Does Anyone Collect & Age Wines Before Drinking Them?

Discussion in 'Cooking & Spirits' started by david1111, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. david1111

    david1111 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I can see that you've been doing this long enough that you've found out which wines you prefer, and which wines you don't really like. I specifically am trying to do just that, by aging some wines from almost everywhere, and by the time I've sampled some nicely-aged wines from most of the various countries, regions, varietals, styles and producers; I'll have a good idea of which ones are my favorites; and then I'll stick to mostly those wines.
    From what I've read and sampled so far, I believe that Southern France will be one of my favorites, and, as such, about 30% of my carefully selected 250 bottles, are from the Southern Rhone, and Languedoc-Roussillon. I also have a few from the South-West, such as, Madiran and Cahors. Your enthusiasm for these wines gives me added excitement for the day when I pull the corks. Thank you for that.

    And I am also not a fan of Rose wines or Sparkling wines, and there are none of these in my collection. Nor do I have any Canadian wines. They are very poor value compared to any other wines in the world, even though I could almost walk to the vineyards. The whites that I have (maybe 10), are mostly Rieslings which are able to age due to the acid, and Hunter Valley Semillon which also age nicely, and develop very different flavors.

    I've been lucky so far, in that I've only had 2 bottles that were corked and undrinkable when I opened them. These things will happen when one collects. But the main concern for me, is to consume the wines during the 2-4 years when they are at their best. Of course, that's all dependent on the type of wine, and grapes, and where they were grown. Basically, I want to avoid over-aging, or drinking them too soon.

    I had about 40 bottles just in cases, which will go in the wine-keeper cabinet when there is available space, but this has allowed me to realize that even laying a bottle on a 65 degree fahrenheit, basement floor, in a dark area for 3-4 years, makes it taste a whole lot better than when it first came off the shelf at the liquor store. So, even a casual approach can work quite well for people that don't have a professional set up.

    And I also share you love of Armagnac. Delicious!

    Dave
     

     

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  2. Johnno_Oz

    Johnno_Oz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I was in a wine of the month club at Wineselectors for a few years and kept getting a dozen Australian regional reds on my doorstep every month. I used to shove them under my bed and then when that became too full shoved them under the spare bedroom bed. Every delivery i thought I'd better cancel the membership for awhile....another month would roll by and then another case. I'd buy a case of Penfolds Kalimna Bin 28 from time to time too.

    I bought a new house and stacked them in the garage. When my new wife looked up the value of the collection insisted I drag them out of the garage and rack them. Got a 400 bottle rack from ebay, hired a pickup and then stacked them up. The cat helped.

    CatBoxes.png rack.png
    Big rack is 2009-2017, small rack in the hallway is 2001-2008

    So they're racked inside, not the best coolest option but they seem to have aged well and the selection by the wine of the month club has been pretty good. There were a couple of cases of Western Australian Margaret River shiraz which were a bit "ropey" a few years back but have mellowed out beautifully over time. I bought these off a work mate who had over indulged at a wine auction and was in trouble with his wife.

    I'm not a big drinker but get through a couple of dozen a year. The bottles move slowly to the left over time and get topped up on the right hand side in the big rack. Mum & Dad live near Penfolds head office in Adelaide, so I pop in for a visit to top up when I'm over there.
     
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  3. david1111

    david1111 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Great story johnno, ya had me laughing. Wine collections always seem to add up pretty quickly. Apparently the rule of thumb is to just double the number of bottles that you're initially planning on getting.
    It looks like you're wore the cat right out. Or did he get into the wine?
    Anyway, sounds like a nice collection. And from what I hear it's more important that the temperature doesn't fluctuate too much. A 10 degree range is no big deal. There's lots of collectors in small apartments in New York City, that just keep it in a closet at about 70 degrees or so and it ages very well.
    It just ages a little bit faster.
    And that Kalimna Bin 28 is an excellent wine. I have a few 2012s left. That was supposed to be very good vintage in Australia. But normally I purchase less expensive wines. My consumption is also about a couple dozen a year, usually with a nice meal. We usually just cook at home and don't bother with restaurants cuz the food is never as good and a decent bottle of wine is just way too expensive.
    BTW, I'm quite jealous that you're able to buy penfolds right from the company.

