In Recipes and Food

How To Organize A Wine Collection

How To Organize A Wine Collection

I admit it: I love really good wine. Sure, I'm also a sucker for cheap bottles, but I love to treat myself to a really good (not necessarily expensive) bottle of wine.

How To Organize A Wine Collection

We all collect things, right? Well, my name is Nicole and I love wine. It shouldn't be too much of a surprise that I “collect” wine since I grew up in Sonoma. I use the word “collect” loosely. It really comes down to the fact that I have a few wineries that I really like and tend to hoard wine from them (aka joined wine clubs like I showed yesterday). One of the nice things about being in a wine club is that every now and then they throw in a really nice bottle of wine. The kind of wine that you keep around for another 5-7 years waiting for it to peak. Okay, I realize that this sounds a bit snooty but I really do love the idea of opening a bottle after letting it age for a while. So to avoid opening up one of those nice bottles, I try to keep my wine somewhat organize using these 3 guidelines

  1. I keep all my nice bottles on the bottom row of my wine rack. That way I won't accidentally open one up.
  2. I put a green sticker on all of the bottles that can opened at any time (aka the 2 Buck Chuck's of the collection
  3. I keep all my wine in a little spreadsheet. I know: super lame. BUT my spreadsheet is the only thing that makes sure that I don't open up one of those nice bottles before it peaks. If you're interested, I created a copy of my wine collection inventory sheet for download (excel file). I keep track of the basics: winery, vintage (year), type of wine, and when I should drink it. You could totally add other categories to a spreadsheet:
    • Sweet or Dry
    • Body (light / medium / full)
    • Food pairings
    • Texture (tannins)
    • Intensity of flavor
    • If you'd give up a foot for another bottle

    All (especially the last) are totally legitimate things to consider.

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Nicole is a treasure hunter and pup mama located in Seattle, Washington. Loves travel, politics, lifestyle, TV, & wine. She's an unapologetic SJW & feminist AF.

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Posted on June 19, 2014

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  • Mal

    Love wine too, especially the Côtes de Provence rosé.

  • jointhegossip

    Dang girlfrand, you’ve got a lot of bottles! I’m scared mine are no good. Stupid me. I’ve been wine tasting several times yet never realized that reds weren’t OK in my apartment that had no AC or heater. I think their spoiled :( I guess I better start tasting them all to see haha!

    • oh no! Our old place didn’t have AC (and it would get 100+ in the summer) and luckily nothing spoiled! Not the best set up but it ended up okay!

  • I don’t think a bottle of wine has lasted longer than a few weeks in my possession! wine in Taiwan can be really overpriced thanks to import taxes, but I’m amazed at the random vintages they choose to offer at Costco here and even the local grocery. every now and then I find something from the Torres vineyard I visited in Spain and I can’t resist snatching up a bottle or two.

  • I don’t think I keep a bottle long enough to turn them into a collection but I would love to get a wine rack and start my own collection!

    • to be fair, I go through my cheaper bottles really quickly. But I do try to hang on to some of the nicer ones

  • Jurgen and I have also turned somewhat wine snobbish over the years. Our problem is (rather Jurgen’s problem is… side eye) that regardless of where we put our nice bottles he ends up drinking them. Maybe I should start… hiding them? Lol

    • HA! Jurgen is obviously out of control! I suggest putting a note on all the ones he should wait on :) ps, I really miss South Africa wine: high quality wine for under 5 bucks. I just bought a mediocre bottle out here for $10 and it almost killed me!

  • Keeping a spreadsheet of your wine collection is such a good idea! I have a tendency to hoard wine, especially when we go on wine tours, so by the time I drink them a fews months later I forget the details. I’ll def be doing this, thanks for sharing!

    • yes! I’m glad that I’m not the only one who hoards wine :) There are also a couple of apps for phones that allow you to take notes while you’re on wine tours!

