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Ten Truths About Collecting Wine
Copyright 2002 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved. Originally printed August 12, 2002. For more information go to

For today's column I'm in debt to Virginian Craig Potts, an old online pal in our Wine Lovers' Discussion Group. His lighthearted - yet serious 10-point guide offers good advice to everyone who "collects" wine, whether you have a 10,000 bottle cellar or just a few nice bottles on a wine rack in your dining room.

So without further ado, here is Craig's list of "Ten Truths About Collecting Wine," with a couple of my editoral notes added:

1. There are so many great wines in every vintage that you can not possibly find them all, let alone afford to buy even a percentage of them. So quit chasing vintages.

2. Wine mailers and allocations are traps. Dump them. All of them. (In other words, consistent with Truth No. 1, don't chase "cult" wines. It isn't worth it. RG)

3. Every day, every bottle in your cellar should be a candidate to open. (Yes, but with the caveat that it's prudent to hold immature wines, and perhaps imprudent to open the special bottle that you were saving for your anniversary to enjoy with pizza tonight. Read this one as: "Don't revere your prizes so much that you never do open them." RG)

4. Keep an inventory. Forget the insurance reasons. It's fun.

5. Join a wine group, or several. Your knowledge, experience, and your enjoyment will grow in proportion to your expanding cellar.

6. Knowing more about wine than your local merchants is more important than pretending that you do.

And yet...

7. ... Somehow, 10 percent off a mixed case is cheaper than 1 or 2 bottles at full price.

8. Do not try to convert your friends and family into wine lovers. It will cost you plenty and they will still serve you plonk every time you visit. (On the other hand, it's never in bad taste to offer your non-wine-loving friends and loved ones something decent to drink. RG)

9. Whenever you travel, especially on holiday or vacation, buy wine and bring it home with you. These will become the most memorable and special bottles of your lifetime.

10. Share your good bottles with people who like wine. Share your great ones with people who know wine.


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