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Five Tips of Starting Your Own Wine Cellar

1.Think about how you use wine in your daily life

Are you someone who loves to entertain? Or, are you and your loved one the “great bottle of wine with a great piece of pizza” types? Both? The answer to these questions will determine whether or not you “should” start a cellar with multiple bottles of the same wine (for entertaining), or a cellar with an array of “stand-out” single bottles.

2.What type of wine drinker are you?

Are you and your loved one a couple who routinely sips on an aperitif before opening a bottle of wine, or a duo who jumps “right in” to a bottle of white wine to begin an evening? The answer to this question will determine the “mix” of how much white vs. red wine you should have in your starter cellar.

3.Have at least one bottle each of sparkling, rose, and dessert wine on hand at all times.

A wise woman once told us that a lady should always have a bottle of bubbly chilled, on hand, at any point, for the unexpected celebration. Such also holds true for the happy new couple. Similarly, you might find yourself in a situation where your spouse’s sister Annie only drinks rosé, which is why you might want a bottle of it on hand. And what if your first dinner party as a happy new couple goes so well that you want to keep the fun going? A bottle of Port of Sauternes is a must.

4.Buy Beautiful Stems

Robert Hall, Founder & CEO of Bottega del Vino Crystal, coined the phrase “If the wine matters, so does the glass.” A beautiful glass can make a $10 bottle of wine drink like a $50; a lousy glass can mask the awesome experience of a $50 bottle. For this reason, great stemware is an extremely worthwhile investment- and a lynchpin item for every starter cellar. www.bottlenotes.com/stemware

5.Let space constraints govern what portion of your cellar includes “wines for today” vs. “wines for tomorrow”

If you are in an apartment in New York or San Francisco and are investing in your first wine refrigerator while starting your cellar, best to register for “wines for today.” If you have a bigger wine fridge, or access to a true cellar (you own or rented or borrowed), then best to of course balance your wine needs for today vs. tomorrow.

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