The Practical Guide to Set Up with Your First Wine Cellar

How to Buy Wine - Choose Best Wine - Best Red Wine Bottles - Buy Wine OnlineEvery time I try to offer a wine for a dinner, the same question always come back to me: which wine is the right choice, and where is it possible to find quality wine as well as good advice? In this post I want to share with you the pros and cons of the different options to acquire wine.The amateur has many possibilities to buy wine, and depending on what you want, you need to focus on one or another of the various distribution channels, each with advantages and disadvantages.

The purchase of wines for immediate consumption

A neophyte first seeks out wine to drink right away. Your main contact will be the neighborhood wine shop that will guide you and help you discover the world of wine.
Advantages: proximity, advice, and human contact.
Disadvantages: you have to move ; prices include selling expenses such as rent of the shop ; the wine range is reduced ; no way to compare prices.
The other option is to go to a wine shop online. This distribution channel gains new followers every day and has great flexibility. Gold Medal Wine Club offers a wide range of wines as well as special offers and limited series. Check their website at GoldMedalWineClub.com to explore their large catalog and offers.

  • Advantages: A wide range of choices, accompanied by easy price comparisons. Home delivery within 24 to 48 hours and secure payment by credit card. Bulk orders allow for outstanding reduced money value.
  • Cons: No taste possible, but in general there are descriptions and tips that can help you make the right choice.

Buying wine in supermarkets

The choice is wide enough and you can conveniently buy wine while doing your food shopping for the week.
Advantages: probably the price which often hide very uneven quality ; proximity.
Cons: Little or no advice, which often leads consumers to choose based on price and label. The wines are too often exposed to light, vibration, and heat, which degrades the quality.

Buying at the winemaker property

It is certainly the most pleasant purchasing experience as you are most often on the road or at a holiday resort.

Pros: wine tasting and meeting with the winemakers.
Cons: The choices are reduced to the production of the field, and against all conventional wisdom, the prices are not more interesting ; some producers have higher prices to avoid competing with their retailing customers.

Great Wine Made Simple: Straight Talk from a Master Sommelier
This “Immer-sion” class of tastings lets amateur sippers differentiate the typical qualities of each grappes, while illustrating wine terms such as dry, crisp, oaky, and tannic. One chapter is devoted to finding useful info on a wine label while avoiding “Label Tricks” (how many have actually tasted lychee or red currant?) that can be confusing the average buyer. The accurate “Flavor Map” concept eschews memorization in favor of quality wine geography.
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How to purchase wine to form a wine cellar

In this long-term investment, preference should be given with care to the names and vintages “de garde,” which means wines that we must keep for a medium or long period of time before tasting. We must bear in mind the need to diversify our purchases so that the wines can maturate progressively in the cellar. You can apply a few principles:

  • Think about wine appellations which are often neglected, as they include some surprises such as the wines of the Southwest of France or Languedoc.
  • Buy small wine from great years, the vintage often gives information on quality.
  • Diversify by not buying excessive amounts of a given wine because if it does not meet your expectations, you will limit the risks.

How to build a cellar

A good starting point for a winery cellar will include a selection of 40 bordeaux, 30 burgundy, 15 Loire wines, and 15 wines from the Rhone and the Southwest.If you’re not fond of French wines, or if they are not available in your area, you can observe this advice:

  • Red wines: compose with round and light red wines and stronger and deeper wines. By doing this, you will always have a corresponding wine depending on your dishes.
  • White wines: have both dry white wines and sweet white wines on hand in your cellar.
  • Rosé: rosé wines keep shorter and are made for festive and recreative drinks, like for a BBQ for example. So don’t spend too much on rosé.

Don’t “enter” too quickly in wine storage. Start small by buying wines for more immediate consumption. This way you will be able to recognize wine taste progressively, enabling you to allow the maturity of your more precious wines without feeling frustrated by the wait.
Another option is to purchase “futures cuvees,” which involve buying futures wines in the spring following the harvest to be delivered 18 months later at the time of bottling. The savings are generally from 20 to 30%.

Make sure to read this post about keeping and storing your wine bottles for further information.
It’s your turn to make your choices. They will be wise if you follow our humble advice!

Photo by : Le Vin Parfait

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