Insurance inspections &

Nationwide Services for Wine Collectors and Professionals Who Support Them

Unmatched Qualifications • Authoritative Results • Distinctive Service


Expert Appraisals. Unqualified Assurance.

Combining their respective talents to provide the best services possible to wine collectors and the professionals who work with them, NEIL KAPLAN, ESQ., DipWSET, the Managing Partner of Cork Counsel, and CHARLES CURTIS MW, the Founder of WineAlpha, have formed a New York–based strategic alliance. Specializing in appraisals, inspections, brokerage and relocation of wine collections, Neil and Charles offer a full array of wine-related services for collectors, the insurance industry and attorneys.

Jointly, Neil and Charles possess unparalleled qualifications. Charles is a Master of Wine (MW)—the highest certification of expertise and knowledge in the wine industry, and Neil has earned his Level 4 Diploma from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Both Neil and Charles are Appraisers Association of America certified wine appraisers, with Charles having been Head of Wine for Christie’s in the Americas and Asia and Neil being an attorney and wine industry specialist.

Neil and Charles will employ their unique and complementary expertise to secure your satisfaction, wherever you are located. Using their combined talents they can guarantee you impeccable service, efficient work and results that are authoritative, irrefutable and will stand up to scrutiny.



(201) 256-0074


387 York St., Suite 1
Jersey City, NJ 07302




CHARLES CURTIS of WineAlpha has unparalleled qualifications. He is:

  • A Master of Wine

  • An Appraisers Association of America certified wine appraiser

  • A published author

  • A member of the board of the Institute of Masters of Wine.

So why does this matter? Because without expertise a wine appraisal lacks accuracy, and without certification it lacks authority. With a certified wine and appraisal expert you are guaranteed a wine appraisal that stands up to scrutiny. Charles has been called to testify in court proceedings regarding his wine appraisals, and none has ever been rejected. 

Charles is also fully expert as a wine broker. He was for many years Head of Wine for Christie’s in both Asia and the Americas, during which tenure he acquired intimate knowledge of the collectible wine market. He continues to hone his expertise:

  • Monitoring and documenting trade in fine and rare wine

  • Remaining up to date on market conditions

  • Identifying the most effective wines to sell at a given moment.

Charles knows where and how to maximize your return when brokering and selling fine and rare wines, as he has been doing for an international portfolio of private clients since leaving Christie’s in 2012.


NEIL KAPLAN of Cork Counsel also possesses unique qualifications.

  • He has earned the Level 4 Diploma from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.

  • He is an Appraisers Association of America certified wine appraiser.

  • He practiced for six years as an attorney in New York City.

Neil combines wine and appraisal expertise with a lawyer’s acumen. Bringing legal analysis to every project, Neil can anticipate difficult situations and help avoid future problems.

Moreover, Neil has learned and understands first and foremost that service and communication are the essence of any business. During all phases of each relationship, from the initial consultation through the final report, Neil is listening to your individual needs and objectives. He will:

  • Design each deal accordingly

  • Maintain effective communication

  • Provide appropriate updates.

Between Cork Counsel and WineAlpha you are in special hands. Working with a team of two certified wine experts, two certified wine appraisers, an attorney and an auction specialist, you can be confident of receiving superior and timely work, distinctive service, and an authoritative final product.



Wine Appraisals

There are numerous situations where a wine cellar needs to be appraised:

  • A wine collection needs to be inspected and appraised for an insurance claim or risk management

  • A wine collection represents a significant asset during legal proceedings, e.g. divorce, estate or bankruptcy

  • A collector is using wine as loan collateral.

Should you find yourself in one of those situations Cork Counsel, in conjunction with Charles Curtis MW of WineAlpha, will:

  • Consult with you to identify your unique needs

  • Determine how best to format your collection’s inventory and whether the circumstances require a physical examination

  • Ascertain the appropriate measure of your wine’s value, be it Fair Market, Marketable Cash or Retail Replacement Value

  • Research the value of your wine collection, utilizing the industry’s most exhaustive collection of wine sales histories

  • Prepare an appropriate and meticulous report.

The report you receive will be of unimpeachable quality. The Cork Counsel/WineAlpha alliance possesses an unparalleled level of wine expertise, appraisal credentials and certifications. We are the only team comprised of career service professionals that also includes:

  • A Master of Wine

  • A WSET Level 4 Diploma Graduate

  • Two Appraisers Association of America certified wine appraisers

  • An attorney.

Cork Counsel/WineAlpha can guarantee singular service and an authoritative wine appraisal that will stand up to scrutiny.


Brokerage and Consultancy

Both buyers and sellers of wine can benefit from expert advice. For instance, when you choose to liquidate any or all of your wine cellar you want to make sure you are maximizing the collection’s financial potential. This involves:

  • Determining which of your wines to sell

  • Where to sell them

  • When to sell.

Similarly, when you acquire wine you may want to purchase not only wines you enjoy drinking but ones that can also be strong investments. 

All of these considerations can vary dramatically depending on the particular time and market conditions. You need, therefore, guidance from someone expert not only in wine but also in the wine investment, auction and retail markets.

The Cork Counsel/WineAlpha team possesses such qualifications and has unmatched expertise. Charles was the Head of Wine for Christie’s in Asia and the Americas, and Neil has decades of commercial experience with fine and rare wine. In addition, we hold high level wine credentials, with Charles being a Master of Wine and Neil being a WSET Level 4 Diploma Graduate. 

Our team will use this expertise and experience to optimize the sale or purchase of your wine. After thorough consultation we will:

  • Review your portfolio and objectives

  • Create for you an individualized proposal

  • Help you determine the most effective time, place and selection of wines to buy or sell

  • Source wines, solicit offers and obtain best price.

With the Cork Counsel/WineAlpha team as your wine broker and consultant, we can ensure that you will receive personal attention and maximize effectiveness in your wine transactions.


Tell us what you need

Call (201) 256-0074, email, or send us a message here.

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