“Oh, the cellar!” We do get rather excited about cellaring wine, don’t we?
We talk about having a cellar, raiding a cellar and laying a wine down like it’s some sort of front page celebrity scandal we all like to gawk at and gossip about without ever really being sure of what it all means.
Here’s the thing about collecting wine though: have to actually like the taste of aged wine. Yep, ageing creates a certain flavour and it’s not everyone’s cup of… well… wine. Still with us? Great! Because we love aged wine too.
Second, you have to have the right place to store it – or the money to pay someone else to do it for you. Poor storage makes wine turn bad. Fast. Chucking it under the bed or into the back recesses of the laundry cupboard is not going to provide a steady temperature environment, and that’s exactly what wine needs to age gracefully.
But if you are interested in collecting wine – and welcome to the club! – then you probably fall into one or more of these four categories:
- You like the taste of aged wine –so you want to age wine at home for your own drinking pleasure.
- You love the idea of having a wine collection so that you can show it off to your friends.
- You have a genuine interest in wine and you want to feed that interest by collecting it.
- You understand the value of wine and how some brands and wines can increase over time, so you want to collect wine for financial investment.
No matter what your motivation for collecting wine, it can be a bit of a minefield. So we had a chat to Tamara Grischy (pictured, top) who’s the Head of Auctions for Langton’s Fine Wines. She also happens to be one of our favourite women of wine, and in 2018 was named ‘Woman of Inspiration’ at the Australian Women in Wine Awards. Yep, she’s pretty special. And she reckons collecting wine is a form of exploration and discovery. (Sounds good so far!)
“The desire to discover something new is part of the human condition,” said Tamara. “We are all explorers to some degree, and wine is about discovery – new varieties, new regions and countries, and new friends. Wine allows us to travel the world, and explore differences and similarities by simply opening a bottle.”
In a culture driven by food and wine indulgence, Tamara says the taste experience is becoming more important, even to those who don’t know about wine. “Collecting today is not just about financial investment, but building a cellar of wine that gives you pleasure, has a story that resonates, and brings back beautiful memories.”
Here’s what you need to know about collecting wine.
Buy wines with a story that resonates with you. Every wine is a story in a bottle. So choose the wines and producers that have a story that you connect with.
Only collect wines that are of decent quality. In general, there’s no point in laying down a $10 bottle you picked up in the discount bin. Only high quality wines with good acid and tannins age well. But you don’t have to pay a bomb either. Do your research and stick to your budget.
Look for wines that have a limited production. If there’s less of something, it’s more special and more people want it. Capiche?
Look for wines from winemakers and wineries that already have a good reputation. That doesn’t mean it’s not sometimes worth taking a risk on new or lesser known producers, but reputation does count for a lot when it comes to a wine retaining or increasing its value.
Keep the importance of regional strengths and provenance in mind. Choose varietals that the region is best known for, like shiraz or riesling from the Barossa, cabernet from Coonawarra, or chardonnay from Margaret River.
Pay attention to the conditions the wine you’re buying has been kept in. It’s important to know how the wine was stored before you take it into your keeping (beware the retailer that had it sitting on the counter under the hot lights for months on end!)
Let’s collect some wine together at the Barossa Vintage Auction & Luncheon 2019!
One of the most prestigious events on the wine calendar, this year’s Barossa Vintage Auction & Luncheon on Friday 26th April has a strong and deliberate focus on women in wine – and we’d LOVE you to join us! There’s a whole bunch of VIP extras available just for fabulous ladies. Find out more and book your place here.