Words by Steve King, managing director at Bottled & Boxed
Building a fine wine collection is a really enjoyable investment, and for many it’s an engrossing hobby. You can share the wines with family and friends, and get a return on your initial investment by selling some of them when they have aged to maturity. But how can you expand on your collection? From different storage methods, to unique flavours, and market trends in the wine and spirits sector throughout 2022, there is plenty to consider when you want to elevate your selection.
Here, I will take you through some ideas for how you can level up your wine cellar, whether its for investment purposes, enjoyment, or both.
Upgrade your storage
The storage environment is very important for ageing wine, and making sure that it will still taste good when you get round to drinking it. The optimal environment for wine is one that has low lighting or complete darkness, because sunlight and UV can both damage the wine’s flavour. Store bottles horizontally so that the liquid can hit the cork, as this will prevent the wine from developing a musty flavour. It’s best to have a little humidity in the room, but not too much.
If you have been building up your wine collection for a while, it might be time to invest in some professional storage. There are plenty of facilities to choose from where you can have your wines stored in optimal conditions, protecting your investment and ensuring that all of your prized vintages will be enjoyable years down the line.
Dive into new technology
While people have been ageing wine for generations, there are lots of new technologies being developed that can make collecting wine easier, more fun, and more precise. One of these technologies is the Juno device, which uses reverse microwave technology to chill both red and white wines to the optimal, sommelier-recommended temperature for drinking.
Another exciting development is Prooftag, which uses digital ledgers to create a labelling system for wine collections. This can be used to keep digital records of wines to certify their authenticity, preventing counterfeit beverages being sold, and allowing collectors peace of mind that their investment is on record.
Choose wines with unique history
When you are just starting out collecting wine, you should be choosing bottles based on what flavours you enjoy, as well as purchasing some safe investments. But when your palette is more developed, you can expand into some more obscure wines, using your experience to decide what might get you the best return your investment, or provide the flavour you want after ageing.
One of the things to consider when purchasing investment wines, is their history and the story behind them. This often goes hand in hand with scarcity, which is a crucial factor when selling wine for a good price at auction. For instance, there is a Romanée-Conti that is able to fetch a high price because it is made from grapes that are all grown within a vineyard of only 1.8 hectares.
You could also find vineyards that have history going back generations, and wine brands that have remained family businesses. The quality and flavour of the beverage is likely to be higher, and it will provide a more interesting prospect for those looking to buy the wine from you.
Consider organic wine
Many vineyards in Europe are organic, and as people become more interested in sustainability, this is set to become a big selling point in 2022. Most of the organic vineyards in Europe are in France, Italy and Spain, so if you have regular vineyards that you buy from in these countries, ask about organic options. You might also find new wine makers that you hadn’t previously heard of. Ask about the process of making the wine, to ensure that it remains natural and organic throughout.
Another way to cater to the new interest in eco-friendly food and drink is to buy from biodynamic producers, which means they are organic and use local materials for fertiliser. Overall, these vineyards have lower yields than conventional ones, but they also provide important biodiversity to their area.
Attend a tasting session
However long you have been collecting wine, you can still find new flavours and discover new ways to pair it with food. So, it can be a good idea to schedule a tasting session, either with a vineyard or a wine dealer. This will enable you to expand your palette and discover new potential additions to your collection.
You might also decide to combine it with a tour of the vineyard so that you can get an idea of how they make their beverages before you decide to invest. This can be an excellent way of gaining more knowledge, and finding exciting new flavours and brands to add to your selection.
Whether you have just begun collecting fine wine, or have been doing it for years, there are plenty of thing you can do to upgrade your collection and find new flavours that you love. Use these tips to make a start on adding to your cellar, and find wines that will bring you both a return on your investment, and plenty of enjoyment with friends and family.