Some people collect fine wine.
I can certainly appreciate cellaring certain bottles of wine for special occasions – but not everything.
Some wines are made with the intent of them continuing to mature and gain complexity while being cellared. Most are not! Most wine is ready to consume as soon as it is bottled.
If you want to try cellaring to see how it changes a wines’ complexity – then I suggest you purchase several bottles (or a case) of the same wine. Before you do this, consult with the staff at your local wine store, or do some research at the library or on the internet, to ensure that the wine you intend to purchase has cellaring capabilities. Drink one bottle now, drink one in 12 months, drink another in 24 months and so on, depending how many bottles you purchase.
Don’t think you have to go out and buy an expensive wine cellar to try this. All you need is a nice, dark and quiet location away from heat. You can use a cupboard in the basement – just not close to the furnace or other heat sources. You can also purchase a small wine cellar (something that holds 35 bottles or so) for a few hundred dollars.
Don’t forget that while some wines have the ability to age, your palate may be more appreciative of a young wine. Just because a wine can age does not mean you will enjoy it more – you may not like the mature palate as it does not appeal to everyone.
One piece of advice – do not cellar champagne. While you should keep it in the wine cellar until you are ready to consume, please do not lay a special bottle of bubbly away and think you will enjoy it more in 10 or 20 years. Sparkling wine or Champagne is actually at its’ best when it is bottled. Cellaring for years will result in a bubbly with out bubbles! I have seen many a bottle of fabulous champagne given as a wedding gift and the lucky couple thinks they should put it away until their 25th anniversary – don’t do it! By all means, you should celebrate your anniversaries with bubbles – but let it be fresh bubbly bubbles!
If you didn’t buy it with a special occasion in mind – celebrate everyday occasions. Everyday is special, especially when surrounded by loved ones!
These tips are brought to you by Robert Mondavi wines.