    Cheers.
     
  4. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    Most of the wine I drink comes in a box and has a "best if used by" date that's expired ...
     
  5. david1111

    david1111 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    And I guess you listen to your music from an AM station on a radio on the kitchen counter huh?
     
  6. SPEC2man

    SPEC2man Are we there yet? Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Vancouver Washington
    Just picked up another mixed case yesterday ... I couldn't pass up the price and my buddy is very excited about the selection :

    2015, Zin, Scott Harvey Vineyard 1869
    2015, Zin, Scott Harvey Winemaker Reserve
    2015, Zin, Scott Harvey Old Vine Reserve
    2013, Barberra, Scott Harvey Amadore County Mountain Selection
    2014, Zin, Scott Harvey Amadore County Mountain Selection
    2013, Rioja Style, Twisted Oak The Spaniard
    2015, Pinot Gris, Winter's Hill Watershed Oregon
    2015, Red Blend, Vino Noceto Tuscan Red Blend
    2011, Sangiovese, Vino Noceto AX-1
    2014, Sangiovese, Vino Noceto Noceto Sangiovese
    2013, Zin, Vino Noceto OGP
    2014, Zin, Sextant Oblivion
    2016, Pinot Noir, Pedroncelli Signature Selection Russian River Valley


    So much for culling the collection. I'm still figuring out what I like and what I don't. For the most part - I just like wine. I haven't developed enough sophistication to be real particular but I am starting to find certain varieties I like better than others. I ate a fantastic steak dinner last night with garlic mashed potatoes, fresh green beans from the garden and a loaf of artisan bread. I opened up a cab I have been saving and drank the whole bottle over the course of the evening. I think my significant other got at least one glass. I let her spin 80's LPs - it was great. I can't put into words how much more I enjoy cooking for myself, now that I am older and don't spend as much time running around on the weekends. I started at about 4 PM and really took my time. It was fantastic, I wish I could do it every weekend. The combination of a good bottle of wine and a home-cooked meal is such a joy for me. The more I get into wine, the more I see myself getting into cooking. Whether its soups or homemade pizza in the winter, BBQed ribs, steaks or complex salads in the summertime. Cheeses, roasted garlic, handmade bread and freshly baked desserts. I can see my retirement will be spent spoiling myself and my sweetheart. I just need to learn portion control (grin).

    Thank you for the offer on the spreadsheet - I went ahead and started one on my own. The folks here have given me some good ideas and a wine fridge isn't out of the question. I figure I will store the bulk of the wine inside and when I rebuild my mancave, I will get a couple of the smaller wine coolers (30 bottles ea.) and put them under a countertop. I have a similar cooler for beer now and it works out pretty good. I still think - around 100-200 bottles is about all I want to track. It seems like when you find certain combinations you really like you can start to limit the variety? Maybe not ...
     
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  7. abpeep

    abpeep OU Sucks!! Subscriber

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    So we have some wines that we've had a long time and never got around to drinking them. Probably not the same...
     
  8. david1111

    david1111 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    That's a nice case of wine SPEC. And I'm still figuring out my favorites as well. I've had to stick to wines in my price range with the characteristics to age well, so that cuts out a few. Quite a few South France, Oz and Central to South Italy. Some nice New World wines as well.

    Sounds like you've got the storage and cataloging worked out. that's great. I find the 200 bottle number works for us, cuz it's based on, 2-3 bottles a month; so 30 a year. Which is 6 years average aging x 30, for 180 bottles, with a small overage. The stuff I buy needs 4 to 8 years to age, so 6 years covers it well. Most of them are in the 5-6 year range, and there's are few that are gonna need 10 years, hence the overage.

