by Dan McCollister

Have you ever wanted to collect wine?  Have you ever wondered where to start?  

The process of buying wine can be very complicated; there are so many factors involved. Which wine should I pair with my meal? Will my date like it? is it being offered at a fair price?   What about a wine you’re going to save, to invest in and drink later?  

First and foremost, wine is a lifestyle in itself and you must learn how to enjoy it.  There is no reason to collect something you don’t already love.  Next, make sure you have a suitable place to store wine.  A wine refrigerator is a great place to start and can be found easily on the internet at a reasonable price.  An old-fashioned cellar would work fine too, but most modern homes do not have a true old style basement.  Ideally, you need somewhere to store the wine that is consistently between 55 and 60 degrees with an average relative humidity of 50%-60%.  If you don’t have a good storage spot, don’t bother collecting.  You’ll be very disappointed in 5-10 years when you pop open that bottle of Latour only to find out it went bad in your warm basement.

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Once you are set up with proper storage, it’s time to start collecting.  Here are some tips.

  1. Start small, and with well-known names.  Why?  It’s easier that way.  
  2. Move into things that peak your interest.  Remember, not all wine is meant to age.  Most wine is meant to drink within the first few years of bottling.  Aging bottles is the exception, not the norm.  
  3. Read up on what you like.  I hate scores, but until you are comfortable with your own judgment, they are a good place to start.  
  4. Lastly, don’t hold a wine too long.  There is an optimal drinking age for every wine.  It’s a learning process, so be prepared to learn as you go and by all means, Have Fun!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Destination Luxury Wine Influencer Dan McCollister was born in 1974 in a small town in New Jersey near Philadelphia, PA.  At a young age, Dan was exposed to both international travel and wines from around the world by his mother, a wine aficionado in her own right.  

Dan has always enjoyed fine wine and even collected a few bottles until 2012.  In 2012 he truly began his second career as a wine collector.  He currently has a collection of just over 3500 bottles, 49% of which is California wine, 34% French, and all from top producers.  In 2015, Dan expanded his old cellar to a new, state of the art, 6000 bottle cellar, that he is excitedly filling.  At his current pace of 500 bottles per year, he’ll run out of room before he knows it.

As his thirst for wine knowledge grew, he began to seek different ways to learn more about wine.  Currently he is a Level 1 Sommelier with the Master Court of Sommeliers and is currently working towards the Certified status.  He has passed the Wine and Spirits Trust Level 3 Advanced course with Distinction and is actively seeking other certifications as well.  Most recently, Dan was asked by Destination Luxury Magazine to be there new online Wine Influencer.

Dan is married to his lovely wife Kelly and has 4 children.  Please follow him on his Instagram.

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