Beginner's Guide to Starting a Wine Collection

If you are considering starting a wine collection, but do not know where to start, then follow our guide for some handy tips and need-to-know information before you get buying! 

Consider Whether the Wine is Good for Ageing

When many people start a wine collection, they will do it with the goal to have a cellar full of bottles ageing to their full potential. Wines that have been aged well will often be exquisite tasting, and it can be great fun to see how the taste of wine develops over time. However, only a small percentage of wines are made for long-term ageing, so be sure to select wines that have at least a couple of years of ageing potential. It is important to research into which bottles of wine will improve with age before you get buying, as it will be very disappointing if you open a bottle in ten years expecting something wonderful but instead having to sip on a dull and flat tasting glassful.

Ensure You Have Proper Storage

To create a wine collection, it is absolutely vital that you have an appropriate storage space for your bottles. Wine stored for more than a few weeks needs some specific conditions to stay at its best, and to avoid any issues that can come from being left long-term. It is critical for wine bottles to be stored in a cool, dark place that stays a consistent temperature and away from disturbances and lights. A wine cellar has traditionally been the go-to place for keeping your bottles at their ideal conditions; however, if this is not possible in your home or business, then a temperature-controlled wine cabinet will be the perfect solution!


Keep an Inventory

As you develop your collection, it will become increasingly difficult to remember which bottles you have stashed away in your cellar or cabinet and whether or not you have drunk any of them! Keeping an inventory and ensuring it is regularly updated is an essential part of growing a wine collection and will make managing your cellar far easier. 

Buy Multiple Bottles of Each Wine

As long as the bottles you are buying aren’t too expensive, then it is always a good idea to buy several of each. This is so that you can try the wine at various stages along the ageing process to explore how the flavours of the wine develop over time. Drink one bottle when you first buy it and then enjoy the next a year later, and so on!

Don’t Fixate on Top Vintages

While many wine fans will see the top vintages from regions such as Burgundy and Bordeaux as the ultimate goal for their collections, unless you have some serious money to spend, it is better to focus your attention on wines from other regions or vintages. You will be able to enjoy a far bigger selection of bottles that are equally as good, for a fraction of the budget! 

Collecting for Fun or Profit?

Decide whether you want your collection to be for your own enjoyment or as a future investment. Many people buy wine in the hopes that they will later be able to resell it as a collectable for a far higher price than what they initially paid. For this to work, the wine needs to have collectable value when it is first purchased; otherwise, it is unlikely to become a collector’s item in future. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be bought for a massive sum, but if a bottle has some significance, is rare or limited edition, then it is likely to still be desired after several years.

Documentation and Appraisal

If you are curating a serious collection, then it is essential that you keep hold of all the documentation you obtain from each purchase. This can include receipts, auction texts or sales cards, as well as detailed notes on the value of your wine, and any factors that make each bottle unique. Likewise, it is important to have your wine collection appraised regularly, as the market for collectable wine can be volatile. Having a record of the worth of your collection is very important for insurance purposes should an accident occur.

Do you have any tips for someone starting out their wine collection? Get in touch with your advice in the comments below!

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