The world of wine is one of huge variety, and it may be a little challenging at times to work out exactly what you would like in a collection. Perhaps your tastes are already pretty well set - you know what you like - but, with so many grape types and producing countries, how do you know what to select?
One possible solution is to choose wines that are of the same varietal but come from different countries, or even from different regions of the same country. A great benefit of this approach is that you are expanding your wine knowledge and tastes because it may surprise you when you start to explore the subtle differences in flavor and approach of what may otherwise be considered the same wine.
Perhaps the most obvious example is Chardonnay. A go-to for many a party, many Californian Chardonnays are heavy on oak and, as a result, tend to taste very buttery. A popular taste profile for sure but not the only game in town.
Not So Buttery in Burgundy
Burgundy is the pinnacle of Chardonnay production around the world, and there are differences in approach even within the same region. Chablis, in the northernmost part of the region, tends to produce largely unoaked wines with a flinty, acidic taste profile. Further south, Cote de Beaune Chardonnays, such as the ones Cellaraiders has under the Montrachet name, are richer and usually with more oak aging.
Staying in Burgundy, this region produces some of the greatest Pinot Noir in the world, particularly in the Cote d’Or area. Famous names such as Chambolle Musigny and Gevrey Chambertin can be found in Cellaraiders wines.
Domestic Pinot a Little More Fruity
Domestic Pinot, centered in California and Oregon, tends to be a little more fruit forward than the great Burgundies. While Oregon’s specialty is Pinot Noir, there is a lot of the grape grown in California where wines from the Russian River, Sonoma County, and the Central Coast are particularly popular. Cellaraiders has a number of Pinot Noir wines from California’s Williams Selyem for example. And then, of course, you could have some Bordeaux reds made up predominantly of Cabernet Sauvignon and contrast those with a California Cabernet.
Perhaps the approaches to establishing and sustaining a wine collection can be almost as varied as the varieties of grapes and wine producing regions themselves. One way for sure of meeting such a challenge, and of widening your wine knowledge and appreciation as you do so, can be the purchasing of wines of the same varietals but from different areas of the world.