Why I Collect Wine (and You Should Too)
December 22, 2011 How To
There are a few ways to buy wine. 1.) Buy it when you need to drink it, i.e. you are having a dinner party and need some wine to serve, or 2.) buy it because you like it, want it and/or think it’s a great deal, though you don’t have a specific plan for enjoying it. There is a third way as well, which is to buy wine as an investment.
The vast majority of Americans buy wine to drink that night or within a few days. A tiny number buy to invest, but purchasing a $3000 bottle of Petrus only to sell 10 years later hardly seems like fun to me. I fall into category two, which is to say I buy wine because I know, at some point, I will enjoy drinking it. I’m here to argue that you should buy for this reason as well and why it will make your life 46% better.
Over the past 4 or 5 years, I’ve amassed a collection of somewhere around 250 bottles of wine, give or take 50. Not a bad collection for a non-rich 28 year old, but by no means impressive in the greater wine world. Nonetheless, this small collection has made my wine experience 100 times more enjoyable and here’s why: Every bottle in my cellar has a time and place to be discovered and enjoyed. I don’t know when or where that time and place will be, but that’s half the fun.
For example, I had been sitting on a bottle of L’Aventure Optimus and its big brother the Estate Cuvee for a couple of years. I knew I wanted to drink these wines together and the perfect opportunity came recently when my parents were in town visiting. We brought the wine to a great restaurant, had an awesome meal, and enjoyed the special wine together. Drinking wine like that is so much more fun than ordering off of a restaurant list or heading to the local wine shop to pick up a bottle before dinner.
Here is another scenario: I’ve always loved all of Ridge’s wines, especially their Lytton Springs and Geyserville bottling. They’re great every year and I usually pick up a bottle or two for short term drinking. But the 2009 vintage of both of these wines were an absolute blockbusters receiving 95 and 94 point scores respectively. So naturally, I picked up a few extra bottles of both to, as the Cialas commercial says, drink “when the moment’s right”. And much like the hassle of having to plan ahead to take that magic little pill, I’d rather be ready! Consider this my Lytton Springs for daily use.
Enough with that ill-conceived analogy. The point is, having good wine around is more fun than not. Some will improve with age, but that’s not the point. As time goes on, wine fades away from being an X dollar purchase and turns into a future memory (and occasionally a lost memory). If you build up a small collection of wine you like, I think you will find as I have, that every time you open one, you will get a little more out of that wine, and out of life.