  • I need to take a note from your book! I try to collect wine, but then I drink it. I really do want to start a collection though!

  • Super jealous of your wine collection!

  • Wow. That’s amazing. I never hold on to wine long enough to start a collection. However, I suppose if I knew a little bit more about how long to let it sit in the bottle and whatnot, I might be better at holding out. Teach me the ways, wise one!

    • I can teach you in 3 easy steps!

      step 1: find a winery you love
      step 2: buy their wine
      step 3: buy cheaper bottles to hold you over until the “nicer” bottles are ready to drink!

      ps, how was your snow storm bottle of Cab?

  • Love the sticker method! I got so mad once when someone opened a bottle I’d been saving for an extraordinary event.

  • I’m envious of your collection. I don’t have it in the house long enough. Besides that, I wouldn’t have the first clue what makes it “good”. If I like it, I consider that good.

    • that is totally how I decide if a wine is good or not! I find wines that I like, then look to see if the winery sells a “reserve” or higher quality version of that wine.

  • we have all of our “show” wine in a nice wine holder in the kitchen but we never drink it. the stuff we drink is in the fridge!

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

  • That’s a nice collection! I love a really good bottle of wine too, so I can’t seem to collect them for too long, but I love this idea!! Thanks for hosting the link up!

  • I love all the variations of wine bottles you have (I am definitely the kind of person that impulse buys things based on how pretty they look and some of those would fit the bill :). I need to figure out a way to corral all my collections. Thanks for hosting!

    • oh, I totally buy based off of how pretty a bottle is. One of the wineries that I really like (Kalyra) decorates all the bottles with different images of space. SO COOL!

  • We love our wine as well ( actually the house we bought moved to the top of the list when we saw it had a wine cellar) Love, love our wines. If you like keeping track we use ( and no I was not paid to say this we truly love it for keeping track of what to drink when)

    • ooh, I haven’t tried winealign before! I’ll have to give it a try. thanks for the recommendation, Linda!

  • So jealous of your wine collection! My problem is I buy a bottle and then go home and prompty drink the entire thing. Sigh…. Thanks for hosting again! I love this link-up! :)

  • What an awesome wine collection! I love wine too! You have a very inspiring blog!

    Feel free to visit my blog as well! You will find topics such as NYC Fashion, health, beauty, personal growth and motivation between others! <3


    New Blog Post: 15 Things Every woman Must Have

  • i am proud of your wine collection! I buy one or two bottles at a time and then suddenly they are all gone ;)

  • Wow! And I thought I hoarded a lot of wine.

    Where did you get that wine rack from??

    • I bought the wine rack on Amazon for $70, I think. It holds 60 bottles and is really easy to put together. It also comes with mall mounts that you can drill into the wall so that it doesn’t fall over (totally necessary for us with California earthquakes!)

  • I want to be cool like you and have a wine collection.

  • Ember Grey

    Thank you for the inspiration! I have always wanted to have a big wine collection. My problem is that I drink it too soon and therefore, no longer have a collection.

  • Brianna DePauw

    I love this post, I have a bottle of wine I bought it Greece 3 years ago and I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to open it. I would love to start a collection as great as yours! And as always, thank you for hosting this link up! :)

  • Your wine collection and organization of it is pretty impressive!

  • Ahhhh!!! Love this idea! We are total winos! We have a local winery and we love it. I don’t think I could wait long enough to have a wine age, but now I wanna do this!

  • I am majorly impressed! I also would need to buy a bottle over $15 to get this started though!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

    • ha! a lot of my wine is around that price. Only the really good stuff (on the bottom shelf) is more expensive :)

  • You have no idea how much I respect that you can keep more than one or two bottles on hand at a time lol!!! And I’m the same as Kelly, I’m a cheapo and frequently visit the boxed wine section (don’t judge me, Sonoma!)

  • Amanda

    Love the post! What wine clubs do you belong to?

  • I am so in awe.