If you could go back 25 years and keep all current knowledge in your head- how would you have collected wine differently?

Hopefully your ex reads this and takes account that your “going back in time magic lamp wish” is for a pre-nup and not declining the first date with her :wink:


I would’ve bought more grand crus and less cheaper wine as well, but generally pretty happy with things.


I think this is really hard in general, because I very likely wouldn’t have ended up where I am today if I hadn’t taken the route that I did. That said, I wish I had learned the lesson that once I realized what my palate leaned to, I should buy what I loved and buy lots of it. I’ve since followed that rule and it has almost never steered me wrong. Some of the wines I’m most excited to open I’ve bought in large quantities, and at this point it’s a bit like seeing old friends.

I also don’t especially regret the misses - there are certainly some things I don’t particularly love that I own (and, yes, that I outright dislike), but that’s part of learning ones own palate.

That said:

I very strongly agree with 1. I appreciate some people have a different perspective, and I suspect it has a lot to do with the types of wine that people drink. There’s so little grand cru Burgundy but so much village, so purchases are already skewed in the direction of village wines, especially given the allocation system. That’s not the case for, say Bordeaux, or German wines.

I agree on 70s Napa as well.

  1. Buy more Champagne to cellar.
  2. Explore Burgundy and Barolo/Barberesco a lot more earlier on.
  3. Limit my German wine purchases overall to 3 bottles of a single wine per vintage at most. Don’t be afraid to skip vintages. I have so much German wine but so few opportunities to open at the moment because they need age.
  4. In general, buy great bottles in lower quantity than good/average bottles in larger quantity.

Great question.

  1. I would have actually tasted a lot of the wines that were recommended to me but “it needs ten years”.
  2. I would have avoided buying BDX early on because it generally doesn’t suit my palate.
  3. I would not have waited to sign up for mailing lists that were two-years long.
  4. I would have bought more Champagne.
  5. I would have bought older wines to see if I wanted to hang on to wine for the “professional” drinking windows.
  6. I would have started opening large-format bottles sooner (I have over 200 magnum-or-larger bottles)
  7. I would have gotten into Germany and Austria (although I guess it’s not too late to start)
  8. I would have not gotten on so many mailing lists and done more one-offs to explore more producers.
  9. I would have decanted every wine before dinner, even if just before pouring a glass.
  10. I would have bought less dessert wines, but opened them more often.

Don’t let any particular producer comprise too much of my collection.

Start buying back then all the (ageable) stuff I like now.

Explore Italy, Spain, Portugal and South Africa more.

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That’s so interesting because I’d rather have fewer producers.


More epic bottles, less everyday stuff. I usually prefer young wine for everyday purposes anyway, so I don’t need so much of it cellared.


I was lucky to be ITB for long enough that I got to taste a pile of wines and set my palate early, but…

  1. Not buying a pile of 2001 Germany at cost + 2% after walking out of the Theise tasting in the summer of 2002. It’s the best vintage of my lifetime.

  2. Not buying a pile of 2002 Pierre Peters Chetillons when it was $90 or so on store shelves.

  3. I’d have loved to buy more Chenin and Burgundy.

  4. Not backfilling old 70’s/80s California before prices took off.

  5. Not listening to the Bourbon guy at the store I was working at when he was waving around OF Birthday Bourbon for cheap. That and the cases of Pappy/BTAC I could have bought for $50 a bottle.




It is weird to think of how readily available and inexpensive Pappy was in the late 00s (which doesn’t seem (feel?) very long ago at all).

I agree with Keith but I think our definition of epic bottles would be very different


I would have filled my cellar with Overnoy. I love the wines and got into Jura just as they really took off.

I would also be 11 years old. Would be epic to have a badass Overnoy collection at that age :grin:


Buy more daily drinkers and more high end wines, and less in-between (wines that are too expensive for a weeknight and not special enough for the weekend)


Some of the early releases of OF Birthday were not very good (literally trashy tasting/smelling), so you may not have missed much. I haven’t attempted to try it since that experience and hearing similar reactions from other bourbon drinkers not as swayed by the hype. It’s for trading/selling, IMO.

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Some similar themes to others.

  1. Less ( a lot less) Sauternes and Vintage Ports
  2. Less Aussie reds
  3. Wish I had bought much more Pomerol and less Left Bank wines
  4. Should have bought more Rayas wines - had the opportunity but……
  5. More magnums and 375ml
  6. Larger quantities of Felsina Rancia to cellar
  7. Drank my Fevre Chablis younger
  8. More Ch. Magdelaine!

I was fortunate to have good access to good burgundies and so there are no direction changes on that front.

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Would have ignored Parker.

Would have spent less time on new world wines.

Would have started visiting old world producers sooner.

But in all honesty, starting out today, when there are fantastic internet tools available, is quite a bit different than starting out when the internet didn’t even exist. For all the complaints about wine pricing and availability now, I’d much rather be starting out today than 35 years ago.


I would have bought eve more 2001 German wines (despite having bought well over 20 case - compared to David, I’m a piker).

Would have bought more Potel-era Pousse d’Or wines, especially from the Stash Pearsons was dumping after they fired David Schildknect.

Wold’ve bought even more 1988 red Burgundy from Macarthurs after Parker changed his evaluation of the vintage and the store started dumping them.

Would’ve bought more Dujac when I was young and impoverished instead of thinking <$60 for the premier crus was waaaay too expensive.

I am sure tre are more if I were willing think about it more. Bu I still love the same things I loved 30+ years ago - i.e., German wine and red Burgundy.


Could we please keep our current financial assets along with our current knowledge? That would be:


The almanac of sports "Grays" stolen by Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) in  Back to the future 2 | Spotern


If I had to do it over again, I’d have:

  • Bought more Northern Rhones in the 90s and early 2000s.

  • Cellared Domaine Tempier all along.

  • Like Tom R, bought less Auslese and more Spatlese, Kabinett and, in my case, also QbAs. And aged more Kabinetts.

  • Discovered and appreciated traditionally made Barolo in the 90s when they were cheap and the modern stuff drew all the attention.

  • Trusted my instincts and bought more Burlotto before Galloni gave the 2013 Monvigliero 100 points.

  • Bought PYCM before he was widely known.

  • Laid away some Napa cabs in from the late 70s and 80s before they went off the deep end.