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Talk to Stéphane about starting your own celar
Building a wine collection from scratch can seem daunting, but you don't have to do it all at once. Part of the fun is to gather memories along with bottles, so that when you open them there is more to enjoy than just some delicious wine.
The tips below will get you started as you embark on a journey to build your own cellar, but if you would like to discuss your selections in more detail you can get in touch with me on 03456 100 304, alternatively you can email me directly by using the link below.
You can now talk to Stéphane or any of the Cellar specialists directly on
03456 100 304
(Monday - Friday 9am-5pm)
It's your wine collection and nobody else's, so start off buying what you know you like then gradually move into other areas that interest you. Use forums like twitter (@Waitrosewine) to gather tips, advice and explore your interests. Specialised press, such as Decanter magazine, are also a great source of information.
Decide whether you are collecting to drink or to invest. Give yourself a budget and try not to get carried away, especially if you ever buy wine at auction. If you do start to spend money that you consider to be significant, research the wine's provenance, make sure you know exactly what you are buying and where it has been.
Read wine books and magazines and write a shortlist of things that pique your interest so that you know what you're looking for - without a road-map the world of wine can be a bewildering place.
Don't spend all of your budget on one style, especially when you're starting out. You'll need variety in your collection so try to keep a balance of whites, reds, champagnes and fortifieds in there too.
Make sure you have somewhere suitable to put the wine. It doesn't have to be a thing of architectural beauty, simply avoid areas that are subject to direct sunlight and temperature fluctuations.
Keep your drinking wine separate from anything serious. There's nothing worse than coming home to discover your partner has opened a bottle of Lafite-Rothschild 2009 when a Chilean Merlot would have done the job perfectly well.
Don't get blindsided by 'classics'. Each time you buy a bottle of Burgundy or Bordeaux, try and buy something more unusual too - like Riesling, Vouvray or Sherry. However, if you really, really like something, buy a case and then stagger your drinking dates. Tasting a wine evolving over time is a real privilege.
Research when the best drinking windows are so that you don't over mature your wines. A spreadsheet will do the trick, but if you fancy something more 'on the go' there are many reasonably priced apps that will help recording your wines while providing valuable information.