Wine collecting can be competitive, and it’s often expensive. For example, when Nicholas Paris (Master of Wine from the Institute of Masters of Wine in London) presided over an auction between two Fortune 500 company executives, he witnessed the competition over a 1947 Burgundy push the price up from £6,240 to £39,000.
Paris is only the 34th American to ever be awarded the Master of Wine title, showing just how exclusive the industry can be. However, you don’t need to spend anything like the dedication, time or money on learning about wine to build a collection of good wine and enjoy the process.
Good wine collection is possible
If you’re interested in starting a wine collection without breaking the bank, here are some expert tips to get you started. As with every investment decision, a little research can go a long way.
Start by considering the region of the wine you’re looking at. Certain wines from specific regions will age better. According to Paris, this include wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy and Northern Rhone in France for reds. Italian red wines that do well with ageing include Amarone, Barolo and Brunello di Montalcino.
White wines from France that age well include white Burgundy, white Bordeaux and Vouvray. From Germany, you should look at white Riesling for staying power.
Understand wine lifespans
Paris’s expert advice includes the fact that only 5% of wines across the world will improve in any meaningful way after five years. He says: “A lot of people purchase wines that are meant to be consumed much earlier and hold onto them for a long time. They’re not going to improve, and they certainly won’t have any value at that point.”
It’s also important to consider how much you ant to spend. Buying good wine that will age well doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot of money. It’s possible to find good bottles for £20 to £40, that will age well over the next decade, as long as you buy from the right regions.
Storage and packaging
Both how the wine is packaged and stored can make a big different for its longevity. Wines with a natural cork should have a longer cork, as bottles with either a synthetic or short cork don’t let the wine to age well due to the amount of air that can get in.
Screw tops are a better barrier to oxygen affecting the wine and can allow the wine to age for a number of years. Boxed wines are never meant to age, and should be consumed straight away, as they hold no value over time.
A mistake many amateur wine collectors make is not storing the wine correctly. Wines must be kept in cool, humid and dark places, and room temperature is generally too warm. Commonly used storage areas, such as cupboards or the larder, will prematurely age the wine because of the excess heat and light. You can get fairly inexpensive wine fridges that provide the right level of humidity, or a basement is a good option.
Follow these tips and you can get started on a budget-friendly good wine collection that will age well and grow in value.