    And I'm right with you on the whole food and wine thing. That's really the main thing that got me into this. We also really enjoy cooking a great meal, and pairing a nice bottle of wine with it. Just taking our time cooking and then savoring it all. I've got some good Ports that I've been accumulating over the last 5-6 years. I want to start finishing the odd meal with some Porto along with a desert, or just some chocolate. They're almost ready for drinking now. That's why we never eat out; the food and wine are never as good.
    My mouth began to salivate as I was reading your first paragraph. Thank you. You had me at 'fantastic steak dinner', then you had to go and mention 'freshly-baked deserts'.
    Yer killin' me Smalls!! (Do you know that movie quote?).

    Anyway, sounds like a great retirement plan; and good luck with that portion control thing ...

    Dave
     
  9. david1111

    david1111 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    @abpeep :
    Y'know, that's actually how a lot of collectors get started. It's can be quite unintentional (see post #42).
    Just buy them and and stick 'em in a darkish place, that has a fairly even temp fluctuation, like maybe 65-70 degrees, and + or - 5 degrees.

    A have a buddy that I can't quite get to understand this. He has a cold cellar with a window in it (so, daytime light), and it's about room temp in the summer; but in the winter it's frickin' cold in there. I mean, like, this is Canada ... we invented igloos fer Christ's sake!
    So really, just a constant 70 degrees would be better. It just ages a bit quicker. And just throw a blanket over it.

    So, it kinda is the same thing that you're doing. Buy and hold.

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  10. onepixel

    onepixel .

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    Is this you? I'll have to try it out.

    Cheers
     
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  11. onepixel

    onepixel .

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    Location:
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    I don't collect wine, but living relatively near California wine country, I've developed an appreciation for them.

    I have couple bottles that have been sitting around for 22-27 years. One, a friend brought back from from South Africa. Hopefully I've taken care of them.
     

     

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  12. david1111

    david1111 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hey onepixel:
    No that wasn't me, I think it was meloski, but he's got the right idea!
    I envey you guys that are close to, or right in, Cali wine country. That's great.
    I asked meloski about a wine that I've had for over 20 years, and he gave it a 50/50 chance. So the ones you've sitting on for a while could still be fine.
    I've only ever hsd 3 bottles that were undrinkable after over-aging. One was Pedroncelli that I thot would be fine. But then I also had a Multepulciano d'abruzzo that was at least 8 years over-aged, and it was still really good. Not as fruity as it shoulda been, but very smooth and earthy. That's the extent of my wine flavor descriptions, right there.
    Anyway, onepixel, I hope the bottles you've been hangin' on to are still good. If they are, they'll be really good.

    Cheers,

    Dave
     
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  13. Justgotohm

    Justgotohm AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have this bottle that’s well aged, can’t beat a good Italian wine.
    2BB3176A-E15B-47CD-AE1D-7EF69ECE9F4B.jpeg
    Here’s a couple that I really enjoyed lately.
    5BB1C40D-04DD-492E-A19F-2283C7B09059.jpeg
    9DF4652A-7EAF-4284-8EBD-532B4E0A9811.jpeg
     
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  14. david1111

    david1111 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Yeah, i know what mean about Italian wines. Our liquor board puts out a monthly catalog that i order from, and i spend the most time drooling and reading in the Italian reds section. I have quìte a few. But not as old as the one in your picture.
    I just drank a 96 quintarelli that was great, but that was pretty old for my collection. I have an 83 Lafite that I'd better pull the cork on soon, but thats a rare one for me.

    Those Napas look really nice. You get so many great wines in the US that we dont get in Canada. So cool.

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  15. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier Subscriber

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    I don't drink many of them anymore, but I'm a fan of the northern Michigan wines. I've considered joining the club at Chateau Grand Traverse, as it would get us three (or four?) bottles every three months, at a discount. Some of what they send are only available at the winery and not in stores. I think they specialize in the Rieslings but they have others that I've found are pleasant. I've thought about getting a small wine fridge (~24 bottles) as we don't keep enough around or drink enough to go larger.

