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Dear Dr. Vinny,

In every issue of your Wine Spectator, the Buying Guide features a “Collectibles” section. Many of these wines have long drink recommendations. Can they technically be considered “collectible” to a new wine enthusiast on a small budget?

—William, Greenwich, Conn.

Dear William,

We define “Collectibles” in the magazine as “Wines that will improve the most from additional bottle age and that show the greatest potential to gain in value.” These wines won’t fit everyone’s budget, nor will they be to everyone’s taste, and that’s OK. It’s just a way for us to point out some of the highlights from the hundreds of reviews in each issue. If you’re a new wine enthusiast on a small budget, you might want to look at our “Smart Buys” section, which highlights wines with a combination of quality, affordability and availability.

I’d just like to take a step back and acknowledge that wine lovers can easily get caught up in the idea of buying wines to collect and age them, either to drink or because they think it might be a quick and easy investment. I advise you to consider aging wine carefully. First off, you might not like older wines—they may not be to your liking, and that’s OK too. Secondly, I strongly advise against buying wines to collect if you don’t have proper storage conditions to store them. Finally, it’s very unlikely that your aged wine will turn out to be some kind of moneymaking investment, unless you’re doing it with ultrapremium brands, on a large scale and can vouch for the wine’s authenticity and provenance.

—Dr. Vinny

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