Cellaring wine. It’s the dream of many wine lovers to have a cellar full of wine. A lot of them feel good about themselves by having a “collection” of favorites. It does not matter if you will drink them in the short term or eventually in a not too distant future. What matters is having the bottles.
When we start collecting we start with an idea of what we like and proyect this expectations in the future that we would enjoy the same styles. Of course, the wines will mature with time and you will rediscover again with age.
What happens when you have a bunch of wines in inventory that you dont necesarily enjoy anymore?
I spent the whole month of September and continue so in October doing some restructuring in my cellar. Got rid of stuff that doesn’t make sense to me anymore. Take for instance, Supertuscans. These were the wines that defined my early years of wine drinking. I romantically call this period my adolescence of wine. For a while these wines made sense to me but now they have lost meaning. To be frank, I bought them because they had a certain prestige attached to them.
Again you only realize this when you do a deep instropection. It is a heavy exercise that can leave you drained yet necessary to growth. Our palate changes and we dont like the same stuff of 20 years ago. Yet with hang on to them because its hard to let go. Believe, it was hard for me to trade some specific bottles. The process was painful at first but felt after a rush of satisfaction when I got the new wines that love at the moment. This is a recurring cycle that I welcome with open arms in the near future.
I am learning than cellaring wine is more than just throwing bottles in a temperature controlled closet or warehouse. It is a picture of what you like in a finite period of time. It is important to accept that your taste will change to become a better wine drinker. At the beginning, it was hard for me to grasp the concept. It was out of necessity that I had to do this exercise.Recently, I have been buying more wine than I can afford ( And I have a big pocket) so I had to let go of some liquid assets to accomodate the new arrivals. With this pragmatic exercise, I am learning if what I have on stock I really going to drink it or I am going to continue to sit on dust like the others bottles.
Eventually, I will have nothing to trade anymore and will have left the core of my cellar. These are the bottles that I hold dear to my heart and represent the styles that I love. These are the Rousillons, Rhones, certain Italian wines and a nice collection of natural wines that is expanding as I discover my palate. When that times come, I will rebuild my already extensive cellar to another glory to come!!!