Wine. A subject that can seem daunting or fun, depending on your perspective. It’s a product that at its soul is about community, but sometimes it can feel a bit intimidating. The words can be hard to pronounce, every label looks different, and distinguishing between a heavy red wine and a floral white wine can be challenging for novices and enthusiasts. Let’s not look at wine in this fashion anymore. Let’s think about how much fun wine learning and building a wine collection can be.
You may think that being a wine collector is about money and space. It is not. Collecting wine is creating memories that last a lifetime and go further than just opening a bottle. Think of each bottle you collect as a memory of a special place, a meal shared with those you love and a lot of fun. Yes, you can be a wine collector. Here’s how:
Find a Good Wine Store
You can always buy wine at the grocery store, but smaller wine stores will have many things your local grocery store does not have and more than likely the team will know the people and the story behind the wine. Many stores provide tastings so you can try wines you wouldn’t normally buy. This is a great way to get to know different grapes, regions and climates that affect how the wine is made and cost. A good wine store is like finding the perfect hair stylist. It’s a game changer.
Think About the Wine You Like to Drink
The key is to always think about what you like to drink. If you like reds from Spain, think of branching into another destination such as Portugal. If California white wines are high on your list, try the same grape from a different region, such as France. The key is to think of your palate and expand upon it to buy wine you normally wouldn’t.
All wines are not created equal. Many factors go into fine wine prices, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find value at a great cost. Consider splurging on one or two bottles you plan to save for special anniversaries, birthdays or just because. Have a few bottles of wine priced from $10 to $20; two-three bottles of $20 to $30; and two over $30.
Your collection should always be mixed. Instead of buying a case of one wine, many places let you mix so your collection stays varied and interesting. Also, think outside the big names with major brand placement. This is where having a good local wine store can help. They know the hidden gems and can put them on your radar.
A great rule of thumb for a case of 12 bottles should include the following:
- 2 Bottles of Sparkling Wine
- 1 Bottle of Champagne
- 3 Bottles of White Wine
- 3 Bottles of Red Wine
- 3 Bottles of Dessert Wine
Wine should be fun. A lot of what is lost in wine is that it is fun. It is a beverage meant to be shared with people and food. Don’t take it too seriously. There are no wine experts. Wine is forever changing, as it should, since it is a living agricultural product. Enjoying wine is easy. Sit back, take a sip and savor.