How many of you have dreamed about having your own private cellar? How many of you have thought this is just for the wealthy? Don’t cut yourself short; everyone can enjoy an in-home wine collection!


Although there are many expensive wines out there, there are also many accessible options for those who are just getting started with their own wine collection. First of all, it’s important to make a distinction between buying wine, which is an action mostly based on preference and occasion, and collecting wine. The latter, it’s a conscious effort which requires dedication and direction. These acquisitions are mostly supported by a cautious research and selection process. Remember, the goal is not to have great individual wines, but a great collection of good wines.


What’s your budget

Let’s face it, most of us don’t have a pile of money just sitting around. Therefore, we need to decide how much cash we want to allocate for this. purpose. The right amount? It’s really hard to say... However, with a $500 budget, you should be able to get some good wines to begin. Of course, you don’t have to buy everything at once, nor do we recommend it. In order to save some money, we recommend buying wines while they’re young so you can age them yourself and avoid the high prices. There are plenty of excellent collectibles between $20 and $30, such as certain Cabernets from California, Pinot Noirs from Washington, or Malbecs from Argentina, that you can be acquiring over time. It’s important to set a clear goal and start with a realistic expectation according to your budget. As your knowledge and expenditure increases, so will your collection. Remember, this is a mid-to-long term project.


Good wines to start with

At this point you have already set a budget and you’re wondering which wines are a good investment to begin. There is no right or wrong direction when choosing which wines will be a part of your cellar. Although your collection should have a variety of wines, it’s better to start by collecting those you really enjoy. Are you a white or a red wine type of person? Do you prefer Old World or New World wines? This is important because not all wines are meant to be drunk at the same time, or for that matter, to be aged for the same period of time. For example, Old World wines can be aged further, whereas New World wines are normally intended to be consumed faster. Remember, reds can be long-term collectibles, while whites are better held for shorter terms, given the fact that whites usually don’t age as long.


Once you have decided on a few wines to kick it off, then it’s time to start looking for those varieties you would not necessarily drink regularly. Don’t forget that one of the objectives of having your own collection is being able to pull a nice bottle of wine for any given occasion. To be safe, you should have at least a bottle of Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Sauternes.


When choosing which wines you want to age, keep in mind that you should look for wines that are tannic, complex, and acidic. Price is a great indicator as for how long you can age your wines. If you’re looking to keep your collection for five years or less, then you should aim for wines under $30. Some good examples are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Rioja. Whereas, a $40+ wine, such as California Cabernet Sauvignon, Rioja Gran Reserva, or Grand Cru Burgundy, will last five or more years easily. Some really nice, and on-budget options include white German Rieslings, red French Beaujolais, red Californian Pinot Noirs, Chilean Syrahs and Italian Lambruscos.


Before you purchase any bottles, always do a little research, read online reviews, ask questions, and taste them. As you continue to build up your collection and you gain more knowledge and experience, you can look for more expensive/rare collectibles to add to your cellar. Always remember this is a journey meant to be enjoyed.  Salut!