starting your wine collection again

If you could start your whole wine collection all over again today what would you do differently?

Less Cali cab, more champagne.


More Loire red, more Barolo, more Bordeaux. But no less of everything else. So, also, have been a lot richer.

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I would have been born in the 60s and started it then.


More Italian

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Everyone goes through their own palate journey, there’s no way to accelerate that other than to drink.

The only practical advice I’d have given myself is to focus on buying a bit less wine but of a higher average quality (and price). You can always buy daily drinkers, but buying a case of Mugnier rather than 6 bottles would have been a great idea.

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I’d dedicate some space for multi-decade aging and fill it with:
-Austrian riesling
-White Bordeaux agers like Dom de Chevalier
-Northern Rhone, mostly red Hermitage but some white Hermitage as well
In addition to the Bordeaux I put aside.

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Less Napa Cab, more of everything else - I would try and limit what I hold of a given region to no more than 5% (not that I am following either rule at present [snort.gif] ).

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100% - more champagne.
More vineyard designated Bedrock.
More producer-focused Cali cab and less random NV.
More back vintage to start, I find myself looking at too many bottles which “aren’t ready.”
Less daily drinkers - we don’t drink daily.

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Less Barolo and more Brunello. Also, spend some more time in the Maremma region. Sangiovese is such a user friendly grape, as is Pinot Noir. Both are wonderful, with or without food.

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more premier cru red and white burgs, less chasing of grand cru burg cherries, and, of course, much more champagne.


I started collecting wine in the 1980’s and then stopped collecting in the late 1990’s when I switched jobs and had less disposable income, plus I also got very into brewing and beer. I started collecting again in 2016, but there was an 18 year gap between my two collections (stop buying with the 1996 vintage and started buying again with the 2014 vintage). My old collection had a lot of Bordeaux, Oregon, California, Burgundy, Rhone and Southern France and was about 98% reds. When I started the new collection I purposely made several changes based on what I learned last time.

First, I buy a lot more whites (about 30% now). I also buy more wine for mid-term drinking. Previously I had a ton of wines that needed 10-20 years. I still buy those, but I also buy a lot more wine for drinking over the next 3-6 years (like cru Beaujolais). The regions I buy from also changed a fair amount. I buy virtually no wine from California. I think I have four bottle from California and three of them were gifts (I still buy some Sky Zin since a friend works there and they still make wines like the ones I cut my teeth on). I also buy virtually no Bordeaux and Burgundy, which is mostly because of price. Like a lot of older folks on here, it’s hard to fathom paying $200-300 for things that I used to buy in the 1980’s for $25. I never used to buy a lot of Loire reds because they were often too green, but with climate change, I find I like Loire reds a lot (which is ironic since I tend towards more AFWE wines). I still buy some southern French and Rhone wines, but a lot of them are pushing ripeness and alcohol levels I don’t really enjoy, so I buy less of them.

I still buy a lot of Oregon Pinot and it’s my biggest single category. But I also buy a lot more Riesling (mostly German) and Oregon chardonnay, both of which I rarely used to cellar, as well as a lot of cru Beaujolais and Loire reds. It’s been interesting building a second collection and, while I miss some of the heavy hitters from Bordeaux, Burgundy and California that I used to drink, I think ultimately what I have now is a much more useful collection for drinking and enjoying.


This is an interesting thread because my serious collecting period only began about 3 years ago. But even in that short time a lot of things have changed in the wine market. Looking back I actually can say I kind of lucked into doing a lot right considering I knew basically nothing when I started.

Most everyone says they wish they bought more Champs and that’s been my number one large quantity buy. And I have been buying in min 4-6 and usually case quantities since the beginning.

That’s been my largest learning lesson. Early on I passed on the higher priced stalwarts in favor of daily drinkers and up and comers and I wish I had bought less of the lower end and more of all of the big names. But I’ve corrected that in the past few months.

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Exercise a little (OK, a lot) more restraint.

Ftw champagne.gif

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I think I speak for all of us in saying thats a pretty great connection to have! Sky’s zin is one of my favorites.


200% - more champagne…especially 2002 Krug [head-bang.gif]

Over the decades I have wasted a lot of money on storage plus cellar moves. If I had a magical ‘do over’ button, I would have bought less and been more thoughtful about what really needed to be saved personally in my own racks.

Now it’s true that the world of secondary sales / backfilling is much easier today than it was a generation ago, and I personally am generally averse to that, but in plenty of situations it makes more sense to let someone bear to burden of storing things for a decade or two.

Would’ve built more cellar space for MAGNUMS of quality Champagne.

Would’ve bought fewer half-cases of value play Burgundy that were competently made but really never excited me, e.g. Girardin or Burguet