How Much Wine is Enough?

Good to reference the original thread too

Where R_Frankel attempted a classification. Any edits or new classifications?

The Hoarder: buys relentlessly, builds a cellar vastly larger than is possible to drink in a lifetime. Keeps buying steadily their entire life.

The Extreme Hoarder: like the hoarder, has an immense and growing collection, but rarely drinks the good stuff, saving it for special occasions. Mostly consumes ‘daily drinkers.’

The Investor: Focused on ‘hot’ producers and regions, holds for long term appreciation.

The Planner: Knows what they like, buys it steadily, and only ever achieves a moderate sized collection. Manages storage carefully to ensure not buying more than can fit.

The Newbie: Reads lots of review sites and WB, buys by the case wines they’ve never tasted. Is frustrated that the garage no longer has room for the car. Knows they should taste before buying but is frustrated that Covid has shut down all local tastings.

The Nibbler: Has a wine fridge and never buys beyond that. Buys a few bottles now and then. Is curious about Cellar Tracker.

The Wise Human: Bought heavily some years ago when prices were lower, has a good sized collection relative to lifetime drinking capacity, and buys very little.


The Bad Luck Guy - Surely someone out there has amassed a ton of duds. Been at the wrong end of every sales promotion. Yellow Tail was on 5% discount…

The Completer - They have tried to collect every winery/grape you ever may have imagined. Just for a moment imagine a new winery/grape, yes, they’ve been there too, even if it’s fictional. They maybe not be around for long because they need to complete Netflix/Tinder too


I admire your resolve….

Not to stick on a morbid theme but you do raise an interesting question: would you rather shuffle off with too much wine left or be hanging about with too little?

Not really a question in my book! Buy on the safe side, kids. Long live ToT :joy:


Amazing how TOT has left an indelible mark on the forum often in my thoughts …


Wines & Pensions … how much do you need and how do you ensure you drink/spend it all before you leave :woozy_face:


Girls allowed too, I hope? :slight_smile:


Thanks - made me laugh!

My new year’s resolution is to make a decisive transition from a hoarder to a wise human (or at least a planner).

I think my significantly-increased mortgage payments from January may force my hand in this regard - so I’m glad I’ve got healthy home-based reserves to enjoy. Which is the whole point of a wine collection after all!


Of Course! Sorry if there’s any offense. I am finding “Guys” is getting increasingly gender neutral. I’ll even say “Hi Guys” even if its a 100% female or mixed audience. Possibly Antipodean/American influence :man_shrugging:


This is so interesting! I don’t seem to fit any of the above :thinking:

Rarely buy by the case (bar EP), love variety and struggle with repetition although return to favourites in different vintages for sure - and the list of those is growing yearly. Bottles I stash for special occasions are still, in most cases, single or maybe 3 or 4 at most. Fascinated by the idea of following a wine’s evolution every few years, but in practice - it’s just not how I approach drinking and my wine ‘collection’ reflects this.

I’ll try and think of my own category, and see if I can come up with something. The other half calls me The Neophile - but that’s true for all sorts of life aspects, not just wine.


No offence caused! :grinning: It just sticks out for me, so couldn’t help mentioning it.


That’s interesting; I used to be very hesitant of using ‘guys’ in a gender neutral sense but I’ve noticed it being used in that way more and more, and by women as well as men, so have started doing so myself.


The usage can sound wrong irrespective of gender.

The new vicar at our previous church, some years ago, bounced up at the front with a “hi guys!” which didn’t really suit the congregation at that particular service where the average age was probably over 60. He was more used to addressing the largely student congregation at later services. A bit cringeworthy, really.


Yes, very much an informal address as well. I think I’ve only ever used it in a group of friends.


Having a big wine collection sounds lovely in theory. Problem is, the stuff that deserves to be in a collection now costs huge sums and I’m not rich enough to avoid the trade off between spending more on wine leading to spending less on something else, that I enjoy every bit as much.

So I have a dozen or two wines that might merit a special occasion and need a bit of further ageing (but not all that special judging from the items I sometimes see on the weekend drinking thread) and the rest of my 60 or so bottle cellar is just everyday drinking favourites.

The way I see it, TWS is a sort of personal cellar, given their fast and free delivery. Buying EP is not at all for me, no patience…


Great to read all of this. Feels like a sort of mirror reflection for some of us, and perhaps a kind of catharsis to be able to talk about the elephant in the room! I’ve done the whole buying cases en primeur without actually tasting them, to buying a few before trying, to buying one and then buying several more … and so it goes. I’m trying to bring more focus, because I know what I like. So, only cellaring the stuff that really wows, and everything else can be for immediate drinking and curiosity/variety; and getting away from that neverending search for the ‘perfect’ wine


Wine cellar is fantastic in my opinion (I don’t use the valuation tool but started using it in 2016)… but it is eye opening to keep track of the cost number!

