Wine Cellar Confession


Recently, well, if you read Griffy on Wine regularly, you would have seen how happy I was to have my big, bad, 80-bottle capacity wine cellar full to the brim.  And I was…WAS being the operative word.
The next day I conducted an inventory of the cellar.  I’m glad I did, and what an insightful effort this was.  It turned out I actually had 85 bottles of wine so I was 5 over capacity.  Yay me!  I also learned I had 13 bottles past prime.  Wow, 15% of my pride and joy was “PLUNK”!  So for today, I have a couple of wine lessons I have unfortunately had to learn the hard way.  
I know pride goeth before a fall but how could I have let this happen?  In my case, 13 bottles of wine got lost in the shuffle of storage and aging.  Lesson one,  keep a real-time inventory.  Putting together an inventory list of your collection, logging in and logging out every bottle, and making sure you have a drink-by date will help ensure none of your bottles go by the wayside.
Lesson Two: Conspicuous Consumption.  Why do I have 85 bottles of wine?  When I started drinking wine aging was the time between buying the bottle and driving home.  Now, I know I have wine I purchased over a year ago just sitting there in the basement.  Only about 5% of all wines made are made to age, and few to none are in my price range so it begs the question, “what was I thinking?”  Be aware of your wines, specifically whether they can survive the test of time, and keep a glass at the ready in the event they can’t.
Lesson Three: Be mindful about your wine.  Actually, be mindful about everything.  I’m 60 years old, the last time I checked I was 21, what the hell happened to 40 years?  Life!  It is true that I checked in from time to time, but I still feel that I was pretty much on auto pilot for long stretches of  time.   Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans but I really wished I’d had respected mine more. 
The same goes for your wine,  have a better  reason for buying that bottle than a pretty label. Have a purpose for handing over the cash. Is it a new varietal you wanted to explore or a new interpretation of an old favorite? New wine maker you find interesting? Have a reason do some home work then go ahead and spend the money. Buying wine just to have it, well, seems mindless not to mention soulless. I know I’ll pay more attention to this going forward.
For the longest time my battle cry was, “better wine, not more wine,” and my Wine Cellar experience confirms this logic to me.  Do I really need wine at diner every night?  Well that depends on what you are drinking for.  For me it’s the experience of the wine, so think about it, what wine pairs best with leftovers?  Some do great, some make the leftovers bearable.  The point I’m trying to make is I only need about 156 bottles of the “right” wine to satisfy my annual drinking requirements, then what am I doing with a half year supply on the shelf?  Being a thinking man sure makes me thirsty.
Now 156 bottles still leaves a lot of room for adventure provide you haven’t got 80 bottles already purchased, that only leaves 80 bottles for the imagination.  Never fear, I still have some interesting stuff within date to share with you on Griffy on Wine.  Anyone want a wine rack?

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