Before we begin let’s bat away some misconceptions
- Wine collections are for those with disposable income
- You need an underground wine cellar to store them in
- An expertise in fine wine is essential
It doesn’t take a magnum 1865 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild to make a wine collection. A basic understanding of wine is ideal for a modern gentleman, however the reality is that any of us can begin a collection with a handful of well priced bottles. The aim here is not neccessarily to create an investment opportunity. Although it is possible to buy a £30 bottle of wine today and sell it for £10,000 in ten years time. The potential financial rewards are not as great as the legacy you can create.
Start a wine collection for your kids when they are born. Add a few cases every year without telling them. It’ll make a phenomenal gift in 20 years.
John Lefevre. GS Elevator, How to be a man
The very first step is simply starting to buy. Head to your nearest wine merchant and ask for a red, white and rosé from this year. Until you know what you’re doing you shouldn’t be trying to spend any more than £25 per bottle. Be clear with the assistant that you’re looking for a wine to keep. Most wines are created specifically for younger drinking.
Secondly think about storage. Obviously a significant storage solution isn’t required if you’re only buying 5-10 bottles per year. But it’s important to find storage that is out of your way. By that we mean out of temptation when you’re already a few glasses in. Ideally wine should be stored somewhere that will maintain a cool temperature. Lastly make sure that all your bottles are kept on their side or upside down to keep the cork from drying out and cracking.
Finally you have to apply some serious discipline here. If you want a collection to be proud of, you need to take your time over at least a five year period. Remember that this is the long game. However once it begins to mature (all wines have a peak. Know what it is when you buy it) it will bare wonderful fruits. Even the most modest wine collection can make a wonderful heirloom or store for celebrations.