“[Cellars] only work for people who intend to drink just a handful of wines from excellent vintages.”
Some people disagree with the above statement I made. Here’s my reasoning.
Let’s assume you drink 5 bottles of wine a week 50 weeks of the year. That’s 250 bottles consumption.
Let’s further assume you want to lay down the following basic cellar
– a chardonnay/Chablis to age 10
– a Riesling to age 15
– some kind of sauvignon blanc/young white 0-3 years
– a rose for 3 years
– a good rose for 8 years
– vintage blanc de blanc champage for 10 years
– vintage rose/ b de noir champagne for 10 years
– young bubbly for 0-3 years
– a decent medium red for 10 years
– a big red for 15 years
– an easy drinking red for 0-3 years
Now let’s say you drink
– 24 bottles of champagne a year
– 24 bottles of aged white a year
– 24 easy whites a year
– 48 easy drinking red a year
– 96 medium red a year
– big red 36 bottles a year
I’m going to assume the young whites, young bubbly and easy reds don’t need to be cellared.
Now your cellar only has to hold
– 11 years of two cases champagne, 264
– 16 years of one case Riesling, 192
– 11 years Chablis (and this is likely to short) times one case, 132
– 11 years of medium red has eight cases, 1056
– 15 years of big red times three cases,540
This gets you in at a 2184 bottle cellar. (and BTW this more or less describes my consumption)
Even if you assume every case above equals a single label (e.g 8 different varieties of medium red) you are only drinking 15 different labels per year. Frankly very few of us would get the vintage variation without that kind of specialization. What’s more if you only cellar a single bottle of Screaming Eagle for 15 years you have no idea if that wine is better younger or older. And call me an old cynic but a relatively few people, should they cellar a mere dozen bottles of a single vintage will recall what the bottle they drank 2 years ago tasted like.
I WANT to drink a MUCH larger variety of wine than that. The only way I can cellar wine AND drink a big variety is to drink vastly more AND to give away or sell broken cases of wine. (Or just let it go bad and pour it down the drain, something I’ve seen done in a few cellars of deceased winos.)
If you want to cellar wine, I’m all for it but explain to me with real numbers
– how much you drink
– the quantity you cellar
– the time you cellar for.