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Tips on Building a Wine Collection

Tips on Building a Wine Collection

Posted by Danielle Price on

Wine, very much like artwork and cars have rich histories and tiered values making them a natural fit for collecting and rare wine are among the most sought after collectibles on the market.If you are just starting out, wine collecting is less about buying those prized bottles and more about figuring out what YOU like to drink and then buying multiple vintages of those wines of which you can age and enjoy for many years. Below are a few tips to follow when building a wine collection no matter what your budget.

  • 1. Divide your cellar into thirds: When purchasing wines make sure you buy wines that you will be able to drink now and also age throughout the years.
  • 1/3 Drink now - 5 years: Wine such as Chardonnay, Italian Whites, US Pinot Noir, Barbera, Chianti, Beaujolaisiwhich all drink well upon release.
  • 1/3 Drink 5-10 year:Wines such as US Cabernet Sauvignon, Super Tuscans, White Burgundy are all best with a little bottle age.
  • 1/3 Drink 10-15 years: Wines such as Grand Cru Burgundy, Bordeaux, Barolo will age beautifully for many many years. Enjoy drinking these wines over time and experience their evolution.
  • 2. When first starting out stick with the classics
  • United States–Buy Oregon and SonomaPinot Noir, California Chardonnay, Napa Valley Cabernet.
  • France – Buy a little bit of Burgundy (white and red) Bordeaux, Rhone and Champagne!
  • Italy–Buy wines from Tuscany and Piedmont.
  • 3. Buy only wines you have tasted and know you like: Visit wine bars where you will have the opportunity to taste many different types of wine and keep track of the ones you like or buy mixed cases from a trusted retailer and experiment at home. Once you know what you like then invest in case quantities and multiple vintages. Don’t trust a high score – just because a critic liked a wine and rated it well does not mean that you will as everyone’s palate is different.
  • 4. If your tastes change years later SELL: Taste change and if you suddenly realize that you don’t enjoy a particular style of wine that you have been collecting don’t just let these bottles sit – Sell them and spend the money on wines you do like. I have seen so many cellars filled with incredible wines that have been neglected by the owner and are now undrinkable…..it’s such a shame!
  • 5. If you choose to buy any wines as an investment, focus on top names and vintages: You can’t go wrong ever buying First Growth Bordeaux and Grand Cru Burgundy from the best vintages as these wines will always increase in value. It’s always best to buy in case quantity and never drink a bottle from an OWC as it will decrease the value significantly when you choose to sell. Buy large format bottleswhen available as these are very rare and beloved by collectors worldwide.
  • 6. Only purchase wine from trusted wine merchants: This will minimize your risk.
  • 7. Avoid buying from the big auction houses : If you do choose to buy wine at auction beware of their high buyers premiums and keep this in mind when placing a bid….Some charge up to an additional 23.5% which substantially increases the cost of a wine.
  • 8. Save your receipts: You should always be able to show when and where you bought a particular wine, its called provenanceand anyone who purchases wine from you in the future will want to know its history.
  • 9. Keep track of your inventory: Even if you have a very small collection of wines its best to keep a detailed inventory and location of your wines from the very beginning. There are many software systems that specialize in wine, I personally would recommend cellartracker www.cellartracker.com