enhanced in 2011
Only buy 28 wine bottles
You can put together a cellar that will enhance your tasting pleasure. It can be quite small if you select rather than collect.
Buying the cheapest wine on the shelf does not necessarily get you a wine value. I invite you to consider wines made in not-so-famous districts with not-so-trendy grape varieties. It will bring more fun to your drinking, and not burden your budget.
You may also sometimes open bottles that you would have preferred to keep. A solution here is to diversify your buying. You can purchase less wine dedicated to ageing and more wine for near-term consumption.
Your collecting should fit your consumption. The latter will depend on your drinking habits which could evolve with your experience.
In short there is room for diversity: try different wines and build your own path.
Wine shopping list
How many wines are there? Below is a list of only 28 bottles. You can use it for starting a cellar to accompany European-style meals. It includes lesser-known regions and lesser-known grape varieties. Why? You will discover wine styles to get value for money and so that you improve your wine appreciation.
16 red wines
Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
Bordeaux reds (compare with Cabernet)
2 non-Bordeaux from Southwest France (compare with Malbec)
Oregon Pinot Noir
red from Burgundy (compare with Oregon)
Shiraz from Australia
2 Rhône reds (compare with Australia)
red from Provence
Gamay (such as Beaujolais)
red from Spain
red from Italy
12 white wines
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
white from Provence
dry Rhône white
white from Burgundy
dry Loire white
sweet Loire white
"Vendanges Tardives" Alsace
dry Muscat varietal
2 sparkling wines
Selected French reds
Selected French whites
Also take care to balance the regions of origin so as to vary the pleasures and leave yourself plenty of options for matching wine with food.
You could also discuss with a sales person: Find a good wine merchant in your area by typing a location into the white box below.