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Wine collecting is a personal endeavor. Some see collections as exclusive works of art while others see them as simply bottles of wine they can’t wait to share with friends. For others the wines are tokens of cherished memories from a winery visit or vacation.

It is not uncommon to hear of wines being sold for thousands of dollars, such as the six magnums of 1945 Mouton Rothschild that sold for a staggering $100,000 a few years ago. But the average wine drinker is not looking to buy for profit or investment, but seek bottles that will provide the most enjoyment.

The most important thing to remember is that most wines are not intended to age. As many as 95 percent of the wine produced is meant to be consumed within 2 to 5 years of bottling, leaving very few wines that will improve with longer cellaring. It is also worth noting that the wines that do benefit from extended aging are among the most sought-after wines in the world, making them out of reach for all but a select (and very wealthy) few.

If you are thinking of starting a collection, an important step to smart collecting is finding a local wine retailer who understands your desires for collecting and cellaring. This is crucial so that you are kept informed of stellar wines entering the market and when they will become available. Then take the time to consider your reasons for adding to your collection. Collecting does not necessarily require long cellaring. Are you looking for everyday drinking wines or for wines that you would like to taste as they gradually change over the years. Finding expert assistance and having a clear idea of the kinds of wines you’d like to collect will help you create a much more personal and rewarding collection.


  • 2011 Amor Fati, California (about $59 retail)


  • 2011 Vineyard 7 & 8 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain, California (about $130 retail)