Many wine drinkers have a collection of their beloved alcoholic beverage. Most collect to show their wealth and presumed knowledge of wine, but really fail to appreciate the joys of enjoying this noble beverage.
Wine is meant to be enjoyed, shared with family or likeminded friends with or without food, to celebrate occasions and/or simply to unwind.
You can buy classified Bordeaux chateau wines, cellar and hope to sell them for profit if and when the vintage proves to be exceptional. In general, this should be left to professionals, and in Canada you are not permitted wine privately.
Here are some rules that might want to heed:
• Resist hoarding, based on recommendations
• Buy two or more bottles of the same wine after tasting, and cellar
• Build or create a cellar that is larger than planned. Bottles accumulate faster than you think
• Buy wines that you enjoy (There are many styles, regions and winemakers producing wines in different styles)
• Stock both – wine ready to enjoy, and those that require cellaring
• Segregate your inventory for different purposes i,e for your partner and friends, clubs etc, daily use, for friends and family, for gastronomic dinners.
• Don’t overcellar. Try cellared wines from time to time to determine their evolution
• Know your inventory, particularly if you have teenagers in the family
• Generally white wines mature earlier than red, but there are always exceptions, i.e Sauternes, sweet German wines of high quality, Madeira, ice wines of good vintages, moscato di Panteleria cellar well, but not indefinably
• Similarly, there are red wines for quick consumption i.e Beaujolais, light wines vinted for easy drinking
• If you drink wine with friends and stage gastronomic dinners, buy a few large format bottles. Magnums, double magnums imperials etc
Stay away from old vintages offered at auctions. If you want to avoid disappointment. Many are poorly cellared, and oxidized, but offered anyway. Some auction houses stage pre-auction viewing and tasting. Taste the wine(s) you intend to bid on before auction and set a limit
• Contrary to common belief, vintage champagne is meant for cellaring and will improve, whereas regular bubblies do not. Keep a few bottles of both.
• Store wines properly (corked wines on their side) and at the right temperature 11 – 12 C (523 – 53 F)