Collecting wine is a unique hobby. Some collect for investment, others for personal use and some simply for the pure love of wine. As a collector, the following tips apply whether you have two cases or 2,000 cases.
Develop a relationship with your retailer. There are hundreds of wines that could be missed at your local wine shop. Inform your retailer that you are collecting and express your styles, taste and which wines you want to add to your collection.
Separate your cellar collection into categories: everyday drinking wines, those for a special occasion and those you consider the most valuable, either for monetary or sentiment. Place a note on these bottles as a reminder to others that they are of special value to you.
Don’t be consumed with buying “cult” wines. Consider wines from recent travels, wines shared by other collectors or those savored and enjoyed at memorable dinners. Such wines in your collection will become the most treasured of a lifetime.
Know what you have in your cellar. Many collectors miss the purpose of collecting by letting wines deteriorate before opening them. Nothing is more disheartening than not enjoying bottles in their prime simply because they are overlooked in a dusty corner.
To save money when collecting, buy wines by the case. By doing so, you will be able to taste one of the bottles and assess how it is developing in the aging process, and you’ll have the remaining bottles to enjoy.
Keep an organized inventory. It can range from a penciled-in ledger to widely available, high-tech computer programs.
And last, serve the bottles you like to friends and family who enjoy wine, but share your fabulous bottles only with people who truly love wine.
- 2002 BV Coastal Estates, Beaulieu – Cabernet Sauvignon, California (about $10, retail)
Georges de Latour Private Reserve from the same producer, Beaulieu Vineyards, is known as one of the most collected Cabernet Sauvignons in California. This wine regularly receives high scores and rave reviews from critics and costs about $120 retail. The BV Coastal Estates Cabernet may not have the same pampering in the vineyard and winery or share the premier real estate address in California, but it continues to offer an exceptional value.
This wine is a ruby color with aromas of black pepper, cherry and hints of mint. The medium-bodied palate offers tastes of spice and chocolate ending with a clean finish.
- 2004 Chateau Lascombes, Margaux Bordeaux (about $78, retail)
The Lascombes boasts Second Growth rating in the prestigious Bordeaux classification system and is a wonderful addition to any wine collection. Lascombes, as expected when it is from a reputable wine maker, has deep Bordeaux roots which began in the 18th century when Jean Lascombes, a Bordeaux Parliament councilor, bought the vineyard. Today this property still produces wines that receive some of the highest accolades from the world’s most respected critics.
The color is deep ruby. The aromas are intense and expressive with notes of dark chocolate, coffee beans, deep rich berry fruit and a touch of licorice. The palate offers a lush, full-bodied mouth feel of blackberry, rich plums and spice, and its long, lingering finish mingles with a taste of vanilla.