online shopping experience to be as easy and convenient as possible. By speaking directly with one of us during regular business hours, we will resolve the issue as soon possible. If you experience difficulty outside of regular office hours, please have a glass of wine and call us tomorrow.

What are your privacy and security policies?

Please visit our Privacy  policy.

To order wine, must I have an account with Sotheby’s Wine?

Yes. All purchases require you to create an account with us. Please create a username and password and also provide your billing and shipping information when you check out online.

What are the age requirements when ordering from Sotheby’s Wine?

To place an order, you must be at least 21 years of age. First-time buyers are required to provide a copy of a photo ID for our records. All deliveries must be accepted with a personal signature by someone over 21.

May I order a single bottle rather than a full case?

You may purchase any quantity of wine. Please be mindful that shipping costs are not pro-rated per bottle, but are calculated based on location and overall purchase value. For more information, please visit our Shipping and Delivery page.

Are all products displayed on the website “in stock” and available for purchase

Our website inventory is reported in “real time,” meaning that when a client walks into the retail store and purchases a bottle, it is deducted from our inventory and reflected online within 15 minutes. On the web site, to the right of the rating information, you can view the available number of bottles below each wine’s name and description.

May I request wine delivery to more than one address?

Certainly. Simply click on My Account at the top of the web page and, once logged in, you can update your shipping and billing information, as well as email address, username and password.

Do you offer Sotheby’s Wine gift cards?

Yes! Our e-gift cards are perfect for all occasions and can be purchased online. They are available in several amounts starting at $150, and are ready for immediate download and printing. Please visit our Gift Card page for details.

My order is a gift. May I send a message with it?

Yes. You will have the opportunity to write and include a message when you check out online. After entering payment information, there will be a comments box available for adding gift messages. 

What are my payment options?

Sotheby’s Wine accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.

Must I pay sales tax?

Sales tax is charged on all orders delivered within New York and California. 

May I change my wine order once I hit the “submit” button?

Any changes to website orders should be requested as soon as possible via email. Our team will do everything possible to accommodate your change as long as the order has not already been fulfilled.

Will you hold my order for in-store pickup?

Yes. Simply choose “In-Store Pickup” under your shipping options when you are checking out online for a requested pick-up date that is at least two business days from today’s date. Once your order has been received, we will confirm the Pick Up date via email or phone. All in-store pick-ups must be collected within 5 business days after the order is placed.

What is your policy for returns and cancellations?

Based on New York State law, Sotheby’s Wine is unable to accept returns purchased in error by a customer. We are permitted to accept returns only if the merchandise is defective in quality. In that case, the bottle must be returned to us within a reasonable period of time, properly sealed and clearly tagged with a statement that includes the date of return and the reason that it is unsatisfactory. We will then send the wine back to the manufacturer or wholesaler. If bottles arrive broken, please notify us immediately.

If you wish to cancel an order, we ask that you phone us at 212-894-1990 as soon as possible. There is a 10% processing and restocking fee for all canceled orders.

Shipping and Delivery
Can you handle special shipping requests?

Yes. We can accommodate special requests, including rush shipping and international delivery to a limited number of countries. Please send us an email and we will do everything possible to accommodate your request.

What are your delivery options and rates?

Sotheby’s Wine offers free delivery to Manhattan on all purchases of $175 or more. Smaller orders may be picked up at our retail store at 72nd and York in Manhattan or shipped. In New York State (outside of Manhattan), shipping is via FedEx. For interstate and international shipping, please see Collection & Shipping. US shipping rates will be provided when you check out online. We do not currently offer international shipping due to international laws and restrictions.

If the order includes an original wooden case, is it included in shipping and handling?

Original wooden cases can be shipped via FedEx Ground upon request for an additional $12 per case. Cases are kept for 2 weeks after an initial order is placed, then discarded and no longer available for shipment. 

May I order spirits from the website?

Spirits and liquor are sold for collection by the purchaser or the purchaser's agent from our premises in New York or shipment to the District of Columbia, New Hampshire and New York via specialized carriers. Applicable taxes and/or fees are due on the purchase price.

Is it possible to preview estimated shipping costs before I place my online order?

Of course. Estimated shipping rates are provided at checkout based on shipping address, shipping method, number of bottles/cases and total weight. We will send you an order confirmation which includes actual shipping charges and a handy shipment tracking number. All orders for delivery outside of Manhattan will be repacked in shipping containers to protect your wines while in transit. Shipping rates include the cost of packing materials.

Please be mindful that shipping costs are not pro-rated per bottle, but are calculated based on location and overall purchase value. For more information, please visit our Shipping and Delivery page.

Do you charge any taxes or fees for wine shipments?

Yes. Sales tax is charged on all orders delivered within New York and California. Additionally, a property management fee will be charged at a rate of 1.5% of the purchase price for all domestic shipments, and 2.5% of the purchase price for all international shipments. Deliveries to New Hampshire incur an 8% fee.

Will Sotheby’s ship to any U.S. state?

At this time Sotheby’s Wine can ship only to: California, Connecticut, Florida, New Hampshire*, New York, Oregon, and Washington, D.C.
*For the state of New Hampshire, Sotheby’s Wine is obligated to collect an eight percent fee based on the purchase of all lots shipped.

Should I be concerned about extreme temperatures when shipping wine?

Shipping fine and rare wine requires special care. However, shipping during periods of extreme heat or cold can damage any type of wine, not only old or rare vintages. To reduce the likelihood of weather-related damage, we encourage you to select FedEx Overnight or FedEx 2-Day during summer and winter months. During those months, we generally do not ship on Thursdays or Fridays (unless Thursday orders are specified for overnight service) because carriers often hold shipments over the weekend in warehouses that are not temperature-controlled.

Instead, your wine will be held at our temperature-controlled warehouse, or at our store, at no additional charge until the weather is suitable for shipping. During summer and winter months, shipment of your wine could be delayed for several weeks or longer. If you decide to ship your wine despite an unfavorable weather forecast, please contact us to sign and return a weather waiver to assume all responsibility for any related damage.

Services & Advice
Can Sotheby’s help sell my wine collection?

Together with our auction team, Sotheby’s makes selling wine easy. We can provide free valuation of your wines, along with a proposal to help optimize the value of your collection. We also can arrange inspection, packing and shipping to our temperature-controlled warehouse.To learn more about selling your wine click here.

To determine the value of your wine in the current market, please email or fax a list to any member of Our Team.

I'm looking for help in building or refining my wine collection. Can you provide advice?

Yes, find out how our Wine Advisory team can help here.

May I store wines with Sotheby’s?

Yes! We currently offer state-of-the-art options to store with Sotheby's Wine. Click here to learn more.