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Dear Dr. Vinny,
I’m starting a wine collection in a room that ranges in temperature from 70° F to 77° F. Is that OK? And should my collection consist mainly of bottles that won’t mature for years to come?
—Bret, from Twitter
If you’re thinking of investing in a wine collection, I think investing in proper storage should be part of your equation. What you’re describing is a rather warm scenario in terms of wine storage, and wines in that kind of heat will probably mature more quickly, and possibly even get damaged or cooked. Sometimes I tell people that a box in a corner of a closet is a good place to start your wine collection, but if your home is that warm, I think you might want to look into purchasing a wine cooler, or possibly renting some storage offsite until you can build the cellar of your dreams. Check out our "How to Store Wine 101" for all the basics.
It wouldn’t hurt for you to think about how you enjoy wine before starting to collect. If you don’t have a lot of experience with older wines, or aren’t sure if you like them, maybe you should start there. Buy some older wines to see how they taste. You might find you prefer your wines on the younger side—I know I do. With a few exceptions, I like to drink most of my wines before their 10th birthday. I’m OK with that.
That said, most wines—even the ones that are built for aging or have a reputation for aging—should taste pretty yummy upon release. If you are collecting wine to watch it mature, one good strategy is to purchase multiple bottles of the same wine. Try it upon release, and then every couple of years or so to see how it is evolving. Have fun!
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