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Starting a cellar with wines to lay down

Where would you start?

Personally lockdown has got me thinking about the future and maybe now is the time to invest in wine - mainly for drinking, but also with the potential for financial reward.

I’m thinking of investing in a wine fridge and maybe a case or two of something special.

I’m on a modest income (I’m a freelance musician/composer) and generally a new world drinker.

Where would you start if you were me? Or ignoring my preferences and income, where would you choose to start?

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You may find some of the answers to your questions on this thread:


Also, to clarify, are you looking to purchase ageable wine for the sole purpose of making financial gains on the resale market?

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I’ve been thinking something similar so watching with interest. Never something that’s interested me before and I don’t have a suitable cellar but members reserves seems like a good idea (although i suspect storage fees quickly add up when you stock up?)

Perhaps take a look at the vintage cellar plans and see if one is right for you. If not, I know some if not all of the buyers or fine wine team would be able to chat you through options.

For making money, worth noting this is against the rules of TWS but other merchants will be able to help.

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I started by:

  1. Buying a wine I knew I liked before it was old enough to drink
  2. Buying some more premium wines from a winery I knew I liked the entry level wines of
  3. Buying some more premium wines from a region I knew I liked
  4. Getting drunk and bought some EP Bordeaux

WARNING: Buying EP (especially through TWS where you get the excitement of the “will I get it or not!”) becomes addictive. It’s great fun, but can also leave you bitter about not getting that damned 2016 Burlotto Cannubi! (What?!?).

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Or, you could get really, really bitter when people who get some Burlotto complain about not getting all the Burlotto. :wink:

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Again??

@Tannatastic

The few bottles that I was awarded, I will always be grateful for.
I got in total 27 bottles of 6 different wines from a fabulous vintage, not to forget Produttori is later this year.
I would never buy a wine with profit as my primary motive, though having bought some wines to drink, they appreciated to lunatic prices and off they went to the Far East!! :blush: :blush:
Rather than buying say 3 cases from an EP offer, buy 2, one definitely to drink and the other to be decided at a later date. The imperative for selling is to do your homework, so you must have an up to date flow of information of what is the best. 2nd best will NOT DO!!
Everybody knows Bordeaux, so steer well clear but it mostly hinges on what you like.
So best to taste and research, you can always drink your mistakes!! :wink: :grinning:

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Personally I would focus entirely on wines for drinking. Investing for financial returns requires significant capital outlay, professional storage in bond, a lot of patience to see any return and a huge dollop of luck.

If you buy a wine fridge, fill it with things you would like to drink and share with friends and family.

One option if you know the sort of wine styles you like, would be to Search TWS for wines that have aging potential. Click “Buy Wine” and then “Wines for laying down”…

https://www.thewinesociety.com/SearchProducts.aspx?q=&hPP=15&idx=products&p=0&nR[drinkend][>=][0]=2027&is_v=1&pl=ldl001&dFR[Availability][0]=In%20Stock&dFR[Availability][1]=Due%20In

Then when self selected mixed cases can be ordered again - buy a dozen different bottles from that list - try them - then pick up 6/12 bottle cases of your favourites and pop them in your new wine fridge to enjoy over the coming years.

The next step could to dabble in the EP campaigns regularly offered by TWS (Rhone, Burgundy, Bordeaux every year and a mix of smaller offers in between)

Most importantly of all - have fun.

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Agree with all the comments so far, a couple of years ago I invested in a wine fridge and usually stock it with wine with wine I either want to drink now or probably within the next 10 years. I’ve got it close to 50/50 split now. Don’t buy many wines to keep for years, however I have a couple of favourite wines I’m buying each year so that one day I can have my very own vertical tasting to see how the wines evolve.

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Great way to lose a small fortune. But it’ll be fun along the way.

Remember your tastes will certainly change. What you like now you may not like at all just a few years down the line.

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just how important is a wine fridge? I have an integrated garage, in which the internal walls will not show significant temperature swings, or a dark cupboard under the stairs. I plan to put a thermometer in both to check, but given most decent fridge are north of £1,000, I’d love to put that money into the wine. I do arleady use TWS reserves but primarily for EP and long term laying down, so this is more for the 3-5 year period and to be able to enjoy monitoring and sampling.

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Stick with the for drinking !

I think my comments are already in the starting a wine collection @Leah pointed you towards so I won’t write my drivel !

apart from - buy what you like !

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The trick is to remove a number of cases every year as they come into their drinking window for delivery. That means when the new cases you’ve purchased that year hit you are not constantly building up and building up. Obviously the first couple of years you take a hit but tws have the lowest storage rates about .

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the trick is to convince your other half you need storage at home… :slight_smile:

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Oooohhhhhh!!!

They’re kind of cool! But £9000 for the entry model - wow!

990 bottles (assuming they’re all the same size, and from Bordeaux!) is 82.5 cases. At today’s rate with TWS that would be a reserves bill of £762.30 p.a. assuming you don’t withdraw or add anything. Break even point is 11 years and 8 months time…!!

But still, they do look great! Bonkers, but great! :smiley:

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I do think that to covet is an inappropriate emotion that makes me uncomfortable.
There are so many that struggle, that to make wine at the “centre” of my life borders on frivolity, but sod it - it is my hobby and passion!
And I do try and do stuff within the local and wider community to balance my guilt!
I did not know this walk - in cellar existed, and I really, really would like to have one. :wink: :grinning:

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@mbetteridge - the one piece of (I think useful) advice on ‘investing’ in wine is that unless you can afford to risk your capital (ie lose it) it is a fools game.

The gains are small and incremental over a long time, and the whole wine investment market is due a ‘correction’ sometime sooner rather than later (and this may be it), as they’ve had years and years of one-directional growth. Moreover, there are plenty of the unscrupulous out there waiting to relieve the uninitiated of their hard-earned. Getting top-dollar for resold wine is mostly an expensive business (barring the odd fluke).

I’d advise sticking to building a cellar for you to drink, and if by happy accident you make a few quid along the way, then all the better.

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Thank you!

Umm, more for personal pleasure and interest really, however if I were to make some money further down the line then I wouldn’t complain!

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