What is the purpose of collecting wine?

Ask Dr Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

What is the purpose of collecting wine?

—Linda J., Del Rio, Texas

Dear Linda,

For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume any bottle of wine you’ve purchased and aren’t intending to drink right away is a wine you’re “collecting.” I don’t think a fancy cellar is a requirement to be a collector, but it certainly helps in storing your wine properly. Most wine lovers are collecting at least a few bottles that are tucked away.

The major reason I collect wine is so that I can drink it. I like being able to grab something I enjoy or am interested in from my stock to drink without having to plan or go to the wine shop for every single glass of wine. Of course, my tastes are varied, and so is my collection, from red to white to bubblies and dessert wines. Wine can become a sort of emotional souvenir to me—there are a lot of memories that I want to hold on to that bottles of wine can represent. Sometimes this factor is increased when the wine is given as a gift or procured by traveling, but it can also be something I bought because it reminded me of another wine memory.

There are also wines that I purchase with the specific intent of trying them when they are older. It’s not true that every single wine gets “better” with age—rather, they mature, and I like to watch them evolve. I like to justify this practice by noting that it can save me money to buy the wines when they are first released—some wines can increase in value as they age and become rarer, and that’s another fun part of collecting!

Speaking of, I know some folks that collect wine as an investment (or try to cash in on what’s become an expensive hobby) but it’s hard to make a profit on wines unless you’re dealing with the ultrapremium brands, and the way the wines are stored becomes extremely important when selling them at auction.

—Dr. Vinny

Collecting Auctions Ask Dr. Vinny

More In Dr. Vinny

Which sparkling wines are made from Chardonnay?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers clues for figuring out a sparkling wine's grape …

Jun 24, 2019

At what point of color saturation does a rosé become a red wine?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how rosés are made.

Jun 21, 2019

What kind of grape is Pouilly-Fumé?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the wines from this Loire Valley region.

Jun 19, 2019

Is it true that you can clean a red wine stain with white wine? What's the best way to clean a wine stain?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers some tried and true methods and advice for …

Jun 17, 2019

How long will an unopened bottle of Champagne stay good?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how sparkling wine ages.

Jun 14, 2019

Are sulfites added to wines for shipping?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains where sulfites come from, and why wines often …

Jun 12, 2019
WineRatings+

WineRatings+

Xvalues

Xvalues

Restaurant Search

Restaurant Search