People collect all sorts of things: trading cards, stamps, coins, and movie memorabilia.
The list is endless. Unlike many other collectibles, however, starting a wine collection requires a bit more knowledge about different types of wines and where and how to store them.
In this article, we’ll go over the basics of how to get started on your wine collection.
Whether you’re an experienced wine drinker or new to the scene, there are a few things to keep in mind that you might be unaware of.
Keep reading for answers to some of your burning questions about starting a wine collection.
Buying New Wines
Before you head to the wine store to load up on a random selection of wines, you need to figure out whether they’re a good buy.
There are two main things to think about when buying new wines: Do you like the wine?
And, does the wine have value outside of your own personal taste?
When you enter a specialty wine store, ask the staff if you can taste a mature wine.
If you’re new to the wine scene, the chances are that you haven’t ever tasted an older vintage before.
The flavor profile will be radically different from the young wines most people are used to, so get an idea of what to expect by tasting older wines.
If you end up enjoying more mature wines, you should select vintages with higher acidity and tannins.
These high quality wines will stay fresh for much longer than vintages that lack tannins and have a low acid content.
Especially when starting your first wine collection, you should buy a mix of young and mature wines.
Having less expensive wines in your collection will make you less hesitant to crack open a bottle when you’re hosting guests.
Storing Your Wines: Do’s and Don’ts
There are a few key things to remember when storing wines of any age.
First, the optimum temperature for wine storage is between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 16 degrees Celsius).
Second, a good wine storage space minimizes light, heat, and moisture.
Light can mess with a wine’s chemical composition, changing the taste and even making it go bad in some cases.
Excessive moisture is bad for wine, but a too dry space will shrink the cork and oxidize the wine. Heat also changes wine’s taste, reducing the complexity of its flavors.
Another thing to think about is keeping the wine as still as possible. For example, a wine cellar shouldn’t be near train tracks.
The constant jostling of the bottles is terrible for the wines’ chemical stability and can change their flavors over time.
Where to Store Your Wines
Now that you understand the do’s and don’ts of wine storage, it’s time to think about where to store your wine collection.
Almost anywhere in your kitchen should be OK to store your wines.
However, try to keep the bottles away from cold and heat sources, like your refrigerator, stovetop, or microwave.
Temperature fluctuations aren’t good for the wine’s quality.
Dining rooms are often the best place in the house to store wine.
The temperature remains relatively constant, and there is usually plenty of storage space for extra bottles.
Just be careful of excessive light or heat exposure.
Special Closet or Wine Storage Furniture
Specially designed furniture and storage spaces are the perfect places to store wine. They can often regulate temperature much better than other spaces.
Should Wine Be Stored on Its Side?
This is a question many wine collectors ask, even if they have years of experience collecting different varieties of wine.
The answer depends on what type of wine you buy.
You should store older wines with classic-style corks on their side. It keeps the cork wet and prevents sediment from forming on the bottom.
However, most newer wines use synthetic corks or screw tops.
You don’t need to store these types of wine on their sides because there is no need to keep the cork wet.
By now, you should have a better idea of how to get started on your wine collection.
As you can see, there are quite a few things to consider before selecting your different wines, your storage space, and how to store the bottles once you have them.
Remember, light, heat, dry air, and excessive moisture are your enemies.
Correctly storing your wine will ensure your wine collection stays tasty and complex for years to come!