House Wine (or) How and Why To Make Your Personal Cellar Selections More Like a Restaurant Wine List: Part 1 of 4

There are many types of wine buyers and drinkers: the buy and hold, the buy and drink, the you buy it I drink it!… I am the type who doesn’t buy enough of the bottles offered to me and wish I had bought more. Furthermore I won’t drink those bottles for fear they will be so amazing I will wish I had bought more at which point I would fall into deep despair.

This fear originated during a recent Az Wine Group purchase with me buying ZERO bottles of the “Tench” from Nickel and Nickel (Did you know it is next door to Screaming Eagle?) and only two bottles of the famed Chateau Grillet. I have been fretting this now for 3 months longing to taste the Oakville cab and the renown Condrieu. I finally had the courage to pull out a bottle of Grillet for a big dinner we had. It was worth it. Its’ honeyed almond nose was beautiful alongside halibut with coconut curry sauce. The problem is how in the world will I ever part with my last remaining bottle? I admit it; I am a luxury hoarder. 

Because of my experience I have formulated a plan on how to stock my cellar (my tiny 52 bottle cellar) based upon the restaurant model, a wine inventory sorted into excellent “house wines” (frequent favorites or daily drinkers) and special wines. The reason for doing this is so that I may overcome my paralysis in drinking my own wines by always having a go-to value bottle on hand. It is difficult to throw $30 to $100+ down the gullet no matter how amazing the experience is so I keep the special wines for special times and always keep my house wines around.

~~~In Part II I will discuss the first issue of building your collection: How many bottles should I buy of a given wine? ~~~