How to Build Your Wine Collection
Imagine rows and rows of wine bottles, each with a unique label and story. Building a wine collection is an incredibly rewarding experience. It’s a great way to let your creative juices flow and enhance your wine expertise.
As you begin your wine-collecting journey, everything is exciting and new, and we can tell you’re eager to get started, but there are still a few things to know first.
Keep reading for everything you need to know before starting your wine collection. We’re excited to share this journey with you!
1. Set a Budget to Buy Wine
While it’s more than possible to find exceptional affordable quality wines, the cost of building a wine collection quickly adds up. Like with any investment, it’s essential to have some disposable income set aside. Allocate how much you will need to spend on every aspect of your wine collection.
Remember, it’s not just the wine you’ll be purchasing. Here are some other things you’ll need to invest in apart from the wine:
- Wine cellar
- Wine fridge
- Monthly/annual payment for offsite storage
- Expert guidance
If you decide to store your wine at home, you will also need to invest in patience and space as you may be buying a wine fridge or building a cellar.
Let’s address more about proper storage!
2. Designate Proper Storage Space
Investing in proper wine storage when building your wine collection is critical. As mentioned above, you must purchase a wine refrigerator, invest in a proper cellar, or pay for storage at a special wine warehouse.
Are you keeping your collection in-house? You will need a dark, cool space with the right amount of humidity to keep the wine from spoiling or aging too quickly. You will also need to ensure the storage area isn’t subject to vibration, as sound and earthquakes can also break down the wine. In general, wine storage temperatures are ideal at about 55 degrees Fahrenheit with 60-80% humidity.
A basement, garage, or large pantry are great places to start. No matter which option you choose, it’s ideal to keep your wine storage organized and keep track of inventory.
Now that we’ve covered the first two wine storage basics; budget and storage, it’s time to invoke the help of an expert.
Pro Tip: Be sure to check out the largest consignment stores in your area first when searching for a wine-storage place outside the home.
3. Engage the Help
Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced wine connoisseur, seeking professional help is prudent, as you will spend a lot of time and money on your new wine collection. A Sommelier (wine steward) will help you with budgeting and finding what wines you like and which ones you’ll be storing long-term.
An experienced Sommelier can be an excellent resource for navigating expensive wine purchases and finding the best deals. Did you know you can find great quality wine that lasts for as little as $50? It’s not about how expensive a wine is, but finding affordable quality items.
We mentioned taste, so let’s talk a little about choosing not just the best wine but the best wines you will love.
4. Listen to Your Palate
You may not be drinking your wine for a long time or at all, but for those you do plan on sipping, it’s essential to stick to the tasting notes you like! Remember that as you sample distinguished wines, your palate will likely change. Invest in complex, rich wines with tasting notes and flavors you enjoy. If you detest a wine today, you won’t be eager to try it a few years from now!
Sticking to what you like is essential, but what wines should you focus on investing in first?
5. Start With the Classics
Not only is it ideal to start your collection with wines that you like, but sticking to a few classics could have significant long-term benefits. Great wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay are just a few that have stood the test of time.
6. Have a Mix of Younger and Older Wines
Keeping your wine collection balanced is essential, especially if you plan to sell your bottles for future profit. Have a mix of red wine and white wine vintages, as well as some younger wines that have the potential to age long-term. Don’t shy away from adding sparkling wine as well, like a premier Champagne!
7. Invest in Age Worthy Wine
Some wines have a shorter shelf life than others, but many wines taste the best after ten or even twenty years! For example, some Bordeaux red blends are prime for drinking after decades of aging. Conversely, white wines like Sauvignon Blanc and sparkling wines are meant to be enjoyed after a few years at most.
Ask your Sommelier to point you to wines that don’t just last through the years but get better with age. Depending on the type, a well-kept, age-worthy wine can go for thousands at auction!
8. Be Wary of Scams!
If you happen to come across a great deal on a rare wine, look out! You might be about to fall victim to a scam. Just like anything in life, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. This is another reason why having an expert to guide you is certainly worth investing in, as they should be able to help you sniff out and avoid those bad deals. You wouldn’t want to auction your wine after years of waiting only to discover it’s worth far less than you paid for!
This brings us to our next point.
9. Have Your Collection Appraised
With a long history of solid investment on return, fine wine can be as valuable as investing in the stock market, if not more! This is why having your wine appraised regularly is crucial if you plan on investing in your collection as more than just a hobby. Keep track of your wine in a cellar log book and assess your collection periodically.
Consider consulting an expert, in this case, to ensure your wine is keeping up with the market value. It could also be helpful in knowing when to sell your wine for the best return.
10. Start Collecting
Now that you have an idea of where you might like your wine collection to take you, it’s time to start collecting! Remember to start small and take your time. You don’t need to begin by buying super expensive and rare vintages immediately. Building a wine room is a long-term investment, and you’ll learn a ton along the way.
Avoid pitfalls by invoking the help of experts early on, be prepared with proper wine storage, and most importantly, have fun!
Become a Pro Wine Collector
Visit our Wine Shop to find which wines work best for your collection. Macy’s offers an array of affordable vintages along with Customer Favorites, Sommelier Picks, and Top Rated Wines to help you begin your collection journey.
Mix and match red, white, and sparkling wine. You can also explore wines based on their country of origin!
Consider joining the Macy’s Wine Club to keep your wine rack stocked.