I do not buy wine hoping it will increase in value to re-sell later. I will not be recommending blue chip producers or bottlings to maximize your wine collecting return. Wine is for sharing with good friends, good food and good times. For me, it is not a commodity.
Many people who buy a wine cabinet or have a cellar built for them quickly fill it to capacity and then watch it overflow. Wine collecting quickly turns from hobby to obsession. Often wines are purchased that do not age well. Even more often collectors’ taste in wine styles changes. Cellar management involves planning what to drink quickly, give to friends, donate and re-sell. There are brick & mortar auction houses, online auction sites and cellar consultants who can help with these decisions and many others.
I simply want to offer some simple advice on how much of what to put in your cellar in the first place IF you are collecting to drink.
Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet (750ml and magnums) and 2003 Bordeaux, Sauternes & Port for my daughter’s birth year.
I drink wine with dinner almost every day, so I need a fair amount of every day drinking wine. Here’s what my income and tastes dictate being on hand.
Cremant de Bourgogne, Vinho Verde, Muscadet, Chablis, Austrian Gruner Veltliner, Willamette Valley, Anderson Valley & Russian River Pinot Noir, value reds from Southern Spain, Southern France & Southern Italy, Passito de Panteleria, Monbazillac & other under-valued sweet wines, plus anything fun, funky and different, that I have not tasted before.
If I am average, I have 29 years left to live and my sense of taste will be fading about 10 years before then.
200 bottles a year times 20 years = 4,000 bottles maximum collection (declining with my remaining life span)
I thought I would ask a few sommeliers and journalists what their fantasy league picks would be. Here's what they said:
Eric Entriken, MS
Catherine Fallis, MS
Chris Miller, MS
Gillian Ballance, MS
What are your fantasy league wine picks? How many wines are in your cellar?
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