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How Not to Stock your Wine Cellar: A Collection of Lessons Learned in 20 Short Years

 
Monday, August 17th, 2009 at 12:08:49 PM
by Joe C., Wine Enthusiast Companies

As featured in the September 2009 issue of Wine Enthusiast MagazineJoe Czerwinski

Collecting wine doesn’t sound difficult, but I’ve made plenty of boneheaded decisions over the past 20-plus years. Just when I think I’ve started to figure it out, I realize my cellar is so far from where I want it to be that I want to give up and send it all off to auction. Here are some of the seemingly contradictory things I’ve learned along the way.
Good storage conditions are vital. When I first started collecting wine, I lived in a garden apartment with basement storage. Then I lived in a first-floor apartment and kept my wine in an interior closet or my parents’ basement. I have only a few bottles left from those early days, but when I open one up, it is invariably disappointing. In retrospect, I wasted several hundred dollars on Bordeaux, not to mention all of the costs I’ve incurred holding it since then. If you can’t provide proper storage, don’t buy the wine.


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