I was flicking through the “wine” news this morning. One of the big bits of news out of the States this weekend was an auction of the wines of this bloke called Aubrey. He was a big swinger in the energy world who drove his car into a bridge and killed himself, not nice, right? Anyway, his family put his wine collection up for auction and this weekend it just raised nearly $9m. $9m??? I think if mine hit £900 I’d be lucky!
Starting From Nothing
It was a couple of years ago that I started thinking about buying a few cases here and there to start up a little collection. I’m not exactly a big money baller here, we’re not looking at first growth Bordeaux or top dollar Napa or anything. Just a few a wines I know I like and go from there. Thing is it was all looking a bit sad to start with as your “collection” is about 18 bottles! Well, from the smallest acorns and all that, eh?!
Celebrity Wine Collections
Rich wine-o’s through the ages have collected in wines for them to have a pride of place in a cellar somewhere around. Funny, the European way is to sit there and look at it, the Asian way is to drink it. Eitherway, the scramble to have the top wines in their cellars seems unrelenting, hence the $9m spent this weekend just gone, I guess. From well-known figures like Bill Koch and Sir Alex Ferguson, to the amazing Roald Dahl, seems like they’re all at it!
Have You Got The Space?
Biggest factor for most of us wondering whether to start collecting wine, other than the price of course, is where on earth you put it all. We’re increasingly becoming city dwellers round the world and a temperature controlled cellar isn’t always first on the list when you’re choosing your apartment. You can pay people to do it for you, or beg a favour of a kindly relative with a house in the country. Just beware the…er…tax situation as a few bottles may go missing over the years!
Why Not Just Drink It?
Isn’t it a bit daft to just look at all the boxes of wine and then not touch them? Why not just drink them? Well, some wines do change and improve with age. There’s not much point in collecting wines that don’t, you should just drink them. But for me, having a (small) wine cellar means that I don’t get tempted to just nail them all in one sitting. I know they’re there for a reason and it helps me leave them alone til they’ve aged a bit and tasting the way I want them to. Hope that makes sense.
You’re only going to do this if you’re a wine-o. That space in your grandparents’ basement, or your brother in law’s garage can be put to better uses otherwise! But if you’re into it, buy the wines you love, not the ones you think you should, then you’ll have something you can be really chuffed with for years to come.