Take a Cue from “The World’s Greatest Wine Collector”: Find the Best Wine Cellar Organization System for You

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An organized wine cellar can make it easier to find and resell your wine. Image source: Flickr CC user Alpha

When wine critic James Suckling gives you the title of “world’s greatest wine collector,” you know you are doing something right. Collector Henry Tang earned such a title when Suckling visited his personal cellar in 2013. Tang’s cellar was meticulously organized by each Burgundian producer in his extensive collection, which made it simple for Tang to auction off a portion of the wines in 2013. Not only did Tang believe in producer-focused cellar organization, he also believed that each bottle needed its own verification that it originated from his collection. Every bottle sold at the auction that year came with a customized bubble seal that said, “Henry Tang Collection.” Tang is perhaps best-known as one of the finest collectors of Burgundy and Rhône wines largely because he always knows exactly which bottles are in his collection, and where they are located. Collectors can take a page from Tang with their own cellars, using one of four common wine cellar organization methods to make the most out of their collection.

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Champagne vs Sparkling Wine: While Sparkling Wine Is Winning the Popularity Contest, Champagne Will Outlast Trends

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Champagne vs sparkling wine–which will win out? It turns out these wines each have their place. Photo Credit: Flickr CC user L.C. Nottaasen

Champagne has been hailed as the king of wine for centuries, but over the past 10 years, it is slowly being replaced in popularity by sparkling wine from other regions. Sparkling wine sales in other countries have increased by 40 percent, selling about 2.3 billion bottles globally every year, compared to Champagne’s 3 million bottles. Wine experts around the world worried when the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships awarded two out of three of its top spots to Italian sparkling wine, not Champagne. Sparkling wine may be increasing in popularity, but Champagne still takes home at least one top award every year, in spite of its low yields. Its consistent quality and excellent reputation make Champagne worth a spot in any collector’s cellar, no matter the current trends.

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How Woodward Canyon Winery Old Vines Cab became a classic

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LOWDEN, Wash. – Woodward Canyon Winery‘s Old Vines Dedication Series Cabernet Sauvignon has been one of the classic Washington wines since its inaugural vintage back in 1981.

It all starts with the grapes, said Rick Small, owner of the Walla Walla Valley winery. He started out using Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from Sagemoor Vineyards north of Pasco – and he’s still using those grapes today to make one of the great American red wines.

We recently caught up with Small at his winery west of Walla Walla to chat about his Old Vines Cab.

 

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A Beginner’s Guide to Madeira Wine

Did you know that Madeira was poured during Thomas Jefferson’s toast at the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, or that it was savored at the inauguration of George Washington shortly thereafter? At one time, Madeira was so ubiquitous that it perfumed ladies’ handkerchieves; was given to military personnel for service of their country; and was frequently recommended for sick and overworked people – nicknamed the “milk of the old.” Such a fundamental part of our vinous history, and yet today, we would assume 99.99% of Americans know nothing about Madeira. And of those that do, Madeira is solely a difficult-to-procure ingredient for an obscure French sauce first documented by Escoffier and championed by Julia Child.

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Loosen young red wines with Aervana

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When you have a bottle of young red wine, one of the best ways to help it taste its best is to give it a bit of air.

In the long term, air is not a good thing for wine. That’s why we have corks and screw caps – to keep out the oxygen. During the winemaking process, for the most part air is kept away from wine.

When a wine is young, it’s pretty tightly wound. It’s been in barrels and tanks and a bottle for a couple of years. Wine experts talk about letting a wine “breathe,” and that’s exactly why we like to aerate a red wine before we evaluate it: It gives the wine its best chance to shine.

There are three basic ways to loosen up a red wine with a bit of air.

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A Lesson from Kurniawan: Wine Fraud and Why In-Person Auctions Aren’t the Best Choice

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Fraudulent sellers more easily take advantage of collectors through in-person auctions, swapping out authentic bottles used in tastings for cheaper bottles sold by the case. Photo Credit: Flickr CC user Leon Brocard

With wine fraud, it’s difficult to know how widespread the problem is until major collectors like Bill Koch become its victims. The wine industry brings in about $300 billion per year in revenue, but experts believe that hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits are made exclusively on fake or mislabeled wine. A recent study found that about 5 percent of wines in a major collector’s cellar are fraudulent, which means that collectors need to ensure their collection is genuine by finding reputable ways to buy wine.

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