How to Build Your Wine Collection

When most people think of a wine collection, they think of a temperature controlled cellar containing a magnitude of expensive bottles.  It simply is not true that this is the only example- a wine collection can be comprised of a single wooden rack in the living room, or even your kitchen countertop.  Now here are a few tips to help you get started.

I remember when I first started my collection.  I bought a self assemble 20 bottle wooden rack and went about trying to fill it- but since I was new to wine myself, what was the best way to approach it?

  1. Variety.  Don't be afraid to get wines from different producers, regions, vintages, and price points.  Try different styles and varietals.  Experiment.

  2. Seasons.  Be prepared for any weather.  When spring arrives, have that sauvignon blanc ready.  Hot summers should bring some fruity rosés.  Bring on the Beaujolais and pinot noir in autumn and some rich zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon in the winter.  And make sure you have a good amount of whites and reds all year long- who knows what mood you'll be in?

  3. Celebration.  Must have the bubbly in stock for special occasions.  My wife and I started our marriage with Dom Perignon Vintage 1999 and plan on having the same with each anniversary.

  4. Reserve.  There are wines that get better with age and you can appreciate while they are on the rack.  These wines can also be quite expensive.  Unless you know of some wines you cannot live without, try to look for closeout specials at wine shops.  I purchased almost all of my reserve wines at between 30-60% off regular price and cannot wait until the right moment to open them.  Until then, it is a joy just to know they are maturing in my home.

  5. Separate.  Keep wines for any reason- aging, everyday, Sunday dinner, afternoon drink, duck roast, etc.  Just make sure you know what/when your collection fits in.

  6. Favorites.  We all have our favorite wines so make sure you keep them in the collection and replenish them.  Do not be afraid to show them off!

  7. Search.  When you see wines you may want to purchase, don't be afraid to use your favorite search engine (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.) to get reviews and input from others.  This could be a telling factor if the wine is a bargain or fits your collection.

Check my Best Buys and visit your local wine shops and their experts.  Start building, happy hunting, and contact if you need help.


(Image courtesy of Flickr)