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Buy Now, Drink Later

Personal wine cellars have become increasingly rare over the last 20 years as the industry moved toward ready-to-drink fruit-forward wines. But keeping even a modest cellar in the home can reward the wine enthusiast with the pleasure of turning a $30 wine into a magnificent – and pricey – gem. This article by the Toronto Star’s Gord Stimmell provides some good advice on which wines are worth cellaring in this age of New World-dominated youthful wine.

Some tips from Stimmell:

-When he finds a red that he likes, Stimmell says he’ll buy six bottles and drink one every six months.
-Drink everyday reds within a year.
-Be careful not to over-cellar Burgundy
-Top Rhône reds can age for 20 years.
-For most other reds, keep the cellar ceiling at 10 years.
-Drink $10 white wines as soon as possible.
-Premium whites worthy of cellaring for up to 10 years include German, Alsatian and Austrian Rieslings.
-Canadian icewines can be cellared for up to 12 years.
-French Sauternes can last for decades.
-Chardonnays are prone to oxidization after four years of cellaring.
-Premium New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has the capacity to evolve tremendously.

Of course most of us can’t afford to build a giant walk-in wine cellar with a tasting counter, but that shouldn’t stop you from finding a suitable corner of your abode for laying down a small collection. The Wine Doctor has a guide to creating a home wine cellar here.

Next time you find a decent wine that you like, buy a few more bottles (or a case) and lay them down. What could impress dinner guests more than a bottle from your personal cellar – even if said cellar is actually just a nook in a temperature-controlled corner of your condo.

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“Buy Now, Drink Later”