Opening a bottle of wine that has aged for years in a wine cellar is one of the most exciting moments you can experience (in our opinion, anyway!) and you can't do that without a wine cellar. Collecting wine as opposed to buying wine gives you the opportunity to connect with each bottle and appreciate it more.
The first step in starting an exceptional wine cellar is having the ideal place to store all of your collections. If stored in poor conditions, wine can degrade quickly. The ideal conditions for a wine cellar should be cold and damp all year long, preferably 52℉ / 11℃ and 75% humidity.
Once you have the perfect location for your wine cellar you can move on to the fun part... Choosing your wine! The wines you decide to include in your collection reflect on your tastes and partiality. It is also a good idea to have a variety of wines including white and red, sweet and dry.
Research where your wines are from along with critic ratings, tasting notes, and retail price on each wine you consider adding. Sampling a single bottle of the wine before buying a case is a good way to ensure it will improve your collection. Looking into the winery's history and how long that particular wine is anticipated to age are also important when choosing a wine for your cellar.
Depending on the volatile nature of alcohol, wine does not last for centuries so it is extremely important to know how long the prime drinking window is for each wine you add to your cellar. This information will be crucial in drinking, trading, or selling your wines before they decline. Chardonnay based wines have a cellar life of about 10 years, Nebbiolo wines about 20 years, and vintage Port and Madeira wines at least 100 years.
Regardless of the value, amount, or age of the wines in your cellar, don't feel guilty for taking out a bottle to enjoy! The point of a wine cellar is to delight in your wines and share them with loved ones.