In 1738 poet John Gay wrote in The Squire and His Cure: From Vinho verde what sudden friendship springs! Wine has a long history that dates back to at least 4000 BC. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics in tombs include pictures of royalty drinking wine. In fact, the oldest known bottle of wine is dated from 325 AD and was found in 1867 in a Roman sarcophagus unearthed in Germany.
Men and women have been collecting wine for centuries, because of the stunning qualities of wine. The nuances in taste, quality, and aromas dependent on vintner techniques and grape selection make the collection of wine an art form similar to collecting oil paintings or sculptures. But wine also has the ability to become a social centrepiece at a meal, a means of promoting friendship (as pointed out by poet Gay), and even a commercial enterprise for those who like to buy, sell, and trade bottles of wine.
Australians appreciate wine and in 2006 the country was the sixth largest producer of the world’s wine. Wine is produced in all the states and the variety of growing conditions has led to the creation of wines from every categories including red wine, white wine, sparking wine, fortified wine, and dessert wine. Even more fascinating is the fact that the various categories of wine include variations depending on which Australian state grapes and production methods were used.
Now add the variety of wines produced around the world to the mixture, and it is easy to understand why people decide to become a wine collector. There is an amazing array of global wines that tempt the palate. Wines from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, New Zealand and the United States are just a few of the countries producing award winning wines.
Like any art collecting, there is a right way to approach the practice. The first consideration is deciding the kind of collector you want to be. Some people collect wine simply as a hobby, while others collect wine as an investment. The purpose you have for collecting will determine the kinds of wines you will purchase.
You also need to decide how big you want your wine collection to become in order to determine the amount of space needed for proper storage. Wine must be stored at a temperature that remains constant somewhere between 7ºC and 18ºC. The space chosen for the wine collection must be refrigerated and humidity controlled.
Once you decide what kind of wine collection you want to develop, a wine specialist can help you achieve your goals. Depending on the immediate and long-term budget, you may want to buy a single expensive bottle, several bottles, or enough bottles to represent the larger collection planned. There are two more important points to keep in mind when becoming a wine collector. First is the fact you need to keep a good record of your wine purchases and storage. Second is the need to have a plan for replacement as the wine is used.
Some people will drink a bottle of wine and then replace it with one or two bottles from the same category. For example, if you drink a bottle of white wine then you can replace it with a white wine. This will help you develop and keep balance in your collection. There are people who simply purchase an appealing wine for collection replacement without regard for what was drunk. A popular means of maintaining or increasing a wine collection is through membership in a wine club.