It may be a project you have long overlooked. It may be that you have extra time on your hands and are looking to get organized. Or, it could simply be a yearly spring-cleaning to-do item on your list. Whatever your situation, there’s always a good reason to organize your wine collection.
Though you know you should organize that pile of bottles sitting in your home, it can be overwhelming when you don’t know where to start. Thankfully, we have three expert tips to ensure your collection is arranged logically. This way, you can find the bottle or flavor profile you are searching for any time, anywhere, no matter if you are a novice or master wine collector.
Tip 1: Start an inventory
If you have less than 20 bottles of wine, you likely can skip straight to tip number two. If you find yourself garnering quite an extensive collection of wine; however, you will probably want to begin taking an inventory.
Keep an inventory is a great way to ensure you aren’t buying too much of a particular varietal you didn’t intend to purely because you forgot you had it already. We suggest setting aside the time to get out all of your wine bottles and line them up on your table. Start making a list of the details of every bottle:
- The name of the wine
- Which vineyard it came from
- The type of wine
- The vintage
- How full each bottle is (if you’ve been using the Coravin system this will be especially important)
Depending on how often you drink or serve your wine, you will likely want to do an inventory check every two weeks to two months.
There are multiple ways to keep your inventory straight. You can choose to write the details down with pen and paper, just be extra careful not to lose it. Or, you can use an electronic method like the notes on your phone or an app like Vivino or Decanter.
Tip 2: Label, Label, Label
Once you have all of your wine details noted and bottles on the table, get to work creating a labeling system.
Wine experts advise storing wine on its side, as it keeps the cork in contact with the wine to help keep that airtight seal in place. Wine stored on its side only creates one problem, that the labels are hidden. We recommend creating a labeling system where you can visually read the wine varietal or brand to will help you locate your bottles with ease.
One of the most popular labeling systems to implement for your at-home wine collection is to purchase bottle tags. These can hang from the neck of your bottle and provide better visibility to the wine details. The same information you noted down during your inventory will be included on your tags.
To go the extra mile, you can even color coordinate your bottle tags. If you have white tags, those could denote wines you’re willing to share at an event or party, whereas blue tags could indicate bottles you’d prefer to keep for yourself or your family.
Tip 3: Drink-By Date
For those wine connoisseurs who have a significantly growing collection of aging wines, including an organizational system of drink-by date could be beneficial.
Consider placing the wines that need to be consumed in the next year or two closer to the front of your collection. Or, if you like how you have it sorted, you could choose to denote these wines with a specific symbol on the wine bottle tag. Every time you see a star, you recognize that the bottle needs to be finished by the end of the year. Consuming bottles at their peak will ensure you are getting the very best out of your collection, and drinking wines when their full flavor profile can be enjoyed.
For those wines that will age better with time, push them towards the back of your storage space so that they will be out of sight to family members or guests that may want to steal a sip. We also recommend investing in a Coravin System to help you know exactly when the wine is ready to be enjoyed or to taste the subtle differences in the wine overtime. You can shop our Systems here.
There are so many unique and helpful ways to organize your wine collection; it would be too many to list here. These are the top three ways we see at-home wine collectors making the most of their systems. Remember, the more organized you can be, the easier you can enjoy your wine. Happy sipping!