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Wine/empty bottle of Tokaji Essencia 1888


QUESTION: Does this empty bottle have any value?  My Father opened it in New Zealand in the early 1960s in the presence of Andre Simon.  I have a newspaper article as provenance.

David Macdonald

ANSWER: Hi David,

This has only just appeared in the Question Pool so please forgive any delay in answering you.

I'd be surprised if anyone would want to buy this as bottle collectors usually look for ancient ones, hundreds of years old.

I don't know whereabouts you are but a search for 'bottle collectors [your country]' might help you find help.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your response.  I got the date wrong it should have been 1889.  The point of the question was that this is not any mildly old bottle  - the 1889 vintage was one of the most famous wines ever produced.  It was said to have great restorative powers and Hitler was said to have acquired a bottle to be given to him on his deathbed!

My father sold a full bottle in the 1970s for a large amount.


Hi David,

This might indeed have significant value to wine enthusiasts if it were full and in pristine condition, as your father found, but few if any buy empty bottles I'm afraid.

One sale route you might want to explore is Trade Me ( as you might find a buyer there. I wouldn't set a high reserve though as you'll do better if you can attract several bargain hunters who want to bid against each other.

Good luck!



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David Ling


I have 40 year`s experience tasting, collecting and enjoying wines as an amateur enthusiast. Bordeaux and Port are my particular loves and I regularly buy and sell at auction. I have a good library and frequently participate in on-line discussions. I can only help with valuations, buying or selling if you tell me where you live as there are many variations around the world.


I would not feel confident answering questions on German wines or those of the USA, South Africa or Australia. But please check my prestige rating and browse "Browse Past Answers" at the top of this page to see if I'm the one you want to help on everything else! (PLEASE don't forget to tell me where you are if you want my estimation of value or help buying or selling!)

I also participate regularly on several other discussion groups.

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