Collecting wine can be one of the greatest investments you make. Most quality wine will eventually double, if not triple or quadruple, in value. With this said, the world of wine collecting is complicated and filled with many ways to get burned. The reality is that you need to be incredibly knowledgeable about classic regions, vintages, producers, and current industry trends to be able to properly value wine. Here are a few pointers to help you get started in the world of wine collecting:
- You must read a lot to learn. There’s no way around this. As a master sommelier, I studied for four to six hours per day for six years. While you don’t have to commit yourself to this type of torture, it’s incredibly important to have a good base of knowledge. I would recommend enrolling in the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Introductory Course. This is a great two-day class that covers every classic region in the world. I would also sign up for a few monthly publications, such as Wine Spectator and Decanter Magazine.
- Protect your investment. I can’t tell you how many times I purchase wines for clients that have no proper storage for these rare bottles. While you don’t need to necessarily designate an entire room in your home to wine, you must ensure that the wine is kept at 40 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 percent humidity. This ensures that your wines will age gracefully with corks intact.
- Be careful where you purchase wine. Not all that glimmers is gold. If the price is too good to be true, there is probably an issue. Unfortunately, the counterfeit wine market is growing, and the counterfeiters are getting much better at it. I recommend watching a couple of auctions and websites before purchasing, so you understand the rules.
- If all else fail, leave it to the pros! Purchasing and organizing a cellar is not the easiest thing to do if you’re not experienced. I personally run a cellar management company, Aspen Cellar Management, which manages cellars across the country. We really make it easy for the client to have a great collection that is properly stored and well maintained. Find us online at aspencellarmanagement.com.
Again, collecting wine can be a rewarding hobby, but it is also an easy way to lose a lot of money if you’re not careful. Good luck, and cheers!