I think I may be basically done buying wine. We have enough wine to last the rest of our lives, at various stages of maturity and various levels of significance. There are no holes in terms of pairing. There is enough variety to keep things interesting. I have the “entry fee” to any number of events when we wish to attend. My Pending Deliveries list is down to almost nothing.
This has been true for a while, though, and still I kept giving into temptation and biting on offers. But something has changed recently. The offers just make me feel tired. The compulsion is gone. I unsubscribed from most retailer emails and don’t miss them. Nothing new appeals as much as what’s in the cellar.
So other than some daily drinkers, a few beloved producers whom I will continue to buy as long as I can get them, and the occasional reload on my favorite champagnes, I think I may be done.
I must admit it feels really good. Strange. But good.
Yeah, I know - you’re all going to start teasing me and waiting to say you told me so when it all changes, and you may be right. But this is feeling pretty real.
I’ve been in this mode since mid year. Apart from a few defenders which will be spur of the moment, I don’t think there’s anything more we need to “cellar”.
Goal doesn’t need to be N+1 until death.
It is freeing after being a bit (surprisingly) melancholy for a short time.
I’m there as well. I will probably buy a couple of cases over the course of next year, but at this point I need to sell some wine because it simply doesn’t fit in my cellar, and that is one modest benchmark I should be able to meet.
I still find it fun to browse, have become amazed at the rote repetition of wine reviews though. I find that filling an on-line shopping cart is almost as much as buying the wine!
This is where I think I am at as well. Other than Champagne and the stuff that flies out of the cellar as fast as it goes in I am just not terribly interested anymore. The feeling hit me extra hard about two weeks ago when a backlog of Envoyer shipments showed up, and I was thinking “I don’t want this stuff.”
Interesting. I haven’t filled an online shopping cart in ages, mostly because I only go to buy a specific wine and have no interest in browsing, made easier by the fact that I’m also really not interested in just one or two of anything, with few exceptions.
Would love to know how young all of you are, and how many wines you have in your collection, just for calibration purposes, but of course, I would never ask such an ungentlemanly thing.
The great thing about your decision, Sarah, is that if it ever appears not to feel right, you just unwind it and do what you want to do. It’s a wonderful thing.
I’ll be 50 before the end of the year. The other question I prefer not to answer specifically - more than many, less than some? Certainly enough.
I think it’s a realization more than a decision. Or a realization that became a decision.
55 here. The quantity is a closely guarded secret, and about twice as much as I ever actually planned to have.
I’m trying to ramp-up our buying right now because I figure I’m going to be confronted with some harsh realities re: my own life expectancy and desired level of wine maturity at/around the age of 50, which is less than a decade away for me. As of now, I generally think this is the right approach, although I do feel I need greater cellar diversity (so hard to do when my favorites keep pulling me back for more).
I think that’s partly why I ultimately ended up with so much. I like a whole lot of different things, and want a ready inventory of all of them!
«Its important to reflect on your own mortality when buying wine» William Kelley proverb
I am almost 67 and have collected and studied and enjoyed wine for 38 of those years. Like Sarah I want for nothing but I can’t stem the passion of finding something new and exciting as well as the occasional “deal” that I have to buy. I’ve told myself so often that it’s time to stop. But I can’t. It’s intellectual, I tell myself. I’ll keep trying to stop. But it rings hollow. I wish you luck, Sarah.
Hah!–I thought you were going to say you’ve decided to quit posting.
With regard to buying, I’ve made the decision to “quit” several times, but then a killer vintage has changed my mind (eg 2010 Burg, 2010, 2013 and 2016 Piedmont). I’m 68 and have about 1000 bottles. My buying has always been fairly focused on my favorites. I’ve mostly quit buying my favorites of red Burgundy and Piedmont wines, but I would still be buying chablis if I could find something amongst new vintages that tastes remotely like chablis, and am still buying dry Chenin.
I suspect you will periodically go back on your decision, but in a spotty, directed manner when you can’t help yourself.
Sarah, I’m honored my dinner has spurred such a major life decision for you - though I’m a bit apprehensive as to why
You bored her to tears with talk of project finance and public-private partnerships for infrastructure development?
A question, why are you all specifically vague about your collection’s size? Is it that you’d rather be modest, a security concern, etc…? Of course I respect the decision and also respect if you don’t want to answer this follow up.
In regard to buying, I find that for me it comes and goes. I will spend a lot (for me) when the vintage and regions hits a home run but then I’ll have some big gaps from vintages that don’t excite me. There are some producers that we drink as quick as we buy so there is always a revolving door of these daily drinkers.
What’s most disheartened me to keep collecting is the dramatic escalation. It makes me not want to buy wines and just drink down what we have and move on to a different hobby. Case buys become 3 packs and 3 packs become single bottles. It’s really hard to get excited about being able to get a single bottle of something that you could get a case of a few years back. I don’t have the energy or time to reset and explore new regions and producers to strike gold. I know what I like.
Congrats Sarah! Not because I judge buying or not buying wine, but because it feels good for you - seems to be a mental/emotional transition. And when those feel good it reflects on one’s mental health.
I’m 59 and I’d like to stop buying, or at least slow down. I’m more in the ‘seems like a good idea but here comes 2019 Barolo’ phase and the anticipation and buying are both fun.
Still my collection is big, probably plenty big for a long time. How big exactly I’d rather not say. Why? Honestly I find revealing such details to be embarrassing. Like admitting that my Monet collection has gotten so big I’ve run out of wall space and have to stack the damn things in a closet.
With dinners like that, and friends of such generosity, what do I need with my own cellar?
I feel the same way. I’ve hit a point where I just can’t justify so much buying, so I’ve cut back to very few regulars/lists (like the Scherrer zin and Pinot futures - I’ll buy that all day long), and some targeted buys at auction, but otherwise can’t deal with the stress of not knowing if or when I’m gonna drink certain bottles. Too much pressure!
I have all but stopped buying with the exceptions of older vintages of old world wines when they become available. And there always seems to be a need for a little more Champagne. I have whittled my inventory down to about 500 bottles. At 79 years old, buying wine to hold is not a good strategy. I have no idea how long 500 bottles will last me but then again, I don’t know how long I will last.