Is wine cellar diversity all it is cracked up to be

No prob. You weren’t entirely wrong - I used to be ITB, but it’s many years now. Have worked in a wine shop for many years and a couple in importing.

Nevertheless, nothing ITB related now. I go to a lot of tastings I pay for myself - or then I arrange them myself.

Ya ok?

To me, Chenin is like blueberries. I like blueberries, but 364 days of the year I would rather eat raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, redcurrants, what have you. That has always been true, but it took me a long time and a lot of tasting to figure it out. But if I bought a bunch of Huet or something because I’ve liked it when I’ve had it and other people whose taste I generally share rave about it, I’d end up with more Chenin than I actually want. That’s where I think the time has been helpful. Not necessarily because my tastes have changed - some have and others haven’t - but because it took me a long time to figure out what my tastes are.

Well played sir!
(but not what I was thinking LOL)

Are you confusing my country banker palate with the palate of a country squire?

I’d say Master of the Universe rather than country banker, given price levels … :slight_smile:.

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Oddly enough, retirement just over a year ago has stimulated more cellar diversity in my case, due to budget constraints and (this is random) more camper van trips across this beautiful land of ours. I’ve explored more lower priced wines and more half bottles, which are easier to pack. I’ve discovered/rediscovered Loire chenin blanc, Loire cab franc, Chianti Classico, champagne (lots of half bottles), Sancerre of both colors, Lessona, Bandol whites, and sauvignon blanc from Saint-Bris (Goisot). All have been versatile at the dinner (or picnic) table. It’s been a fun exercise.


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Diversity is an interesting question and depends on how you define it: varietal, region, age range, etc. I buy a lot of different wines, and have many single bottles – in this sense my cellar is diverse. By other estimations, less so. I have a lot of CA wine (tossed off as if CA were its own wine country!) and a lot of French wine. My CA wine, at one point, was very cab heavy, in a particular style, with most of the wine spanning a 15 year range from mostly (you guessed it) Napa. My French wines were mostly Bordeaux, but only from specific vintages. I had lots of different wines from lots of different producers but … diverse? Not really.

Today, I’d call “true diversity” as the diversity of styles than regions or producers (i.e. wines that are actually different vs. wines made by different producers that are stylistically similar). Too much of one style in your cellar and you wake up one day and open a fully mature and exceptional _____ [enter, for example, Napa Cab] and find yourself bored to tears.

If I could do it all over again (and aren’t we all, in a way, as we keep buying), I’d spend more time opening and studying wines, less money buying based on other reviews and feedback, hone my interest in fewer producers and regions, reserve cellar space and money for the natural evolution of taste, and buy deeper into specific wines in specific vintages that I really enjoyed, rather than having to guess when to have that a new experience when I only have 1-2 bottles of wine. Put differently, these days I’d value having less diversity in terms of “different” wines from different years, and a deeper bench of wines from the years and producers I favor.

Diversity police here to revive this post! I was reading a The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil which has a quote from Jean-Claude Berrouet that made me think of this post.

“Terroir is a way by which man uses soil, vine, and climate to express a trait in wine. Terroir isn’t a hierarchy for quality, but rather a mantle for the sense of identity. This notion is a sensitive one in times of changing fashions. Wine is diversity, and terroir is a real way to escape the monotony of daily life.