Just looking at my purchasing rates (% of cellar) by year.

2022: 13.5%
2021: 14.5%
2020: 26.2%
2019: 17.4%
2018: 15.8%
2017: 10%
2016: 1.7%

2020 was a big year of purchases. Perhaps due to COVID but tbh I’m pretty happy with that decision. It was a big year for purchasing Bordeaux (given the pricing and reasonable vintage) and then my second biggest purchasing region was Italy; 2016 was a great vintage and a birth year for one of the kids.

Overall, I’m trying to get more selective on vintage. Buying only wines that I love in lesser vintages (for early drinking) and usually in lesser quantities.


Do I buy too much wine?

A. No. Although my purchasing has been more lumpy and focused this year [2022] than previous; which is logical based upon building up knowledge, not only of wine, but also my own palate and confidence in my palate.

Will I drink all the wine I have?

A. Yes. I have 14 bottles in my Harry Potter room, fighting with the Christmas decorations, cleaning equipment, and other assorted crap that my partner has utilised, taking up valuable wine real estate.

One bottle is a cheap Romanian white [cooking]. The other 13 are 5 bottles that are slumbering (1 Piedmont, 4 Rhone), and 8 cellar defenders. I almost hesitate to refer to Chablis and Champagne as “cellar defenders”, however these are wines that will probably be drunk within a year of purchase.

I need to clear out the outside storage (not suitable for wine) to recycle and take a lot of empty containers to the recycling plant so that I can re-purpose prime storage real estate under the stairs (‘Harry Potter Room’).

Do I have enough variety?

A. Not relevant to my circumstances as I purchase wine that I enjoy, and am not seeking to emulate an algorithm. I am (somewhat) trying to achieve a balance between white and red, and slumbering wines [age] and cellar defenders.

Do I have enough wine for my lifetime?

A. No. Not relevant to my circumstances because I intend buying wine over my drinking lifetime and consumption pattern.

Will my children drink wine?

A. I hope so. I plan to introduce my Little Man to wine at the dinner table on special occasions quite soon (he is 6), heavily diluted. I want my son to associate alcohol [wine] with eating and family, and not - as I did - drinking Thunderbird, scrumpy and snakebite and black from 6th form onwards.

I want my son to have a healthier relationship with alcohol.

What are the signs of overbuying wine?

A. FOMO. I don’t tend to suffer from FOMO, although like most humans, am prone to influence (for those whose opinions I value).

I do not buy for investment purposes (I use other vehicles), or for collecting. Purely my own - and my family’s - enjoyment.


I love some stats!

2022: 10.2%
2021: 10.1%
2020: 9.8%
2019: 7.2%
2018: 7.4%
2017: 9.3%
2016: 5.2%
2015: 13.4%
2014: 11.4%
2013: 16.1%

I think that 2013 is a bit of an anomaly as it includes a one-off intake when I started using cellar tracker. Not sure what happened in 2016. Maybe having a kid scared my bank account!


I can’t be anything near as precise about the order history and current status of my accumulation and I have no Plan or Strategy for deposits into, nor curating of, it; “ad-hoc, random, cerebral cortex short-circuiting”, would be words best used for this process.

When is “enough” wine enough ? I would suggest when it’s an equilibrium where I’d be content that there would always be a suitable bottle option to retrieve to match any likely mood, occasion or meal when the moment required it, so that would be about a mixed dozen maybe ?

Never the less, I have around 500 split equally between here in UK and over in France, but they are two distinct camps. The former is mainly TWS - prompted EP’s, offers or recommendations, also from other favourite on-line suppliers as has taken my fancy on a whim. This does enable the frequent surprise-and-delight element of retrieving a bottle; say, from the “reds to drink up soon” shelf which, as was the occasion last night a lovely 2009 Chateau Rouget Pomerol, I haven’t the faintest recollection of buying, either when, why or from whom.

Over the channel my accumulation is much more personal as it is entirely from cellar door and winery visit souvenir purchases from the frequent forays into Europe’s wine regions and these give enhanced pleasure as each bottle has a story to tell and memory to evoke.

However I would offer some advice for those starting their 40 year wine buying journey rather than like me, surpassing it……

Don’t buy into FOMO. There is always going to be more wine. And another “great” vintage.

Your tastes and palate will change as you mature ( yes OK, age) - now I appreciate much more wines I used to dislike - such as light bodied pinots, sherry, dry aromatic whites; and the converse is true, so don’t load up on what you currently like just for the sake of it.

I have found no constant or credible direct correlation between the price paid for a wine and the enjoyment it gives; and much of a wine’s price, particularly at the high end, is about supply not matching demand rather than quality per se.

Wine gives the most pleasure when it has a story or a memory to go with it.