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Stocking Up

What do you do when someone approaches you asking what / how to stock a wine cellar?

Against my better judgment (for the most part I think those lists are useless), I’ve compiled a “starter” cellar for what I would consider a well-stocked up and reasonably priced starter collection, covering day-to-day drinking all the way to bottles to lay down and forget about it for over 10 years, based on a list put together by a well-know NY critic decades ago.

Even though I enjoyed the exercise, to be fair, this type of request is increasingly rare these days, as the only people I know who are interested enough to want to begin collecting wine already know enough about what they like that they don’t need this most basic of advice. And if they do require this advice, they’re probably not that interested in wine. What’s more, most cellar suggestions I’ve seen seem as if they not derived from the way people actually drink but from some artificial idea of having a wine for every situation. So many bottles of Bordeaux, of Burgundy, of Chianti, of California Cabernet and Chardonnay, and so on.

Here’s my current list. I am really keen to see yours.

Type Qty Format Producer Wine
Sparking 6 bottles Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champange
Everyday Whites and Reds 4 bottles Château d’Epiré Le Parc Sec Loire Sauvignon Blanc
Everyday Whites and Reds 4 bottles Jean Rijckaert Arbois Chardonnay
Everyday Whites and Reds 4 bottles Hirsch Kamptal Gruner Veltliner No. 1
Everyday Whites and Reds 4 bottles St. Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone
Everyday Whites and Reds 4 bottles Conde de Valdemar Rioja Crianza
Everyday Whites and Reds 4 bottles Brovia Barbera D’Alba
Fancier Ageworthy Whites and Reds 6 bottles Pontet-Canet Pauillac
Fancier Ageworthy Whites and Reds 6 bottles Louis Jadot Nuit St.-Georges Aux Boudots
Fancier Ageworthy Whites and Reds 6 bottles Mt. Eden Estate Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains
Fancier Ageworthy Whites and Reds 6 bottles Dr. Burkin-Wolf Gaisbohl Ruppertsberg Dry Rielsing
Check Back in 10 Years 2 bottles Bruno Giocosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano

This seems to be a very good idea.
I think that for the newcomer or uninitiated, there will be so much great advice to be found in selections by the members who frequent these pages.
I look forward to seeing a plethora of posts, and learning much. :dragon:

1 Like

This is an interesting question, and a timely one for me - I’ve got quite a pile stocked with the WS now, mostly in 6s / 12s, as well as ditto in our wine fridge here chez nous, though more usually in smaller numbers of odd interesting / yearned-for bottles I pick up about the place.

I’m on top of the WS ones and keep my own Excel doc of same too; but the precise contents of the wine fridge are a bit of a mystery to me at the moment. A rather nice mystery to solve for sure, and your question inspires me to crack on with my neglected task of doing an audit!

In brief though, and certainly not remotely addressing your question - I know it’s mostly Greek Xins & Assyrtikos / Italian stuff / French stuff. Some slumbering and some needing attention.

Yes … as I say - a good audit most certainly required :~}


I’ve got a rough list and a big excel sheet. I’ve got four rough categories, divided into sub-categories

  1. Non-special stuff for drinking now (mostly red, some white)
  2. Non-special stuff for drinking in two to five years time (all red), on the basis that I like wines such as Cotes du Rhone with a few years in them.
  3. Special stuff for drinking now-ish. Ish being up to 5 years hence
  4. Special stuff for drinking at some point between 5 and 20 years hence.

I think the main purpose of this is to keep me from over-buying. I’ve had to impose a strict buying ban due to over-enthusiastic buying in the last 12 months*

*no wine purchases till January, with the exception of up to 12 bottles EP. Because EP wine is Schrödinger’s wine, both existing and not existing at the same time.