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The new year always comes with the inspiration to organize and plan my wine cellar — what I want to drink, what I want to buy and what I want to give away.

When considering what wines to drink right away, it’s important to remember that not all wines are meant to age. Most are meant to be consumed within one to two years after bottling. For these youngsters, time is the enemy.

Keeping track of what you have is also important. Nothing is more distressing than having a wine go bad because it was saved for a special occasion that never came. Some occasions are worthy of a special wine, but a good bottle of wine is perfect any day of the year.

Staying organized is the best way to get the most out of your wine collection. A computer program is a good way to keep track of wines in your cellar, but you can do the same job with a pad and pencil.


Many think cellaring is only for wines that will receive long term aging, but even everyday drinking wines need proper storage conditions to retain their quality. For wines to purchase, I recommend retail store specials, promotional wines and any exceptional value to add to your cellar collection. Keep in mind, however, that the following should be consumed within months rather than years.

  • 2006 Mark West Pinot Noir, California (about $12, retail)
  • 2007 Bogle Vineyards Chardonnay, California (about $10, retail)
  • 2006Concha y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Carmenere, Chile (about $10, retail)
  • 2006 Honig Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, California (about $16, retail)
  • 2007 Brancott Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand (about $15, retail)


Wines intended to age will change over time; some will mellow and others will evolve into perfection. The following are possible additions to your cellar created for aging.

  • 2003 Quintessa Cabernet Sauvignon, California (about $140, retail)
  • 2004 Twomey Cellars Merlot, California (about $84, retail)
  • 1997 Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal (about $98, retail)
  • 2006 Inniskillin Ice Wine, Canada (about $59 for a 375 ml, retail)
  • NV Jackson-Triggs Vidal Icewine, Canada (about $24 for a 187 ml, retail)
  • Fonseca Aged Tawny Port (20 Year), Portugal (about $62, retail)