Starting a wine collection? Tips for beginners

The world of wines is quite complex and interesting. Rare wines have well-documented histories that make them highly sought-after collectible items. Every once in a while, we hear about a rare wine bottle sold for an eyewatering price. However, starting a wine collection is not as simple as buying a bunch of bottles and putting them in your cellar. You need careful planning and years of careful investment to make your wine collection discernible.

If you too love wines and wish to start your collection, here are some tips for starters:

Plan your finances

You will need a disposable income if you wish to collect high-value wines. The initial cost of purchase aside, you will need to invest in storage, insurance, documentation and security of your wine collection. Only endeavor further if you are ready to put money where your mouth is.

Start small

Collecting wines is first and foremost a hobby before it gives you bragging rights and starts earning you a profit. So, start small, add wines to your collection gradually instead of burning all your cash on the very first day. Become a part of wine collector groups, visit local auctions and meet informed individuals who can help you find rare wines.

Invest in a cellar

Wine needs delicate handling, especially when you chance upon rare old wines. They need cool, humid environments, ideally 55 degrees with 75% relative humidity. Consider these factors when constructing a wine cellar or renting a storage facility. Also, make proper security arrangements as your rare wine collection grows.

Keep the inventory updated

Knowing what you have is very important, or you may lose valuable wine to time or theft. You can keep an analog record or use software that lets you track your wine collection. Also, it’s okay to drink from the bottles you possess, but make sure you note that down in the paperwork, along with detailed tasting notes.

Invest in value, not hype

Wines that are valuable, rare and sought-after today will have value tomorrow. It’s highly unlikely that a cheap yet popular wine will ever become a collectible. So, follow your gut feeling and astute collector’s sense when cellaring bottles. Invest in wines you know and like instead of going with market trends and buying anything and everything.

Save all documentation

Everything, from the original purchase receipt to the auction text and details of the seller, matters to prospective buyers. So, make sure you have all the documentation along with the bottle description and any additional information (e.g., in the original box). Have the documentation stored and cataloged to add value to your wine.

Beware of fakes

Things that are too good to be true almost always are. Wines are among the easiest collectibles to fake. Old bottles are not as hard to come by as old wine. So, if someone’s selling you a 19th century vintage from the back of their van, don’t loosen your purse strings.

So, that concludes our tips for starting a wine collection. Once you have a sizable collection to boot, have it appraised. Collector markets can be volatile, so it’s good to know the value of your stock. Timely appraisals also help in collecting insurance in case any accidental damage happens.