Most collectible wines

Wow. If you still have the 89 and 90s they will be worth a fortune! This is why I feel the need to buy EP if price is still sensible. As it is likely wine will be more expensive in the future.

the prof bit stands for professor and I’m a professor of consumer research!

My supervisors taught me that the merit of the argument wins the day, not the credentials of the person giving it.

No dictionary variant of collection/collector etc. that I can find has any stipulation for the collection to be retained, nor indeed motivation. I’d call it collecting, that’s my opinion!


Thank you for undermining 25 years of study and research. Clearly I’ve been wasting my time and life when all you need is a dictionary.

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No harm intended- if you have studied and researched this topic for 25 years then you’ll presumably have a great argument. I’d just like to hear what it is!

I'm an _ _ _ _ therefore you must bow to / agree with my opinion.


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Over what time period - 2 days yes, you are just a consumer…20 years is a different situation completely surely ?

Is one element of the “displaying” of wine the pouring it into a glass and the consumption with others? Unlike a painting, one can not fully appreciate a wine until it has been consumed - which sadly means the collection (or that element of it) is destroyed. This possibly means one of the greatest elements of a collection - the ego (status as you put it) of the collector - has to be at such a level that they can cope with this whilst "allowing 'others to either join in the celebration or marvel that they (the collector) were able to undertake such

As with lots of academic work - many things are theories (based on research) but they only stand until others disprove the theory.


Clearly you haven’t, but equally clearly, isn’t a dictionary important? Words are used to mean different things in different contexts. I’m guessing (correct me if I’m wrong), that in a technical sense, in your field, “collector” means exactly what you say - someone who collects things for the sake of completeness, or showing off. That would also seem to be close to the sense in the original Decanter article that kicked this thread off. But, this thread has moved on to a wider discussion of how the word can have different meanings, and mean different things to different people. We’re not writing academic papers in your field here, we’re chatting on an internet forum. Insisting that the word can only have one meaning, when clearly at least part of the discussion is about the way in which it can have several, seems a bit counter-productive.


In my experience, few collectors are actually obsessive hoarders.

Ask them if their collection is for sale and they will invariably say no. If you re-phrase that and ask “could all or part be bought?” and the answer is often “possibly”.

I feel like that about my remaining 80s clarets. I’m not looking to sell them but if someone made me a sensible offer I’d almost certainly part with some of my collection to fund future EP purchases.


Perhaps I’m simple. But I don’t understand why one would ‘collect’ wines? - ‘buy to drink later’ yes - and maybe ‘invest in and sell later’ - but ‘collect’ as in train numbers or stamps - as in “collect for the sheer pleasure in owning but not indulge”?

Does not make any sense to me. Wine improves (perhaps) with time… and then deteriorates - end of story. If the bottle was part of Abraham Lincoln’s private signed collection then it has provenance - but surely that is it?

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Wow, didn’t expect that debate!

For us, we collect to drink (or phrase it as you please) Felton Road Pinot Noir. Aside from a few of the single vineyards, I make sure to pick up at least 2 Bannockburns every year with the aim to keep them a minimum of 5 years. Just finished our 2007s and still have a 2009 (all from auction). Have now collected 2014 through to 2017 so it’s early days but a nice little project


Here’s a link to an article about wine “collectors”. These men, and they always seem to be men, collect far more wine than they’ll ever be able to drink. Some of them sell their cellars or parts of their cellars for profit. Others appear to have some form of OCD.


My god, what a list! Other than Thomas Jefferson (and not even sure about that) I wouldn’t want to be in the company of any of these men. And Bill Koch is probably the finest example of what is so rotten in the state of the US these days.


Probably also the sort that ensure that the price of the good stuff has gone through the roof and is now mostly unaffordable by mere mortals. Though thinking of that, there is some comfort in the fact that you can’t take it with you…


I agree with you, but what people are saying here is that the word has a more fluid meaning to them than what we think of as a collection.

The process of buying and storing the wines, then drinking them to buy more with a permanently rotating cast of characters is part of their collecting process. The English language has words that change meaning all the time. Just think of gay or decimate. Both of these words still have their original meaning, but also now have a recognised alternative.

My favourite at the moment is “melt”. I love how it’s gone from meaning to make or become liquefied, to a term meaning passion in a way, as in " my heart melts", finally to someone of poor character or a complete prat.


I seem to ‘accumulate’ (!)

Cornas partly or wholly from the Patou lieu-dit - the most southerly vineyard in the northern Rhône, it imparts much of the heady complexity of other Cornas but with less austerity and structure. And the two single vineyard Patou wines remain relatively affordable

Very recently, non AOC northern Rhône


Trendy low yield South African stuff made in sheds by impossibly good looking people

Etna Rosso

Very dry Riesling - have gone for some of the new old vine cuvee from Pewsey Vale over the weekend

I’m not sure it’s a collection - I simply struggle to justify spending over £35/bottle on anything and generally prefer to be nearer the £15 - £20 mark. And at these price points these types of wine offer huge complexity and pleasure. I plan to drink everything I buy but everything non TWS is held with L&W knowing that the stuff I like is relatively scarce on the secondary market so if I don’t like them I can move them on easily - when I have sold wines they’ve gone quickly, and for more than I paid even allowing for commission and cellar fees. I try to stay under 350 bottles, a significant proportion has drink dates up to 15 years out and I keep an eye on any ‘humps’ in the drink date curve.

I can quite see how this gets out of hand with unlimited resources - there is a bit of a thrill that comes with acquiring something coveted and rare and always a risk that drinking those wines is anticlimactic. So the endorphin rush from buying overtakes the pleasure of drinking, if there is no constraint on the former.



Anyway back to the thread.

Good topic. I sense a general nose-looking-downiness about being a collector. While I feel a little coy about saying so I like looking at bottles and picking them up, just being in contact with them as well as drinking them. I also have a few bottles which I would not sell and can’t bring myself to drink (old madeira). These are both collector traits. I mean that I expect everyone on this forum is a bit of a collector too.


I can definitely relate to this. Looking forward to moving and organising the cellar again soon!!


If you pop round, you could do mine too. I would charge very little for the pleasure


I was musing a bit about this, and it occurred to me that collecting wine is partly about gaining the opportunity to drink a given wine at the time of your choosing. I’m sure I’m not alone here in having what could reasonably be considered too much wine in terms of pure drinking - at our usual rate, we’ve got over 3 years’ worth. But I still get pleasure out of being able to choose the right wines to match my food; of being able to plan a meal around some special wine that was acquired a few years ago; of just pulling a great bottle out for the hell of it. (Notwithstanding the odd attack of Herbster syndrome)

Now, that’s a long way from pure collecting for collecting’s sake, but I think that I can see how one might tip over into another. It all starts with wanting a particular wine so that you could drink it; to really, really wanting that wine; via a little bit of obsession; to needing that wine to have in your collection. And for those who have too much money, you can see the result.

Edit: Very poor mental maths about the size of my cellar!


You summed up my little obsession :grinning:

I am certainly not a ‘collector’ in the pure sense - haven’t got enough room, let alone money, to indulge. But I am increasingly becoming like a Magpie, buying various bottles I read about, or ones tasted at someone’s house or in tasting events - which I realise I want to own. I intend to drink them all - in fact I do, as I constantly have to replenish the minute collection (just under 100 bottles) - so this isn’t really a ‘collection’ or a ‘cellar’ and this certainly isn’t about ‘status’ but there is an element of a (very modest and personal) ‘holy grail’ about it.

I might not desire an old Burgundy, but give me a Valais Petit Arvine any day and I’m happy.


Could I come and interview you? This is exactly what my latest research project is about.