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By Samantha Burnett

Smart choices for your first wine collection

Embarking on your first wine collection is an exciting and fun adventure. It is one that provides entertainment and a great hobby. For others, it can be a secondary source of income. In order to get started, there are a few points of clarification needed.

The first point of consideration is purpose. Are you starting a collection for investment purposes or for purely entertainment reasons? Perhaps it is both. If you are investing, start your research on how long you plan to keep the wine in your inventory. Next, it would be best to research on sites such as or other online resellers. From this research you will discover and understand mark-up for strategic reselling.

For entertaining purposes, decide what type of wine you are most drawn to. The best thing is to be honest with your preferred tastes. If you naturally do not enjoy a dry, red wine you will not want to invest in this. However, if you find you enjoy a light and fruity Oregon wine, this will help guide you in gravitating toward a welcoming variety.

Once purpose has been determined, checking for the correct amount of storage in your home will be the next step. The most ideal area is one away from direct light and sunlight. The ultraviolet rays can compromise the wine. Keeping your collection sustainable through time is best done by storing wine at the suggested temperature range. The ideal suggested temperature is 55 degrees. Many find a basement cellar is the best place for keeping this temperature.

If storing in a cellar is not an option, there are other avenues for storage. One quick, easy and low-cost option is a compact wine refrigerator. Smaller, more compact wine refrigerators' capacities range from four to thirty-six bottles. The pricing ranges vary depending on options and size. According to, the range begins at $66 and increases to several hundred dollars. If wine has been acquired prior to purchasing a wine refrigerator, keep the bottles on their sides. This will keep the cork moist, preventing "corked" wine, wine that has gone sour and is not pleasurable to drink.

If you find yourself drawn to one individual winery, there is the option of becoming a member of their wine club. This is another way to build your collection. Typically, you can determine your subscription type. There are all-white or all-red wine collections. If you are looking for a variety, consider choosing a collection that is a mixture of the two. It is a great way to experiment with wines you may not have been cognizant of. There are also other member benefits such as tasting parties, discounts and invitations to member-only events.

Another option is partnering with your local wine shop. Introduce yourself, sign up for their mailing list. Share and help them understand your tastes, price range and the wineries you are drawn to. This will enable them to provide direction to help build your collection. Most wine shops offer their own wine tasting nights, offering free tastings or tasting for a nominal fee that is usually applied to the bottle purchase from the featured winery.

Wine collecting can be a very social and interesting hobby. Depending on your interest level, you make it what you want it to be. Many find great history around discovering wines of different regions around the world. Whatever your direction, having the right supplies and understanding your purpose is a great place to start this adventure.

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