    Yeah, I know...that's how it starts... :D
     
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  16. david1111

    david1111 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hmm, I don't think I've ever had a Michigan wine. I guess they don't ship into Canada.
    Rieslings are nice, cuz they will age, but they're also great when they're young. You just have them with different foods.

    Getting a small wine fridge is at least a good attempt at restricting the size of you wine collection. It's uncanny how quickly
    and easily it can get out of hand. They usually double in size (at least).
    I think it's because, once one begins looking at wines, they all start to look like interesting wines because of a great vintage
    or region you haven't tried yet, or even just a cool-looking label.

    Many of us have the same issue with audio gear. I noticed one AKer, whose signature was, 'Trying not to be a small speaker hoarder'.
    What up with that? I have the same curse! I have a whack of smaller speakers that (I guess) are going to be useful some day. Weird.

    Good luck,

    Dave
     

     

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  17. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier Subscriber

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    That is @botrytis. If I'm not mistaken, he was previously just "Small speaker hoarder." :D And in an interesting twist, anyone who knows what botrytis is can see it relates to this thread. ;)

    I passed up a dessert wine back in July at Chateau Grand Traverse--a 2013 Botrytis Chardonnay, $30 for a 375ml bottle. I've kind of drifted away from sweet wines to semi-dry, so it's possible that I may not have liked it as much. They also have a Riesling ice wine that is $75/bottle. I'd be paranoid of tipping the glass or bottle at that price!

    But overall, the good northern Michigan wines are grown on the Old Mission Peninsula, a temperate area which is somewhat insulated from harsh winter climate by the east and west Grand Traverse Bay surrounding it, making it an ideal growing region. CGT kind of kick-started the wine producing region up there, and many others have followed. One can easily hop on one of the "drunk bus" tours and go wine tasting at many of these wineries. :D

    One thing you'll see are some cherry blends. Since the area is one of the country's largest cherry growing regions, many of the wineries offer some sort of cherry blend.

    These are two of the largest area wineries. No affiliation--just a fan (especially of CGT).

    https://store.cgtwines.com/
    http://www.chateauchantal.com/

    All of the Old Mission wineries are listed here:

    http://www.wineriesofomp.com

    The Leelanau Peninsula (which separates the Grand Traverse Bay from Lake Michigan) also has some wineries.

    https://www.lpwines.com/
     
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  18. david1111

    david1111 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    @Wildcat
    I actually already posted a reply, but it got zapped by the IT Update/Repair Guru's. (not because of content).

    If the other speaker hoarder is botrytis, then we probably both hoard, both small speakers and wine.
    I have yet to try a sweet wine made from botrytis-affected grapes, but I'll look out for one now. Apparently the Hungarians make a famous wine of the like.

    And I feel the same way regarding really pricey wines, consequently, I only have a few $50+ bottles. But, I have one 1983 Lafite Rothschild that needs consuming, and I really hope no one knocks over a $250 glass of wine. The sediment will use up almost a $100 worth. (maybe I can strain it, afterwards). My oldest daughter, who was born in '83 so it's really for her; is famous for spilling things. She might get hers in my grandson's sippy-cup. I'll think about it.

    I'll look into the wineries and wines that you've mentioned. I'd love to try a cherry blend wine. I don't like fruit beers, and that's about the only style of beer I don't like. I think the Belgian Monks started that; but I've had fruit wines before, and blending them makes sense.
    Thanks.

    Dave
     
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  19. Justgotohm

    Justgotohm AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    One of the most memorable wines I’ve ever had was an 2007 Hungarian red.
     
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  20. daveg3588

    daveg3588 Toy addict Subscriber

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    Dave you don't mention the 20 Valley, Jordan is 30-40 miles from you and is the Napa of Canada. Excellent wines, great restaurants, I get several cases every time I go.
     
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