Wine Cellar Basics

Wine Cellar Basics

Customers seeking to learn how to start aging wines often ask me questions. Since very few of us (myself included) had parents with wine cellars, many folks find it difficult to begin. Here are some suggestions that I have experience with, that do improve with age, that don’t cost a small fortune, and that don’t require decades of patience:


Although the red wines from Bordeaux are known to age, they are often expensive, so the beginner should choose carefully. Don’t spend more than $50 per bottle until you know what you like and have tried some older bottles. Even more fun would be a WHITE Bordeaux, which develops in the bottle in a remarkable way with even 2-4 years of cellaring.
2014 Haut Bages Liberal (Pauillac)
2016 Pique-Caillou Blanc (Pessac-Leognan)

Pinot Noir:

Again, the sky is the limit for a price on this varietal. Don’t worry! It is not necessary to spend over $50 to get good Pinot Noir that will improve with bottle-age. There are options from the famous Burgundy region, as well as some truly great options from Oregon that only require 2-3 years of cellaring to transform a really good bottle into a magical bottle.
2015 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir (Oregon)
2014 Vincent Girardin Volnay “Vielles Vignes” (Burgundy)

I could go on and on! Starting a cellar can be daunting, and it might not be for everyone, but if you are interested, please seek me out. It does not need to be terribly expensive, but it can be a lot of fun, and with a small investment, you can improve your palate and gain valuable perspective on the other wines that the world offers.

Want to start your own cellar? Stop in an talk to me or another of our staff wine consultants. – Andy Hall, Surdyk’s Wine Buyer

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