Wine is one of life’s luxuries and is something to enjoy (in moderation, of course). It can also be an investment, growing in value as the years go by.
If you enjoy a shiraz, a semillon or a chardonnay, you may have considered investing in your own wine cellar or wine collection.
Take a look at some tips for building a quality selection of wine.
Starting your wine collection
The first thing to consider is your taste. There’s not much point amassing several dozen bottles of Reisling if you prefer a Cab Sav, unless you have a strategic plan to make a profit.
Do some tasting to decide which varietals you like. Follow this up with research about which vineyards are the most highly recommended locally and internationally.
If you’re building a collection to drink, gather your favourite drops so you can indulge at a moment’s notice. If the purpose of your collection is to invest and grow value, seek out bottles of wine that are rare and created to improve with age.
Speaking of ageing, there is a common misconception that all wines improve with age, which is not the case. Generally speaking, wine, and in particular white wine, has a five-year age limit. After this time, the qualities diminish and you can end up with a sour or cabbagey tasting drop.
Experts will tell you that the cheaper a bottle is, the quicker you should drink it, so enjoy those $20 to $30 bottles the week you bring them home.
Red wines age the best, thanks to the inclusion of tannins, which preserve the freshness of the liquid. To invest in and build a collection of wine that can be stored for the long term, speak to an expert at a specialty bottle store to get their recommendations.
When it comes to reds, Barolo and Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are known for ageing well. Make sure to do your research before you pop a bottle out of sight for 20 years or more (it would be a shame if it went to waste).
Storing your wine
If you are lucky enough to have a basement in your Mosman home, this is the ideal location for your wine collection.
Wine is sensitive to temperature, humidity and light. Red and white varieties should be kept somewhere cool, still, dry and away from direct light.
In the absence of your own personal wine cellar, there are other options for storing wine in your home. Choose a place that maintains a cool, consistent temperature and isn’t exposed to the sun. This should not be a kitchen or laundry, where temperatures fluctuate. Avoid a window ledge or anywhere close to the road, as this may cause the wine to shake when heavy traffic passes by (constant motion can cause wine to lose its chemical balance and spoil).
While you can keep wine stacked on a shelf in a cool dark place, it is ideal to have a separate wine fridge somewhere in your home. This will help you keep the temperature consistent, somewhere between 7.2 and 18 degrees celsius.
Avoid any very humid areas, which may cause corks to go mouldy. A space that is too dry is also a risk, as it may lead to corks drying out and crumbling.
Another common misconception is that wine must be turned regularly to move the sediment which forms naturally in the bottle. Some experts now say this should be avoided, so that when you open the bottle the sediment is already sitting at the bottom.
Many serious collectors choose to store their wine in a professional wine storage facility. An online search reveals several providers close to Mosman.
Investing in wine
According to Bloomberg, wine can be a savvy investment, with professional wine portfolio managers able to yield their clients an annual return of around 13 per cent. Building a profitable collection for yourself requires either the support of an expert or a great deal of research, but if it is your passion you could do quite well.
On the other hand, the finer things in life are meant to be enjoyed. Vary your collection with a range of ready-to-drink, short-term and long term vintages so you always have a quality drop to hand.