Perhaps you received a special bottle of wine as a gift. Or you found one at your aunt\u2019s house. Or have one remaining from that case you flew home from Europe after a wine-happy trip 10 or 20 years ago. \u201cWhat\u2019s that worth?\u201d you wonder when you notice it on the rack. \u201cShould I sell?\u201d\r\n\r\nWhether rare or simply important to you, every bottle has value. It\u2019s hard to know when it\u2019s the right time to uncork or sell, but we can help you figure out how much it\u2019s worth.\r\nStep One: Read the label\r\nThe first thing you\u2019ll need to evaluate in your wine should be no surprise: its details. The year, the producer, the type or variety, the size of the bottle, where it was made, etc. You should be able to find this information on the label.\r\nStep Two: Search online\r\nDoes anyone else have your bottle for sale? Word of the day: comps, short for \u201ccomparables.\u201d Comps demonstrate what your bottle sells for today, which could differ from tomorrow or yesterday. The value of your wine is determined initially by its fair market value, the price a buyer is willing to pay an existing seller.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSearch online for comps. If you can\u2019t find your exact bottle, that may be a very good problem. Get as close as you can. Sites to check include wine-searcher.com, winemarketjournal.com, wineauctionprices.com and wineowners.com/valuations.\r\nStep Three: Ask a professional\r\nYou found a number. That\u2019s great. But don\u2019t get excited or disappointed yet. Past sales, provenance and physical condition\u2014from label to cork and everything in between\u2014are part of a bottle\u2019s evaluation. If you think your bottle is worth at least $250, talk to a professional.\r\n\r\nWhat matters most, says John Kapon, chairman of Acker Wines, is that the person who appraises the bottle understands the wine market, as well as pricing for specific producers and vintages.\r\n\r\nKapon estimates Acker, a retailer and auction house, has appraised 10 million bottles in the 20 years it\u2019s held auctions. Like other big houses, it generally deals in quantity, or collections that range from 30 to 3,000 bottles. Single bottles it considered recently include a 2017 Roumier Ech\u00e9zeaux, a 2017 Screaming Eagle magnum and a 2006 Ch\u00e2teau Pontet-Canet magnum. The pricing of these bottles hasn\u2019t been made public.\r\n\r\nShaun Bishop, CEO of JJ Buckley Fine Wines, recalls a client who wished to sell a bottle of 1963 Quinta do Noval Port, worth about $250. After examination, Bishop says, \u201cit turned out the bottling was actually the much-rarer label called Quinta do Noval Nacional Port. Its value is around $3,500. The client was very happy.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAn appraiser may determine a wine\u2019s value based on questions like where it was bought, receipts from the sale and how it\u2019s been stored, says Charles Antin, head of\u00a0auction\u00a0sales and auctioneer for Zachy\u2019s Wine Auctions. And, of course, they\u2019ll want to inspect the wine.\r\n\r\n\u201cWines are multiples,\u201d says Antin. \u201cAssuming they are in the same condition, one bottle of 1982 Lafite is priced the same as another, with lots of caveats. The better the provenance, storage and condition, the more valuable a wine can be.\u201d\r\n\r\nLeila Dunbar is chair of the board of trustees for The Appraisal Foundation, a nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to create standards for appraisers. She says that appraisers look for loss of liquid, a sign that the wine may have oxidized beyond drinkability. They also want to see if the capsule, or foil sleeve at the top of the bottle, has been damaged.\r\n\r\nDunbar also runs an appraisals and consulting firm that specializes in memorabilia, wine and spirits. There are forgeries in the market, particularly of high-value Bordeaux and Burgundy, she says. Appraisers will examine the label to see if it is original, and if the characteristics of the bottle match.\r\nWhether rare or simply important to you, every bottle has value.\r\nLike her peers, Dunbar charges for written appraisals of valuations for insurance coverage and/or claims, estate tax determination, planning or gifting, non-cash charitable donation, divorce settlements and so forth. Rates for these types of services may be included in the purchase, selling price or storage cost, and could be calculated hourly."\r\n\r\nAntin says you should never pay to have just one bottle appraised. \u201cThere\u2019s simply not enough value in most single bottles to make it worth it,\u201d he says.\r\n\r\nAuction estimates for potential sale can be free, however. And Zachy\u2019s will appraise and discuss options to sell clients\u2019 wine without charging a fee, but only extremely valuable bottles.\r\nStep Four: To Auction?\r\nDunbar is a big fan of\u00a0auctions. Because they charge a seller\u2019s commission and a buyer\u2019s premium, she says, fees are lower than if you sell to a wine dealer. Dunbar suggests sending photos and information to\u00a0auction\u00a0houses and dealers to get the best offer.\r\n\r\nMost bottles, however, \u201care worth very little, so I suggest drinking them,\u201d she says.\r\n\r\nEvery industry expert we consulted agreed: If you have one bottle and it\u2019s not a 1990 Roman\u00e9e-Conti, drink it, gift it, or contact your local wine shop.\r\n\r\nIf you do decide to try to sell your wine, keep in mind that a permit is required to buy from private individuals in many states, and wine retailers may not have it. If they can, a retailer may make you an offer or help broker a sale.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOccasionally, says Kapon, \u201crestaurants might be willing to purchase a single, exciting bottle to which they otherwise might not have access.\u201d\r\n\r\nYou can also take your bottle to the internet, and we don\u2019t mean eBay, where you\u2019d need to be a licensed alcohol shipper and seller. Instead, online retailers like JJ Buckley Fine Wines buy from private parties and have a wine storage facility, too. Storage clients can sell any bottle of any value they wish. If you\u2019re not a storage client, single bottles must meet a $500 minimum.\r\n\r\nGood retailers will coordinate shipping, but you\u2019ll still want to keep costs in mind.\r\n\r\nAnother option is an auction site like WineBid. It\u2019s a good place to look for comps, too. It has a $2,500 minimum per consignment. Acker, Benchmark Wine Group, Christie\u2019s, Heritage Auctions, K&L Wine Merchants, Spectrum Wine Auctions, Wine.com, Zachy\u2019s and other major players have online sales and have minimums between $10,000 and $15,000.\r\n\r\nOther resources include East Coast Wine Buyers, Veritas Wine Buyers, Sokolin, Maison du Prix and Cellarraiders.