Many people nowadays are considering the hobby of collecting wine. It might be for personal consumption or because of a life-long interest in the art of drinking wine. However, if you’re eager to start a wine collection yourself, the idea can be pretty intimidating or out of reach. For most, they don’t know where to start. Fortunately, there are numerous resources online you can use to learn more about building your wine collection, including this article.
Collecting wine can be a fulfilling endeavor if you’re passionate about and dedicated to it. In the long run, you’ll have a broad selection of wines to enjoy and share with loved ones as well as a worthy investment. Here are several tips that will help you start a wine collection:
- Designate A Budget
The best way to start a wine collection is to decide on a budget before anything else. After all, creating a wine collection is not an overnight feat but a long-standing investment. Depending on your budget and personal preferences, you can expand your collection whenever you want.
- Choose The Right Wine
Your reason for collecting wine can say a lot about you as a wine enthusiast. Therefore, before starting your wine collection, you might want to figure out your specific preferences.
In wine collecting, being discerning is a valuable trait. Always do your research when looking for suitable choices to add to your collection. Remember that not all wines are equal. With this in mind, consider options that suit your goal, whether you want instant indulgence or a long-term payoff. You can browse websites like usualwines.com to begin building a small yet well-curated collection.
Here are two essential considerations for your next wine purchase:
- History of the winery: Check how long the winery has been in the industry. The longer they’ve been in business, the more likely their products are of high quality.
- Cellaring period and consumption time frame: Take note that wine has a life cycle. Every vintage varies in terms of age-worthiness. With this in mind, figure out when a particular wine is suitable for consumption before buying it.
Make sure to mark your wines based on their life expectancy. For example, if you have short-term bottles, you can label them as ‘wines to enjoy today.’ As for longer-term bottles, mark them as ‘wines for the future.’
- Proper Storage
The proper storage of your collection is a crucial factor if you want to get the most out of your wines once you serve them. Ensure that the cellar or unit you’re going to use for storage is dark since exposure to sunlight is detrimental to wine. The location should be away from the windows and direct sunlight. Try following these tips when storing wine:
- If you still don’t have an exclusive space for a cellar and only have cardboard boxes to keep your wine, make sure to cover the boxes with a blanket or towel to keep sunlight out.
- Try looking for an area with a steady temperature ranging between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius. Avoid keeping wines in the kitchen or bathroom, where heat and steam can cause their temperature to rise.
- Low humidity can be a threat to your collection since it dries out the corks, exposing your wine to open air. However, if the humidity is too high, it can cause the labels to peel away. Additionally, vibration can disrupt the aging process of wine.
- Wardrobes, closets, and spaces under the stairs are suitable areas to set up a cellar for your wine collection. If you have the budget for it, a well-built wine cellar that’s secure, detached, and adequately insulated will provide the best protection for your collection.
- Remember not to store your wine in the basement since excess moisture there can promote mold growth that can damage the overall quality of your wines.
- Inspect The Packaging
The packaging that the wine comes in affects its longevity. If you have bottles with a longer natural cork, the wine will age and taste better than those with a synthetic or short cork. A longer cork will keep the bottle airtight as well.
- Get Insurance For The Wine Bottles
One way to protect your wine collection is by getting insurance for it. See to it that the policy you go for covers natural disasters, breakage, and theft.
- Avoid Counterfeit Wines
Today, there are many fake variants of wine on the market. If you’re not meticulous during the wine selection process, you can end up with a counterfeit. So make sure to double-check the authenticity of your wine, especially if you’re after the top varieties.
Here are some of the ways you can check the authenticity of wine:
- Look at the label: The ultra-white labels on wine bottles started in 1957. If you happen to encounter a vintage, check if the label shines under blue light. If it does, it’s a counterfeit. The oxidation must also be consistent throughout the label. Some false aging techniques produce uneven results.
- Check for sediment: Aged red wines have sediment. When a vintage lacks any sediment, that’s a red flag. If sediment is present, try shaking the bottle to check if it scatters. Sediment that can’t be agitated is an indication of a counterfeit.
- Inspect the cork: In some fraudulent practices, switching of the cork between bottles occurs. Closely inspect for signs of fraud. Take note that a two-prong cork puller will leave behind grooves.
- Keep A Record Of Your Wines
Having an inventory of your wine collection as it continues to grow will ensure that you have everything in check at all times. Today, you can utilize your phone to monitor your collection. You can also consider the technique of marking the neck of the bottle. This will allow you to efficiently distinguish your wine bottles from one another.
Don’t forget to keep original purchase receipts and any documentation you have regarding your wines. Keep those in a safe and secure place for future reference.
- Focus On What You Love
As market trends continue to change, you might be tempted to catch up with the current hype. However, remember that you’re collecting wine since you have a specific reason. Only buy, store, and consume what you genuinely love. Although the latest trend can serve as a guide to a potential investment, it won’t always be something you’ll want in your collection.
Collecting wine is a relatively easy hobby as long as you’re open to learning more about the matter. However, with the vast selection of wines available today, the whole thing can be confusing in the beginning. To have a unique wine collection in no time, follow all of the tips above, and don’t forget to continue expanding your knowledge if you’re looking to go from wine enthusiast to wine connoisseur.