WineGavel Names Maureen Downey Consultant and Senior Auction Advisor


WineGavel Fine & Rare Wine Auctions is proud to announce that Maureen Downey, DWS, CWE has joined the company as a consultant and its new Senior Auction Advisor. Maureen brings more than 20 years of wine experience and education to the WineGavel team, including seven years as a senior/fine & rare wine specialist in major international auction houses in New York City and San Francisco.

Dubbed the Wine CSI by KRON-TV in San Francisco, Maureen is an internationally recognized expert in valuating, authenticating, and appraising fine and rare wine bottles and collections as well as buying and selling in the US and abroad. In her experience as an auction specialist she has built new systems and created procedures, including founding and overseeing all aspects of wine consignment and specialist activities in the first years of Zachys Wine Auctions.

As Kirk Baierlein, WineGavel Auction Director, explained, “From its inception, WineGavel has focused on provenance and a small but rare offering. With the addition of Ms. Downey to the team, we will apply the same dedication and strive for the same goals as we expand and focus on a wider audience. Maureen’s unwavering dedication to ensuring provenance and her due diligence when inspecting fine and rare bottles will answer the concerns of many buyers in today’s marketplace about the reliability of the wines they are offered. With Maureen on board, buyers and sellers alike can be even more confident in WineGavel’s dedication to providing expert service and the highest quality products available.”

WineGavel is now expanding our auction day program beyond just San Francisco. Its Los Angeles Auction Series launches this November 13th at The Bazaar Restaurant, operated by world renowned Chef Jose Andres. Baierlein added, “With Maureen’s auction expertise, wine aficionados can expect to see new and exciting developments from WineGavel as we continue to expand. Our aim is to provide a larger, more dynamic platform for collectors around the world to buy and sell wines in both live and online auction formats.”

Since 2005, Maureen has been running her own company, Chai Consulting (, a San Francisco based wine collection management firm, providing personally tailored services to clients across the globe. She continues to work with reputable auction houses, retailers and brokers using her expertise in global wine markets and wine for investment. She also focuses on fraud detection and wine authentication and is dedicated to seeing an end to the prolific problem of fraud in fine & rare wine markets. She is regularly quoted by major wine journalists and publications including Jancis Robinson, MW, the Financial Times, and Wine Spectator.

As Senior Auction Advisor at WineGavel, Maureen will utilize her years of experience building and improving wine auction houses as the company expands and evolves. For the past year, WineGavel has been a focused group of individuals fiercely dedicated to providing a top quality product to both buyers and sellers. “As an independent consultant, I am proud to use my knowledge of the field to implement improved systems and approaches that will help position WineGavel to become a major player in the international fine & rare wine auction market. WineGavel is on a solid growth track with a great core team of individuals. I am confident their unwavering dedication to provenance and authentication will make the company a trusted leader in the wine market for years to come,” said Ms Downey.

Posted 11/2/10.