How to organize a home wine collection


Bars and restaurants are great, but sometimes you want to beautifully open a bottle of wine (or maybe more than one) and drink it sedately without leaving your home.

We have collected some valuable tips on how to organize a top-class wine bar at home, so that even such spontaneous home antics add aesthetics to your everyday life.

Tip #1

Buy cool glasses

Any wine lover will tell you that good glasses are half the battle of wine trial and error. It is traditionally believed that narrow and tall “ flutes” are suitable for sparkling wines, and wide glasses of impressive volume with a slightly narrowed neck are suitable for still wines.

There are no special secrets here, it’s all about chemistry and physics: different zones of human taste buds are responsible for different tastes – and specially shaped glasses help ensure that wine is delivered straight to the right zones.

But you should not be too zealous in choosing, you can buy universal dishes for any type of wine, the main thing is to follow simple rules.

1. Volume matters. With greater contact with oxygen, the aroma and taste of wine are revealed better, so we take glasses with a voluminous bowl and a slightly narrowed neck – this way you will better feel all the shades of smell and taste;

2. Don’t skimp. It is better to buy dishes from proven wine masters: Riedel, Spigelau, Schott Zwiesel, Zalto. Yes, it’s not cheap, but, firstly, it’s beautiful, and secondly, such glasses will help even the simplest drink sparkle with new colors.

3. Ideal universal glass – medium size, slightly elongated shape. From this you can drink anything, including sparkling wine.

Tip #2

Assemble a versatile wine set

Forget the boring “white for fish, red for meat”. Today, sommeliers offer to be exceptionally bold in matters of wine pairing, so if you suddenly demand a glass of pinot noir for cod, no one will be surprised.

In this matter, you should be guided by personal taste preferences – after all, this is only your home wine cellar. There are several recommendations that will help you assemble an excellent set at home, where you can find wine that you can drink with or without reason.

  • A couple of bottles of sparkling

As one of the greats said, “when I lose, I need champagne, when I win, I deserve it.” Choose from your favorite brut or dry wines. We recommend paying special attention to cremant, prosecco and, if you are ready to spend money, champagne.

The main rule is to serve the wine well chilled and better at the beginning of the evening, as a “welcome drink”.

  • nice white

The delicate sweetness of Chardonnay or the overpowering freshness of a New Zealand Sauvignon? A lingering vinho verde or a languidly spreading vermentino? Or maybe some spicy Gewürztraminer?

Here, as they say, choose with your heart. Drink chilled and don’t expect great taste revelations, especially from inexpensive wines under $15. But be sure to expect the unbearable lightness of being.

  • Something more serious

You can write more than a dozen dissertations about red wine and its varieties, guided by trial and error. For starters, we recommend having 2-3 bottles of classic varieties at home: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Primitive/Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Malbec.

From budget wines, you should pay attention to drinks from the New World, New Zealand and Australia. Italian and Spanish wines are always a win-win. If you feel musketeer courage in yourself, take a swing at the French, but be prepared to pay at least $30 for a good bottle.

Important: any red should not be too cold before serving. A pleasant coolness of 16-18 degrees is just right.

  • Control shot

Fortified wines are a dessert for adults, an ideal digestif. You want to stretch it out so that you never rush anywhere again, but at the same time there is some kind of final point in it that completes any home party.

Sherry, port, Madeira or vermouth: sip from shot glasses and hope no one is reminded that, among other things, fortified wines are a great base for cocktails. We have warned.

Tip #3

Observe wine etiquette

A few simple rules for serving wine:

  • red and fortified wines are cooled to 16-18 degrees, whites to 12-16, and sparkling wines to 6-12;
  • sparkling wines can be poured immediately after opening the bottle, the rest of the drinks need to “breathe” for several minutes to saturate with oxygen – this allows the taste and aroma to open up better;
  • fill the glass by about a third: nothing personal – you are not greedy, it’s just customary to hold the glass by the leg, and if you pour more, it will be difficult to keep it in this position;
  • follow the order: as a rule, sparkling wines are served first, then whites, then reds. Particularly persistent guests can be offered sherry or port wine at the end;
  • pour wine only into an empty glass, in no case into an unfinished one;
  • do not forget about snacks: cheese or meat plates, nuts, berries or fruits, pates, bread – choose what you like best.

Tip #4

Choose your wine accessories

Of course, you can not waste time on trifles and immediately purchase a wine cabinet, but we advise you to start with simpler gizmos that will give your personal wine collection a special exquisite flair. Vinoteka after all, and not just a home bar!

  • Corkscrew

I don’t open wine with a pen or keys, But we are adult serious people, so a good corkscrew is a must. The ideal option is  electric, which simply does not leave the possibility of making a mistake, accidentally damaging or crushing the cork. The only inconvenience is that it needs to be charged (or batteries changed).

  • Decanter

Remember that usually tart red wines are decanted – Chianti, Barolo, Shiraz, Bordeaux – from 20 minutes to 2 hours. But for white or young wines like Beaujolais, decanterization can even hurt.

  • Drip catcher

Nozzle on the neck of the bottle made of stainless steel or plastic, which prevents drops from spilling onto the tablecloth. Sometimes the so-called wine scepter is attached to it – a metal rod that is lowered into the bottle, having previously cooled it in the freezer. So the wine maintains the desired temperature without heating up on the table.

  • Cooling jacket

A small bag – usually filled with gel, which is chilled in the freezer and then put on a bottle of wine to keep it cool. In anticipation of the summer season – a very necessary thing!

  • vacuum stopper

An indispensable assistant for storing uncorked bottles of wine. A special pump helps to remove excess air from the bottle and preserve the taste of the drink.

… And immediately drank!

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