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Beginners Guide To Collecting

Beginner Guide to Wine Collecting

How to start a fine wine collection

Starting a fine wine collection can be incredibly enjoyable and a worthwhile monetary investment. Collectors of fine wine can often make hundreds or even thousands of dollars back when they sell their wine. Generally, what sets a casual collection apart from a fine wine collection is that fine wine collectors research and consider carefully what wine they buy, especially their age-worthy bottles. Many first-time collectors make the mistake of buying too much wine at once without considering their goals for the bottles in the future. Learn more

How to tell if a wine is worth collecting

You won't find a single, definitive list of wines worth collecting, which means you'll have to know how to spot them on your own. A wine's collectability depends on its aging potential, vintage, and rarity. Wines with firm tannins, high acidity, and high critic ratings are likely to age for decades in a cellar. Vintages that were blessed with perfect weather conditions during the growing season are always in demand on the secondary market. Finally, determine how rare the wine is; if the producer makes fewer than 100,000 cases of wine every year, chances are good that it's a wine worth collecting. Learn more

Ten qualities of age-worthy wine

There is nothing worse than storing a great wine in pristine conditions for many years, only to learn upon opening it that it is past its prime. Understanding age-worthiness is critical to enjoying your wine collection. When it comes to aging, price and terroir mean nothing compared to well-structured tannins. The best wines to age for years are those that have the tightest tannins possible for the varietal, along with high acidity, oak influence, deep color, dense texture, and light filtration. Learn more

How to decide what types of wine to buy

Whether you're a new collector or a seasoned pro, the only types of wine you should have in your cellar are the bottles you love to drink yourself, even if you plan on reselling your wine later. To develop your palette and learn which bottles you enjoy, buy a dozen or so red wines and about the same number of white wines from a diverse list of countries and regions. Stick with solid scores so you are not turned off to a region because of a poor-quality wine. You'll also want to sample a few different styles, including sparkling, sweet or fortified, aged and full-bodied red, young fruity red, aged and full-bodied white, and young fruity white. Learn more

The best varietals to collect

The truth is that 95 percent of wines sold aren't worth keeping in storage, and only a select few varietals are worth collecting. As a beginning collector, you'll want to start with the wine varietals that are easiest to cellar, like bold red wines with high tannins. Once you've mastered storing these wines, consider investing in very high quality ageable white wine like Riesling, or in a varietal blend like Bordeaux. You'll rarely go wrong if you remember this simple rule: only invest in the finest vintages from the best producers, regardless of varietal. Learn more

The best regions to collect

Grapes aren't easy to grow; they need the perfect amount of sunlight and rocky soil to create concentrated, delicious juice. The best wine regions for collectors to invest in are those that have the ideal climates for the type of grape that can make fine wine. For instance, you should buy Riesling from Germany, since this grape loves a cool climate, but buy Shiraz from Australia, because this varietal prefers much warmer weather.Learn more

The best producers to collect

After collecting wine for many years, some collectors are shocked to find that most of the wines they invested in as beginning collectors ended up being useless to them later. It's difficult to choose a handful of producers that will lead you to success, since hundreds of producers around the world claim to be the best in the business. You need to decide whether you want to own the rarest wines, the most marketable wines, or the most delicious wines to narrow down your search. The best wine producers carve niches for themselves according to these categories. Learn more

The best investment wines to collect

Achieving a high return on your wine investments requires patience and thoughtfulness. In order to make the most out of your purchases, you need to be willing to wait for your investment wines to get to prime drinking age, which sometimes takes as long as 20 years or more. You should have at least a $10,000 budget to start. Use this capital to buy investment wines that will age for at least five years in a cellar, that are rare, and that come from the best regions in the best vintages. Go for quality over quantity: it's better to invest in a handful of high-quality wines rather than dozens of cases from lower quality vintages. Learn more

Understanding white Burgundy

Burgundy’s reputation for growing the finest Chardonnay on the market comes down to the one-of-a-kind clay, limestone, and chalk terroir that provides its wines with intense minerality. Modern winemakers clamber to buy grapes from every subregion of Burgundy, making it the region with the most widely-replanted white grape roots in the world. Terroirs in Napa Valley have been in fierce competition with Burgundy over its Chardonnay in recent years, but Robert Parker gives this advice to wine collectors seeking out the best new vintages, “I don’t think you should cellar white wine at all, unless it’s white Burgundy.”Learn more

The best way to manage your collection

You don’t need to wait until you grow a large cellar to start using the best tools on the market. Using a cellar management app like Vincellar helps you avoid the pitfalls that are common among beginning collectors: spoiled wine, lack of cellar identity, and poor market investments. While many wine apps focus on just one of these issues, Vincellar handles each area equally well, making it an essential tool for collectors of every experience level. Learn more