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Starting your ccollection

Balance your selection

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.

Plan your space

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.

Rotate your wines

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.

The Perfect Host

Be adventurous

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.

Keep a record

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.