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How to Care for Expensive Wine

Even if you’ve been collecting and enjoying wines for a significant amount of time, choosing to invest in more expensive bottles is a big step. Collecting fine wine can be fun, rewarding, and even lucrative, but it’s crucial to know how to take care of them as well as how to organize your wine cellar.  

The following tips can help you care for those high-end wines and ensure your investment is protected. 

1. Document Expensive Wines in Your Wine Inventory 

First, it’s important to make sure that you are documenting every expensive bottle you add to your wine inventory. This includes keeping original documents like auction catalogs, private seller information, and purchase receipts. It’s a good idea to have detailed descriptions and photos of any wine bottles that have a vintage year and unique bottle marks. You should also have your collection professionally appraised, so you can keep a running record of your collection’s value. 

2. Ensure Fine Wine is Stored at a Consistent Temperature 

When cellaring expensive wine, it’s important to store it at a consistent temperature. Wine can be kept between 45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s imperative to ensure that the temperature remains stable at all times – fluctuations can diminish the quality of your wine. A basement cellar works exceptionally well for keeping bottles stored at a consistent temperature, but if you don’t have room for one, you can use a wine refrigerator. However, you will still need to check the unit regularly to ensure it’s working correctly. 

3. Choose Side Storage for Expensive Wine 

Expensive wine should be stored on its side – especially if it will be cellared long-term. This keeps the cork moist, which prevents it from drying out and letting oxygen in. Storing a bottle on its side also ensures that the sediment settles in a uniform way, which will make decanting easier when you’re ready to drink it. Many wine refrigerators and cellar shelves are designed to hold bottles on their sides, making storage quite simple.  

4. Catalog Your Cellar  

By maintaining an orderly cellar, you can keep track of the fine wines you have on hand and where everything is stored. You can catalog and store wines by region or create your own method. There are even wine cellar apps that allow you to create a digital inventory – which can be a convenient option for those with smartphones. Having a running record of your collection will help you avoid running out of favorites, and it can assist you in making purchasing decisions in the future. 

5. Invest in Wine Collection Insurance  

Like other valuable assets, when your portfolio gets large enough, it’s a good idea to purchase wine collection insurance. Look for an insurance policy that will cover water damage, theft, accidental breakage, and any damage that could occur due to the breakdown of your temperature control equipment. This will help you ensure that your collection maintains its value even in the case of an emergency.  

Expensive wine requires more care than the average grocery store bottle – and proper maintenance can keep your collection in perfect condition for years to come. For more information about wine cellaring or to schedule an appraisal of your collection, contact Cellaraiders today.