SAVE SOME FOR LATER
More bottles, more fun. Because wine is better in larger quantities, collecting the beverage is a logical step for the wine lover.
A collector is one of two things: someone on the hunt for variety, or someone on the hunt for multiple versions of his or her favorite. Either way, this hunt will take collectors straight to the vineyards, to dark cellars, to specialty stores and overseas.
It can be about the challenge—the finding of a vintage or the selection of something new on a limited budget. It's an adventure all on its own—that choice.
Collecting is also about the usefulness of having a varied supply, especially if you're an entertainer or a great gifter. If you collect, you can buy in bulk at a discounted price. It's a game of sorts, and you're always a winner.
But if you're new to the hobby of collecting wine, there are some simple aspects that may get overlooked.
Do you build a cellar? Buy a dual temperature wine cooler? A single temperature one?
To build a wine cellar, you have to be serious about collecting, and have the space, of course. If you have the means, you could build an exceptional cellar quite quickly. However, if you'd rather take your time with the project, it can become a meaningful investment as you watch it grow over the years.
If you plan to grow your collection to hundreds, or even thousands, of bottles, a wine cellar would be the smartest choice.
But if you're looking for a smaller collection, there are two other options: a dual- or single-temperature wine cooler. The former is mostly for people who want their wine at both storing and serving temperatures. Either color wine should be stored at about 55 degrees Fahrenheit, although most like to drink their white wine at a cooler temperature.
If your needs are more for storage than serving, a single-temperature cooler will work just fine, and is also less expensive. Or, you could rent a wine storage locker, which has temperature and humidity controls.
How do I know how long to let my wine age?
Guidelines for this are relaxed and vary depending on who you ask. There isn't exactly a timer that sounds when a wine suddenly isn't drinkable anymore.
If you're developing a collection, you should start to get a feel for your own preferences, based on the types of wines you're most likely to buy. You could find that more maturity tastes better—the flavor notes have a stronger hint of spice than fruit—or decide that you prefer the lighter, crisper bite.
Wine doesn't get better each day until it expires. It simply matures, meaning the taste will change, but who's to say that's better?
Though, if you're interested in aging wine, make sure you have a cellar that will protect the bottles from light, heat, vibration and temperature fluctuation.
No matter your ultimate goals in collecting, it's a fun hobby for an enthusiast. Just make sure to always have a great corkscrew and pair of wineglasses on hand. Cheers.
Joyce Comb's is the Club's Purchasing Manager.