Whether you are new to the fun of exploring the world of wine or a longtime connoisseur, the experts at Benchmark Wine Group can assist you with top-notch service and exceptional knowledge. As the market leader for professionals and serious collectors who buy and sell the world’s finest wines, the Benchmark team is uniquely qualified to help you maintain a great wine cellar.
Robb Report Studio sat down with some of Benchmark’s best to walk you through the process:
THE CAVE STATER MIX
A startup cellar should have a good mix of wines to drink and wines to keep, advises David Parker, founder and CEO of Benchmark. Then, use your personal tastes as a guide to explore a variety of different regions and a mix of red, white, rosé, and sparkling bottles.
Buy three to six bottles of anything age-appropriate, suggests Alexandria Harner, who runs Benchmark’s monthly wine delivery club. She likes the “one now, one later, and the rest much later” buying formula. “It’s nice to be able to appreciate a wine as it progresses, and it will also help you understand the nuances of aging,” says Harner. “Wines from exceptional vintages and regions produced by renowned producers are best when stored in the cellar for many decades. As the wine ages, flavors and aromas evolve which are not often available in young wines. These delightful gems are highly sought after by wine lovers around the world, as our taste buds crave enriching and complex flavors.
A basement or storage space maintained at 55-59 degrees Fahrenheit is the perfect place to ensure the aging capacity of your wines. “As your collection grows and improves, you may want to consider adding an air cooling unit and humidifier to make sure certain extreme conditions don’t affect your treasures,” Parker explains.
The most flexible organizational systems allow you to be as detailed or general as you want – it’s all a matter of personal preference. “The most important thing is knowing where things are and when to drink them,” Parker explains. CellarTracker, a subsidiary of Benchmark, is an excellent cellar management tool to help you organize your collection.
Of course, you should always start by collecting the type of wines you already love, advises Harner, but for investment grade bottles, some things to consider are: rarity, reputation, vintage, reviewers’ ratings. and provenance (ie source and storage).
If all of this sounds a little intimidating to you, Benchmark can help you build a wine collection with a variety of programs to meet your needs, wants, and budget. The easiest is the accelerator, where you can acquire a collection of premium wines with just one click. Whether you are interested in a balance between instant gratification and a good investment (the Enthusiastic), the cellar par excellence for any oenophile (the reference) or the quintessence of the collection of fine wines (the Parker), the team of experts at Benchmark’s cellar (they have 30 collective years in the industry) can organize a collection for you from an unrivaled stock of fine and rare wines.
One of the best takeaways of 2020 (yes, there was) is a deeper appreciation for the pleasure of having an exceptional wine inventory on hand. With fewer special occasions to celebrate, a great bottle can make any day special. There is no better time to start a wine collection – or improve an existing cellar – than right now.
Start your wine collection