Navigating the wine section
Bellingham’s Top Tips for stocking your Cellar at Home
Be true to yourself. Trust your instincts and follow your palate. Your favourites will never fail to reward ensuring your sensory involvement so your cellar never stagnates.
Be adventurous. Venture beyond your usual favourites and taste widely.
Be careful. If you are motivated by investment, collecting is a complicated and lonely endeavour particularly in South Africa where our climate makes cellar conditions critical and sending a wine off to auction or finding an appreciative and willing buyer for profit is not easy. Consult a broker and make sure that your storage conditions are faultless.
Be prepared. A state-of-the art cellar is ideal, but not critical. Horizontal storage of bottles in any dark space or corner in a stable cool environment away from direct sunlight, fluctuating temperatures and vibrations will do the trick.
Be patient. Buy at least a case of the best wines within your budget and rather buy a modest wine from a good vintage than the best wines in a bad vintage.
Be brave. Don’t get too attached. There might never be an occasion worthy of your most pedigreed pride-and-joys, but make sure you track evolution and maturation progress or prepare to suffer a sad fate – rather down the hatch too young, than over-the-hill and down the drain!
Be curious. Sign up for a wine course or join a tasting group and read, read, read! The more you learn, the more you’ll want to know and finding out the ins-and outs of your inventory like the story behind the label, the name of the winemaker, more about the region and vintage, for instance, will keep you emotionally connected to your cellar and makes drinking so much more rewarding.
With these important clues, any good retailer will be able to find you the perfect wine at the right price, or you will have narrowed your search to quickly home in on what wine is going to suit you best.