House Wine (or) How and Why To Make Your Personal Cellar Selections More Like a Restaurant Wine List: Part 2

In Part I, I discussed the background of why you should consider building your collection like a wine list. In this installment I will discuss the first of two issues in buying and selecting wines for your collection.

The first issue to conquer is how many bottles should I buy of a given wine?
This is more often an issue of space and cash on hand than the availability of a particular wine. Here are my recommendations and an accompanying rationale.

1 bottle: You should only buy one bottle if:
- it is all you can afford
- it is a gift for somebody you don’t know well
- it is a wine you are testing out and you can easily get more if you love it
- it is a special bottle and is all you can afford

2 bottles: it is all you can afford
- you have picked a wine to take to a dinner of 8+ people
- it is all the bottles left to buy

3 bottles: Three bottles is the point at which you begin to be serious. Three bottles is a good starting point once you have picked a house wine. In addition, perhaps you tasted a wine at a restaurant or at a tasting/party and you know you love it and have to have it. This is known as a “Special Bottle”. Once you have 3 bottles of a special wine you can start to drink them with more abandon. My plan is to have a bottle when It is appropriate to start to drink it (hopefully just after buying it), have a second bottle at it’s perceived midpoint and the third bottle nearer to its peak (hopefully not missing the peak) as an example the 2008 Mondavi Oakville Cabernet recently awarded 94 points…. Drink in 2013, 2020, 2027. Keep in mind some wines will not keep long so always buy multiple bottles with a plan.

6 bottles: If you are at six bottles you both are fortunate and have a problem. The problem is space. For your next major wine purchase procure a wine storage solution (cellar/ fridge) to protect your wines. At the six bottle level you have the luxury to pull out your wine much more often and either taste it regularly as a house wine, taste it more frequently over time, or invite me over…

12+ bottles: If this is you have a party, seek counseling,  or put the bottles in the 500 bottle EuroCave and don’t forget about them. Please.

~~~In part III I will address which wines you should consider buying~~~