Wine sales have significantly increased in recent years, with forecasts predicting that U.S. wine consumption will continue to grow by ten percent from 2011-2015. And, with more people drinking wine than ever before, there is also increasing interest in becoming an educated wine collector.
While it may seem like a simple (and fun) hobby, there are actually a lot of important things to know before jumping into wine collecting. By learning the basic facts and best practices first, you can then begin to collect, organize and properly store your wine so that your investment remains secure.
Start with these five general tips when you start your collection:
- Buy what interests you. Some people assume that the higher the price tag, the better the wine. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best or right bottle for you. There are a lot of factors to consider like the age of the wine, the vintage, the vineyard, reviewers’ comments, and who might have owned the bottle in the past (source).
- Don’t go overboard. Start small, and your purchases will accumulate. It takes time to build up a collection. Be sure to think about what kinds of bottles will add monetary value, and what kinds of wine are personally valuable to you. Do you prefer wine from a specific region or country, or would you rather collect bottles based the stories behind them? It’s up to you.
- Remember bottles can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Don’t let unique bottles turn you off because you’re not sure how or where to store them; they can add something different to your collection. There are many different accommodating storage options for wide, tall, long-neck and champagne bottle styles.
- Document your collection. This means you should not only save records of your initial purchase (including receipts, auction cards, etc.) so you have proof of value, but also organize your wines properly and create a catalog. The bigger your collection gets, the more you’ll appreciate having an organized reference guide of inventory for easy access.
- Protect with proper storage. Wine is sensitive to a number of factors, including temperature and humidity, light and vibration. If not stored properly, these conditions can cause wine to spoil. The ideal temperature for wine storage is 55-57 F, with humidity between 55-85%. To ensure that your wine remains at the proper conditions, consider storing your collection at an off-site wine cellar.
Treat Your Collection With Care
Collecting wine can be an exciting hobby, with many different personal purchase factors. Whether you find excitement in owning a piece of history, or prefer to have bottles from around the world to enjoy at your leisure, a wine collection is something that evolves over time, and is an investment worth preserving properly.
Are you a wine collector? What are your storage tips for beginners?
Photo credit: R3V || cls