Cellar Diversity...again

If someone likes drinking wine from California, and has no desire to branch out, that is their decision. It is neither good nor bad, except as it pertains to them. There is a vast diversity of “California” wine, so it’s not terribly limiting.

I prefer to drink globally, but that’s me.

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Oh, another keyboard warrior saying things online he wouldn’t say face-to-face.

Take your hostility to the politics sub. It’s not welcome here.


I actually started out much more European in drinking habits (before I even had a collection) than I am now, where I now have CA as a significant part of my, admittedly much smaller than 1000 bottle, cellar.

I would remind the OP that geographic diversity is but one measure of diversity. Even if one agrees cellar diversity is important, there are so many other metrics for diversity (varietals, styles, etc.).

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Sounds like the wine tariffs hit the US worse than I thought. I can find outstanding Bdx at $20-30, exceptional wines at $30-40. Couldn’t afford to drink this much if I had to dish out $60 for a bottle of wine every time!

Depends on where you live. In Minneapolis no one offers much from Bordeaux in the main price range for me which is $30. Total Wine probably has the best selection and the shops that used to specialize in Bordeaux don’t buy it anymore. Also I spend $60 or less per bottle and no I don’t average that. Most wines I buy are around $25.00.

I guess sometimes we need to remind ourselves that classified growths are only a small fraction of Bordeaux wine.

Of course classified growths are less than 5% off all Bordeaux. As I stated in my previous thread with Otto you have to have a wine shop get good $30 Bordeaux wines. We just don’t have that in Minneapolis right now and I prefer Washington State to Bordeaux in that price range.

I prefer to drink globally, but that’s me.

You don’t want everyone drinking German Rieslings as prices would go up and it would be harder to source. We have a shop in Minneapolis that has a good selection of Riesling and nothing ever moves off the shelf which reminds me to buy more German Riesling from them when they have it on sale.

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I think this sub is hilarious. Of course people can drink what they want. The OP was specifically asking about cellars with 1000+ bottles. I have met people that have exactly what he is describing and if it is any litmus test for the question, usually they literally have never tried much of anything else. The people I know just tend to buy from their local region (Sierra foothills here) and Napa is their go-to “high end wines”. Often times they have deep vertical of Joseph Phelps, Chappellet, Silver Oak, Caymus, etc.

I am generalizing but most of the people I have met like this just haven’t tried anything else. An example…I had a 2016 Becker (Marquis D’Alesme) the other night (I know baby killing), and I honestly don’t think a Napa fan would have a tough time absolutely loving that wine. They just haven’t tried it.

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Am the opposite. Almost 100% Burgundy and German. Almost zero California. Started with Bordeaux and moved to Burgundy.

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It’s a bit of a straw man, but there are probably plenty of folks out there who are 95% Napa Cabernets in their cellar (I know at an early stage in my wine appreciation career this could have been me). We can say “individual tastes are individual” all we want, but this strikes me as a rather blinkered approach to appreciating wine.

So my feeling is that, like a good investment portfolio, diversity is a positive thing. While it may be tempting to be 100% long $GME right now, most likely this is not the optimal strategy. Preferences change over time, people and tastes evolve, heterogeneity will most likely win out in the end.

man, I hope that guy doesn’t realize we’re talking about him 500 or so bottles later when he joins the board to post one of those “what’s the best place to unload 1,500 highly rated CA mailing list wines without losing too much money” threads.

For me it’s partly habit, and partly what you can get hold of. I am >90% France. I loved some Hedges Washington State wines back in the 1990s, but you just can’t find them in the UK.

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agreed. One of the best things about the old world is that there are so many good bottles for so little.

I wish their would be more people thinking about this. State/ country lines are entirely arbitrary and have incredibly little to do with the wines. I don’t find California to have much diversity within it tbh though. California produces about 55% as much wine as Italy, but Italy has 350+ different grapes officially being used, where California has about 60. But you can also imagine Italian wine drinkers with 95% of their cellar being Nebbiolo or Sangiovese.

Not quite sure where to tell you to take your complete misunderstanding of the politics sub…

I’ve said it a few times upstream, but I think there continues to be such diversity coming out of CA that it’s possible to have a brand variety if wines these days if only sticking to CA. Some have compared CA to Italy - nope not as many wine grapes varieties but certainly plenty of diverse weather/soil/aspect situations that allow CA growers to grow a lot of stuff in various ways.

Do some folks focus on Napa Cabs? Sure - and there seem to be plenty of them on this board based on lots of threads. Do some focus on pinots and chards from specific regions in CA? Sure - again plenyy on this board.

But my guess is that many in this bard really haven’t fully explored what the state has to offer. And that’s the beauty of BD and the beauty of plenty of threads on here.

Do I believe that someone is ‘well served’ by sticking solely with CA wines? Of course not - but we as a state have so much more to offer than most realize - and there certainly is beauty in that IMHO.



Let him drink what he wants. Personally, I don’t see much California wine here, but then, maybe my vision is selective?


1st, welcome to the forum. While it’s been discussed a lot in the past, it’s always nice to check in on an “old topic” every so often so that we can all catch up if our thoughts & opinions change over time. Finding balance (for me) has been a process over time. I’m building a wine cellar that is meant to grow & shift with time. Wines that I love that require a lot of time sideways like Nebbiolo make up a large portion of my cellar as I’m trying to build up “enough” to age for 2-3 decades. I’m also heavy in a few producers that I really love like Keller, Bartlett, Brovia, & others. Keller is getting harder & harder to find, Bartlett is retiring, and Brovia will likely be a price I can no longer justify in another 3-5 years. About 2% of my cellar is dessert wine, because I probably open between 1-3 bottles/year. Champagne represents about 7% of my cellar, and I’m working to increase that to 10% because both my wife & I love Champagne. However, once again, prices seem to be rising to a level that may price us out of the tete de cuvees in another 5-10 years.

I know in my case I post on a pretty diverse group of California wines just on my own. Forgetting all the usual suspects, I drink California wines made from a bunch of Italian grape varieties, and less popular French varieties as well. It’s true that there isn’t the breadth of say Italy, but many of those grapes would be a really hard sell. The selection is getting bigger though, with wineries planting or having growers plant grapes less well known to the typical buyer of California wine.

I would probably feel differently about the scenario you describe depending on whether the person is:

(1) Someone who has tried good examples of wines from many categories with an open mind and ended up deciding he really likes one category of wines the most and wants mostly to drink those, or

(2) Someone who has not or rarely tried anything else, and/or has some attitude, prejudice or closed mind about other kinds of wines, and thus just has a cellar composed of one category.

If it’s (1), well that’s not how I would want to be myself, but it’s hard to argue against it being what that person wants. If it’s (2), then I think the person would be better off trying different things with an open mind and learning about the many interesting things out there in the world of wine.

I’d say the same thing if we were taking about someone who will only watch one category of movies, or only eat one kind of food, or only read one kind of book.

And the usual bland disclaimer - people can do whatever they want and it’s their business and their money. But since you asked what people think about it, that’s kind of my perspective.


If someone had a cellar only with Bordeaux or Burgundy, I’d say the same thing.

Like I said, my cellar is >95+% French.

I’ve tried a pretty vast amount of varietals and while I have a few favorites like Moric blaufrankisch, Canary Island Malvasia and moschofilero, I almost exclusively drink red burgundy and champagne, with the occasional cab or Syrah.