As a company passionate about storage, we are fascinated with the importance that storage of wine plays in retaining or improving the wine’s quality and value over time. We thought it an idea to share some of our thoughts on the subject, for wine collectors, investors in wine, and anybody starting out that’s thinking about collecting wine.

If you are already a collector of wine, you will have established a cellar that provides the optimal storage conditions for your wine collection. But in the beginning, like most, you would have made some mistakes and lost a few precious bottles on the way because of bad storage habits.

We’d like to go back to the beginning and help new or would-be collectors put the right steps in place to ensure that they start on the right foot and their collection turns out a success.

At Stop & Store in Fareham storage is our business, and while we don’t store wines generally, we certainly have made a way for homeowners to become collectors by helping them clear the way to create a storage place at home for their wines.

Let’s have a look at some of the things that we have learnt along the way.

Collecting Wine: A Hobby or Investment?

Collecting wine almost always starts out as a hobby. Over time that hobby could well turn out into an investment. Wine is a fine product has been around for millennia, and it’s been recession proof over the ages. What is it about collecting wines that you need to know?

Getting started

So, when is the best time to start collecting wine? Many will tell you that as soon as you have some disposable income and a place to store the wine. We’d suggest get the storage issue sorted out right from the start. Find the coolest place in the house to create an environment that will be consistent in temperature. Most wine collectors will tell you that wines like a temperature range of between 10-15 degrees C. It may be under the stairs, or in a cool protected spot on the cold protected side of the house. Dark cupboards and places free of damp are also suitable places for storage of your wines. Of course, it goes without saying that your wines should never be stored in or near the kitchen where heat is generated!

If there are certain wines that you like and producers that you particularly admire or have visited, start right there. Depending on your own taste, get the wines you are going to drink yourself, because like most wine collectors, you will be quaffing them as and when they are ready to be consumed. That’s the joy of collecting wines: they all must be drunk sometime!

We’d suggest you look at wines from a range of regions, about five or six, across a combination of red, white, rose, and sparkling.

How much Should You buy?

Its an idea to be strategic from the start, with a long-term plan in mind. So, many would suggest doing your initial research, being prepared storage-wise and having an online record keeping system for your wines.

Aim to buy 250-300 bottles a year. In this way after five years, you can assemble a collection of over 1000 bottles, assuming you’d be drinking some of them along the way. It’s a good idea to buy three to six bottles of a particular wine at a time that is capable of aging.  By doing so, you can drink one botte when its young, one in middle age (after three or so years) and then one after five years. Make notes so that you remember what you have tasted.

Start out with mindset that you are buying these wines for your own enjoyment and sharing with others. Do it for the love of wine. Remember the collection isn’t a destination, but the collection is a journey, for you to experience and enjoy along the way.

By keeping records, you can manage your stock. Never get to the point when you don’t know what is in your cellar. So, storage is key. Never keep the wines in their boxes piled on top of each other, because this is when storage becomes messy and things get out of hand. You don’t want to get into a situation where there is a wine whose time it is to enjoy, and you let it get past its prime.

How long Should you store your wines for?

Bear in mind that not all the wines you are going to buy need to be aged. Depending on the complexity of the wine some could be drunk within the first two years, others can mature gracefully for 10-12 years. In view of this, you would need to ensure that your storage conditions are safe and away from sunlight, and at consistent temperatures that will ensure the stability of your wines.

A useful tip is to store those that you are going to age or wines which are the oldest in your cellar in the coldest part of your cellar, which is likely to be the close to the ground or low down. The younger wines or those that you are going to consume early can be stored higher up or closer to the ceiling.

Any warmth will cause your wines to age quicker, or even be spoiled, and for obvious reasons the same applies to low temperatures, where any freezing could cause the cork to pop out or even crack a bottle.

Should you need to make space in your house for your new cellar, or need to store any items cluttering your house, we have storage units ranging from just 12 sq ft up to 200 sq ft. To visualize these sizes, use our space calculator on our website  to give you an idea as to how much can be stored in the different size units.

We are situated in Thackeray Mall, Unit C (First Floor) 26a, Fareham PO16 0PQ, convenient for residents of Fareham, Porchester, and surrounding areas. You can access your stored goods any time between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week using your PIN code.

Please contact us at 01329 556 174 for more information. Look on our website for more information and see what our customers have to say about us. We hope we have inspired you to start your wine collection!