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6 Tips for Organizing the Perfect Wine Collection

Do you enjoy the bouquet of a classic glass of red? How about the oaky taste of a smooth white? You may have realized that your love of wine has transformed itself into a passion—and you into a collector! If you find your wine selection quickly outpacing your wine consumption, it may be time to create a system worthy of your beloved bottles. Follow these six tips and take the first step from oenophile to collector.

1. Create rows based on wine type.

If your collection has grown enough and you’re not committed to specific wines, this is a very easy (but very important) first step to organizing your wine. Separate your wines into reds, whites, and sparkling. Have an even vaster collection? Create a row for rosés and dessert wine too.

2. Organize by grape variety.

Once you group your wines based on type, you may realize just how unique each bottle is, even though they look alike. Access your favorite flavors and accommodate others’ preferences faster by grouping wines together based on their grape. Want a white? Easily find your riesling, moscato, chardonnay, or sauvignon blanc. More of a red fan? Choose from your cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pino noir, or zinfandel with ease.

3. Create custom tag labels.

Wine should be stored on its side to avoid drying out the cork and prematurely aging it. Don’t waste time pulling each bottle out to read the label properly, create convenient custom tags with the wine’s type, vintage, winery name, and any other helpful descriptive information.

4. Note drink-by dates.

This isn’t a hard and fast date, like a gallon of milk. This is based on your personal preference. You may find that you prefer some wines when they’re young and vibrant, and others when they’ve matured. Generally speaking, white wines are best enjoyed within two years of their vintage to preserve their fruitiness, whereas reds containing more tannin (a natural but bitter preservative) may need years to mellow out. There are always exceptions to these rules, like white rieslings and chardonnays that become more complex over time, and reds that contain fewer tannins. Do your research before popping that cork or putting it into long-term storage.

5. Group by pairing.

Want to organize outside the box? Create your system based on ideal food pairings. Enjoying a meal of feta, pine nut salad and lobster with some Key lime pie for dessert? Walk straight to your sauvignon blanc section. Are lamb and mushrooms with a crème brûlée finish on the menu? Find your perfect pinot noir for that. The possibilities are as endless as your menus!

6. Create and maintain an inventory system.

You’ve put in all this hard work to create your ideal wine collection—keep proper track of it! Whether you download an app specifically designed to inventory wine or prefer the simple tracking of an Excel file, keep your inventory up to date. This should include region, brand, varietal, vintage, price, and quantity.

Now you know how to organize your robust wine collection—but where do you store it? Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage to give your wine the ideal climate-controlled environment to preserve taste—and free up space!