Wine collections are a celebration of the complex symphony of flavors, aromas, colors, and grape varieties that go into making bottles of fine wine. They can also be significant investment instruments with auction prices reach new highs. One key difference between a wine collection and collections of other items is that wine is intended eventually to be consumed. Proper care of your wine collection will help to ensure each bottle’s value as well as its future drinkability.
Whether you are passionate about collecting and consuming fine wine or creating a financial investment, there are some simple steps that you can take to help protect your wine collection.
- Store wine in a cool, dark place and on its side so that the cork does not dry out and air does not permeate the bottle. A constant temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 percent humidity is recommended. Installing an alarm system to indicate a change in temperature can be a valuable investment. Even brief temperature fluctuations can damage wine.
- Minimize the wine collection’s exposure to light, which can cause damage. Use smoke-glass doors on display cabinets or store bottles in a dark area in wood racks that will not rot in humidity.
- Avoid unnecessary bottle handling, which can disrupt the aging process. Take care when moving or shipping bottles from your wine collection to include temperature regulation throughout the process and proper packaging to avoid damage to labels or breakage.
- Have your wine collection re-appraised on a regular basis to establish replacement values and update your insurance policy as needed.
- Maintain thorough documentation of your wine collection including purchase receipts and full descriptions of each bottle. For high-value bottles, you may have auction and/or provenance documentation. All collection documentation should be kept in a safe location.