Meeting with iDealwine, online wine auctioneer and key player in e-commerce

Published : 10/28/2019 15:20:51
Categories : Currents news

Meeting with iDealwine, online wine auctioneer and key player in e-commerce

Leading specialist in haute-couture wine cabinets, EuroCave met iDealwine to find out more about the company’s history and how it’s evolved over time.

iDealwine, Europe’s leading online wine auctioneer and key player in e-commerce, answered a few of our questions about what they do.

How did iDealwine come into existence?

iDealwine was created by three former colleagues at the Paris Stock Exchange: Angélique de Lencquesaing, Cyrille Jomand and Lionel Cuenca. All three had the idea of creating an online platformthat would make wine auctions accessible to everyone. The site, one of the first e-commerce websites in the world, also offering free price estimates, represented a true challenge to the market at a time when the prices of fine, mature vintages were particularly difficult to find. iDealwine is now Europe’s leading online wine auctioneer. Its development has also been supported by its establishment in the Asian market; an office opened in Hong Kong in 2013. Over 500,000 wine lovers are signed up to the website, with buyers in 60 different countries.

What does iDealwine do exactly?

Since the creation of the platform, several different elements have been developed. While auctions remain its main sector and source of growth, its e-caviste activity, which launched in 2004, is progressively growing.
What’s more, iDealwine is renowned for having brought greater transparency to the fine wine market, offering tools for cellar management including: iDealwine price estimates, monthly auction reports, a service that alerts customers as prices of certain wines change as well as a ‘manage my cellar’ tool. That’s not forgetting WineDex, an app that allows you to certify the authenticity of your wines.

In 20 years, you have become specialists in mature vintages. How can you explain this?

Our auctions allow customers to source very old vintages and ready-to-drink bottles. What’s more, our fixed-price sales offer wines bought from private collectors that have been meticulously checked for authenticity and good condition. This makes us the only website to offer mature wines and collectable vintages for sale for a fixed price. Finally, our cellar management tools have made the wine world more transparent for wine lovers.

iDealwine, blog for wine enthusiasts.

How do you ensure the quality of the old bottles for sale on your website?

We’ve gained the trust of wine enthusiasts by having an expert team who works with utmost professionality. Every year, out Logistics and Appraisal department analyses and evaluates almost 200,000 bottles from private collectors and professionals in France and abroad. A trained, experienced team travels to meet sellers, pick up their wines and verify their storage conditions.
We also offer a unique database that allows our experts to refer to authentic pictures and information that is paramount to comparing the details of each bottle (label, capsule, cork, glass, engraving). We are in close contact with domains, in case of any doubts regarding a bottle’s authenticity.

As you said earlier, as well as auctions, a wine enthusiast can also access wines at fixed price. Could you tell us more about this?

The ‘e-caviste’ part of our website has grown significantly in recent years, especially since 2018 (+28%), thanks to its varied selection accessible to both seasoned tasters and those just getting into wine. The selection comprises wines bought from private collectors as well as the classics, prestigious domains, rare wines and the best value for money of the moment. This growth is also thanks to the close working relationships we’ve developed with more than 500 partner domains, with a weekly Allocation of the Week and partnerships with publications such as La Revue du Vin de France, Drinks Business and En Magnum (Bettane et Desseauve).

iDealwine, online wine auctions

Your wine selection is vast, but how do you attract the interest of people who are just getting into wine?

Over time, our platform – initially used by specialist wine enthusiasts – has evolved to offer a more accessible variety of wines as well as much educational material. This includes:

  • In-depth presentations of domains, wines (grape varieties, food pairing, critic tasting notes, vintages, viticulture type, dominant aromas and tasting occasion),
  • A guide to regions and appellations,
  • A food and wine pairing guide,
  • Notes by vintage per region,
  • A blog about the wine world so that amateurs can enrich their knowledge.

On the blog, we imagine you share your advice on how to store one’s wine, could you give us some examples?

Well, if you don’t have a 16th-century cellar with perfect humidity, temperature and ventilation, store your precious bottles in a EuroCave cabinet of course.