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Dear Dr. Vinny,

I have reached a point in wine collecting where I am hesitant to drink my wines. As an avid collector who reads Wine Spectator regularly, is it normal to worry that my wines should be saved for just the right age and special moment?

—Claude C., Racine, Wisc.

Dear Claude,

I remember a point in my wine-loving life where I had collected a great deal of important bottles of wine, but I wasn't comfortable opening any of them. They all seemed too special, too valuable, or not yet ready. I would catalog them, dust them, show them off, but opening them felt impossible. I remember what broke that spell was a friend who needed some cheering, so I brought over one of my treasures, and we had a night that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.

First, I want to encourage you to find excuses to crack open those bottles. We can get a little precious about our wine collections, but you’ll have more memories from drinking them than not. Perhaps you have some wine-loving friends that you can invite over and you can take the leap together.

In the meantime, you might also want to find some affordable, everyday wines so you can continue to enjoy and learn while you wait for those special bottles. (But don't wait too long! A wine forgotten until it's past its prime is one of the saddest wines of all.)

—Dr. Vinny

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