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  • Writer's pictureThe Butler

5 tips to start your wine cellar

A wine cellar is of course an opportunity to reserve beautiful moments of tasting and sharing. But it is also a heritage that, like the contents of the bottles, improves with time, provided you make the right choices. Here are some keys to getting started.

There are many reasons to create a wine cellar: the desire to age wines yourself, to choose great recent vintages and let them blossom in the right conditions, or to prepare a nice gift for your children's future. All are good and deserve not to be taken lightly. Here is a small guide to help in this beautiful adventure.

1. Create a wine cellar that will keep your wines in good conditions

To keep your wines in the best possible conditions, there are three possibilities:

  1. Keep your wines in a natural cellar

  2. Keep them in an electric cellar

  3. Keep them in a professional external storage facility

The choice of the storage method depends essentially on your needs and capacities: if you already have a natural cellar that respects the requirements of wine in terms of temperature, humidity and darkness, the solution seems obvious. On the other hand, if this is not the case, it may be wise to invest in a Eurocave type electric wine cellar, but in this case, be careful to inform yourself before buying: not all models are equal and some have a lot of trouble staying at a constant temperature, especially in hot weather, when we know that strong temperature variations are one of the main enemies of good wine conservation. It is generally necessary to pay a significant amount of money to obtain a reliable model (see our advice on wine cabinets). Finally, there is a third option: store your wines outside your home in ideal conditions, at a professional's place, by renting a dedicated space. There are several companies offering such services; notably in Paris with La Cave, which we mentioned in our article "A La home! In all three cases, the important thing is to always take care of the good conservation conditions of the wine.

Butler's advice: think about securing your cellar... spread your risks by storing your wines in several places. Too often we see our wine lovers crying when their precious bottles disappear. Also check your home insurance policy, the company should be able to take into account the value of your cellar.

2. Choose wines you like... And listen to the advice of people you trust

There is no secret, the best rule is to choose the wines you like, far from the fashions and trends. Easy to say, you may say, if you are a complete beginner, still searching for your own taste and preferences.

The pitfall can be to limit yourself to the wines you know, and to lack openness: there is so much to discover, especially at the beginning, try to taste all types of wines, from all regions and all styles and to build an eclectic cellar. To do this, don't hesitate to ask for advice, to get wine recommendations from friends and family or from professionals.

Butler's advice: you inevitably have a friend who knows a little about wine, an uncle who is a wine fanatic, or relatives who have a few good bottles left in a corner of their cellar... Ask them to tell you about the wines they like, to guide you, they will do so with the prism of their tastes, of course, but this is how the exchange, the sharing, and the knowledge begin.

3. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, because happiness is in the variety

Perhaps you are slightly monomaniacal about a particular region or type of wine and the temptation may be great to bet everything on it for the constitution of your cellar... Be careful however, know that very often, tastes in wines evolve and sometimes change quite radically. So don't hesitate to bet on the great classics and the rising stars of each region. The same goes for grape varieties and colors. For example, it is often observed that many wine lovers start out liking powerful red wines and end up, with time, preferring finer and more elegant wines, less demonstrative, and often turn more to white wines.

In terms of vintages, it is also important to bet on variety. First of all, because you will need both wines to keep and wines that are ready to drink more quickly, even immediately. As for the wines you want to keep for a while, of course you have to make sure that they are good vintages to keep. The wine itself must also be of good quality: to