Realizing the dream of living a passion in your private environment; surprising your partner during a romantic dinner, celebrating a professional achievement investing in an alternative asset, decorating with an unusual and fun piece of furniture: having a personalized wine cellar at home can satisfy multiple needs.
Being students or businessmen, newbies or experts in the sector, who wouldn’t love to be able to draw from a personal, comprehensive selection of wines to pair every meal at home?
How would you build a wine selection suitable for every occasion, which can satisfy even the most sophisticated tastes, with a budget that is not necessarily millionaire?
1-First the cellar, then the wines and their traceability.
Even before purchasing wines, make sure you have the right place and tools for their perfect conservation.
A basement that ensures perfect conditions of temperature, humidity, brightness would work well for you; an even more effective but more expensive solution is to buy a modern fridge with different sections at adjustable temperatures.
Strictly linked to the above-discussed subject, is the ‘traceability’ one.
It is essential to know the whole ‘life’ of the bottle you want to buy, especially, if you think from an investment perspective and, therefore, its potential resale value.
Considering its importance and legacy, I will dedicate an entire article to the theme of places and perfect conditions of conservation; for now, we will assume this requirement as fulfilled, in order to dive into the remaining nine points.
2-Diversification wins over quantity.
Remember that it is still a ‘domestic’ cellar, 100 bottles represent a satisfactory basis, if well selected.
The number and turnover of the bottles will then depend on the cellar orientation of the cellar. A tendency towards collecting will lead to a constant increase in the quantities stored, with a low turnover rate.
However if you are interested in usability the turnover rate will increase, leaving the total number of bottles unchanged.
3-Cover all the categories.
Bubbles, dry and aromatic whites, rosé, drinkable and full-bodied reds but don’t forget the alternatives for the end of the meal. Dessert wines, ‘noble rots’, spirits and grappa also play a primary role.
4-Cover different geographical areas and even less noble grapevines.
A good selection of wines must be able to travel across Italy from north to south, identifying at least one representative grape for each region.
If we are talking about local whites, we cannot ignore an excellent Verdicchio from Matelica, but why missing out on the opportunity of tasting an atypical Istrian Malvasia, or a white from the Etna area?
Among the reds, the timeless Sangiovese, prince of central Italy, cannot be missing, but you will also have to find space for a Tintilia from Molise, an Aglianico from Vulture, a Pignolo from Friuli.
5-Internationality makes the leap in quality.
Integrating with 10-15% of foreign labels represents a huge added value.
A Riesling from Mosel, a Chardonnay from Burgundy, a Sauvignon from the Loire, a Bordeaux blend from the Médoc area, are just some examples of bottles that would embellish your cellar.
6-The alternation between small producers with established names is your uniqueness.
Being able to include an established bottle of ‘super tuscan’ in your selection always has its charm, but don’t make the mistake of transforming your living room into a banal showcase of a wine retailer, like those found at every airport.
So do not miss the bottles that bind you to your territory, the small producers who surprised you in that particular vintage with that particular product, unknown to the general public.
7-The ‘extreme’ wines cannot be missing.
Leave a small space in your cellar for a sparkling wine produced in the ancestral method, for a white obtained with 40 days of maceration on the skins, taking on that fascinating orange color; don’t forget organic and natural wines.
Most bottles that remain in people’s minds are the ones they previously didn’t know existed.
Therefore, pay attention to the ‘limited edition’, to be clear those productions that are kept under 1000 bottles per year.
9-Give dynamism to the selection.
Be curious, find out about the quality of recent harvests, about emerging producers, the world of wine is constantly evolving and your cellar must reflect new trends.
10-Abandon yourself to the charm of ‘vintage’.
Bottles with great aging potential cannot be missing from your list. Invest in the Barolo of your ‘trusted cellar’, let it rest and grow old with you for 10, 15, 20 years. You will develop with that bottle an emotional bond rather than a material one. Once opened, the sip will be an almost mystical experience.
Now it’s your turn: choose the person who will uncork with you the first bottle of your private wine cellar. There are no rules for that.