How to Stock Your Cellar
Hi-Time Wine Cellars – 949.650.8463 – www.hitimewine.net
ewport Coast and environs are home to a bevy of beautiful estates which boast impressive architectural features. A growing number include an amenity which makes a statement reflecting taste, travels and culture. Many have come to realize that a well-curated wine cellar is a worthy investment which can be an integral part of dining and entertaining in the comforts of your home. Wine storage may take the form of appropriated space under the stairs, behind a gleaming glass “wine wall” or within a visually arresting, custom-built cellar. The following are important points to consider when curating a well-stocked wine cellar:
Your Personal Tastes May Change
With our proximity to several fine wine-growing regions, many have an acquired taste which is California-centric based on what they’ve been exposed to. Over time, it is a common progression for tastes to evolve and include other new world regions before embracing the old world charms of French, Spanish and Italian wines.
The exploration of wine is a journey of discovery with many twists and turns. Most collectors should strive for a balanced cellar with offerings from regions around the world acknowledged for quality wine production. Within these categories; Sparkling, White, Rosé, Red and Dessert wines from various regions can be prioritized according to preference.
Select Wines With Various Drinking Windows
In other words, maintain a certain portion of wines that are drinkable now, some for mid-term aging and others which can be laid down for the long haul. It doesn’t do any good if all of the wines in your cellar require further aging. Conversely, purchasing too many wines meant for early consumption virtually guarantees that many will be consumed past their peak.
Purchase Wines at Various Price Points
Prices vary based on comfort level and the importance one places on wine. Having affordable quaffers on hand provides the flexibility for a guilt-free “Tuesday night wine” to enjoy on its own or when having a quick, informal meal. Moderately priced wines make excellent companions for gourmet meals at home or which can be brought to a restaurant. It’s almost always worth the corkage fee!
Premium priced bottles can be considered special occasion wines. Break glass in case of anniversary, milestone, birthday, etc! Birth year bottlings for you, your spouse and children are also very popular purchases. For serious collectors, acquiring multiple vintages of a favorite wine may be a goal to strive for.
Where to Purchase Wines for Your Cellar
Traveling to wine regions is a great way to learn about what makes those areas special and unique. Tasting the wines from a particular producer or walking their vineyards provides greater insight and understanding as well as the opportunity to purchase limited release bottlings available at the winery.
Others may seek the increased availability and competitive pricing from purchasing online, but this is generally more effective amongst experienced collectors.
For those embarking on their collecting journey or trying to increase the breadth and depth of their knowledge, working with knowledgeable wine staff at a reputable wine shop may make the most sense. Their training, education and experience can provide expert guidance and help you achieve your goals.
The best news is there are no wrong answers. Drink what makes you happy and don’t forget that experiential learning and ongoing research in the form of opening bottles is the best way to learn! Cheers!
Note: There is often a correlation between price, quality and ageability with higher priced wines generally benefiting from and gaining complexity with time in the bottle.