WANT a bottle of 82 Chateau Petrus for only $100? Good luck. The bottle has a recommended retail price (RRP) of $21,995. The only way you'll get it for $100 is to be the very first person to make an online bid when it goes up for auction - and hope every computer in the world crashes for the five days it is on sale, stopping other wine lovers from upping the bid. You've guessed it: wine selling has gone hi-tech, and it's the oldest wine and spirits merchants in Britain, Berry Bros & Rudd (BBR), which is leading the pack into the world of cybersales. BBR, wine merchants to Britain's royal family - the company was awarded the royal warrant in 1906 - is offering the bottle of 82 Petrus and other fine bottles at online auction Web site Cat-Street ( www.cat-street.com ). The auction starts at noon tomorrow, and closes at noon on October 18. Over those five weeks, several fine wines with a starting bid of $100 (yes, that's HK$100) will be up for auction for five-day time periods. In addition to the Petrus, there are also lots of two bottles each for 82 Chateau Lafite Rothschild (RRP $12,000), 90 Chateau Montrose ($6,134), and 90 Chateau Haut-Brion ($6,482). There will also be fine wines and spirits with reserves of 45 to 50 per cent less than their normal RRP. These include six bottles of 95 La Romanee Conti (RRP $149,994), and two-bottle lots of 86 Chateau Margaux ($7,776) and 82 Chateau Pichon-Longueville-Lalande ($8,350). Cat-Street is not posting the dates the wines go up for grabs, so buyers have to keep checking the site for details. Simon Berry, marketing director and seventh-generation family member of BBR, says collectors can find bargains if they act quickly. The company conducted a similar campaign in Britain three months ago, with online auction house iCollector ( www.icollector.com ). 'In the first week, there were some amazing bargains because fewer people knew about it,' he commented. 'The 86 Chateau Leoville-Las-Cases went for GBP500 [HK$5,800] a case [market value GBP1,800], 96 Chateau Margaux at GBP1,300 a case [GBP3,000]; 82 Pichon Lalande at GBP1,000 a case [GBP2,750]. 'By the end of the auction, prices were up considerably, roughly speaking at five per cent above market value. The lesson is: get in early.' Berry believes the Internet is a great way to sell wines, and online auctions will play an important part. 'A lot of fine wines will be traded this way. People won't necessarily find bargains, but it will enable them to find wines they want at a decent market price.' It's obvious that even though BBR is an old company that traces its history back to 1698, it's not run by crusty Luddites. BBR actually went hi-tech fairly early on in the Internet age. Its UK Web site (bbr.com) was launched in 1994; the Hong Kong site (bbr.com.hk) was started two months ago. 'In the UK, our site is probably the most successful wine site on the Internet,' Berry states. 'Someone was writing a story about us, and he said that he had always thought Berry Bros was a dinosaur. 'But then he said that Steven Spielberg has proved that dinosaurs can be successful. What we're doing is combining old-fashioned service with a modern way of doing business.'