Are you ready to take your love for wine to the next level by starting a wine collection? We couldn’t be more excited for you! Unless you happen to be a wine expert, though, you’re probably wondering how to even start a wine collection.
Don’t stress—The Wine Cellar Group is here to help. Based on years of industry experience, here are our top tips for how to build a wine collection you can enjoy with family and friends.
Set Goals for Your Wine Collection
Every good plan starts with a goal in mind—including a plan to start a wine collection. You need to know your “why” before you start buying bottles. Your “why” could be to entertain guests, celebrate special occasions, learn more about wine, start a business, or give gifts to family and friends. Whatever your reason for collecting wine, knowing your end goal will help you select the best bottles for your collection.
Plan a Budget
Once you’ve identified a goal, you need to set a budget. By doing so, you’ll know how much money you have to work with and can avoid the woes of overspending. Decide how much you’re willing to devote to buying wine, then you can start researching bottles within your price range. Whether you plan to buy inexpensive or expensive wine brands, we recommend starting small and working your way up over time. Building your collection gradually is the best way to curate it to your taste.
Set Up Storage Space
The next thing you should do is figure out your wine storage plan. Wine is particular and must be stored in optimal conditions to maintain its composition and flavor. Whether you decide to store your wine on a wine rack, in a wine fridge, in an empty closet, or at a temperature-controlled storage facility, these are the storage conditions you should create:
- Temperature: Wine should be stored in a cool, humid, well-insulated environment. Keep the temperature between 45° to 65° Fahrenheit and the humidity level between 60% and 80%. Keep the temperature consistent, as fluctuations can damage the wine. Keep your bottles away from any heat sources or warm areas in the storage area.
- Sunlight: Keep your wine bottles away from sunlight. Heat from the sun’s rays can change the wine’s chemical composition, therefore changing its flavor. If the storage area has windows, keep the bottles away from them or board them up.
- Vibration: Similar to sunlight, vibration also changes the chemical composition of wine, thus altering its flavor. Store wine in a location that doesn’t experience much foot traffic or other movement to keep the bottles from vibrating.
Collect Wine You Like
Starting a wine collection can be daunting. There are so many wines to choose from, and you don’t know where to begin. Take it from the experts: start with what you already know you like. Whether you prefer red, white, rosé, or something else, buying the wines you like will ensure you get the most use and enjoyment out of your collection from the get-go.
You’ll build a strong foundation and won’t waste money on wine you don’t particularly care for. This strategy also allows you to rotate your wine steadily and avoid letting a bottle expire before you get a chance to open it.
If you’re not sure where to find the wines you like, here are some ideas:
- Local businesses: Buying wine from local businesses is not only a great way to support small businesses in your community but also allows you to get exactly what you want without having to travel out of town, out of state, or even out of the country.
- Wine-tasting events: Maybe you don’t know what you like yet and need help figuring it out. You can taste a generous selection of wines at wine-tasting events to discover new favorites.
- Your favorite producers: Buying wine from producers you’ve worked with before is helpful because you already know and trust them, and they already know what wines you do and don’t like. You don’t have to spend time sharing your wine preferences with them.
- Wine experts: Get expert advice from people knee-deep in the wine industry. You can learn more about tannins, varietals, regionality, and more through the process.
Track Your Wine Collection
Wine is an investment. Like any other investment, you should keep track of it. Whether you prefer the convenience of a wine-tracking app or the familiarity of making labels and spreadsheets, tracking each bottle of wine that comes into and goes out of your collection offers several benefits.
- Consume bottles before the wine goes bad
- Know what you have at any given time
- Know when to restock certain bottles
- Keep bottles organized so you can easily find what you need
- Don’t disturb bottles unnecessarily
- Bottles won’t go missing
- Avoid mistaking one bottle for another
Always Do Your Research
Unfortunately, some people take advantage of wine enthusiasts by selling counterfeit bottles. That’s why doing your research before making a purchase is so important to guarantee its authenticity and provenance. This simple step will help you avoid scams by verifying prices and making fakes easy to identify. It’s also a great way to discover new trends and learn more about the wines you like. Trust us—the time, money, and frustration that researching on the front end will save you on the back end is more than worth it.
Enjoy Your Wine Collection
Don’t forget that collecting wine should be fun. Think of it as a passion project, not a chore. The goal should be to enjoy the experience and share it with the people you love. Collecting wine is a great way to celebrate milestones, build community, learn about the winemaking process, discover delicious food pairings, and even make some money. Plus, you can expand your horizons by trying new wines.
Experience the Cellar Collection Difference
Start building your wine collection today by browsing our Cellar Collection. You’ll find the best boutique-style reds, whites, rosés, and more from family-run vineyards around the world all in one place. With over 500 bottles and counting, you can mix and match to your heart’s desire. Buying wine online has never been easier.