This Matter of Cellaring (Part One)

What is cellaring ? It really is what you want to make rather than the vision it evokes.

Fancifully, it generates the im­age of opening a cool underground area, where rows and rows of wine bottles are ageing, some with old labels and others with neck rings and special inventory codes.

Let us leave that to the few that have the facility and intense inter­est (though certainly a worthwhile cause).

For the rest of us “cellaring” should really be interpreted as a small storage area, a wine rack or closet corner with a few wine box­es, to hold an inventory of wine for future use. A pantry for wine if you wish!

Why? Because, if you enjoy good wine, if you are interested in trying different wines from time to time, and if you try to match wine with the food you eat, then having some wine on hand of different styles and varieties is a good idea. Thus, you can call upon picking the right wine to fit your need at the right time. Also, if you have developed your palate to select the better wines, you will need to pur­chase them when they are availa­ble. Good wines disappear fast. So, when you want a good wine that you know, you might just have a bottle or two around.

A personal wine list will devel­op from this exercise. Wines from this list are ready to be consumed in the short-term when the right occasion presents itself.

This is not “wine ageing”, which is a separate and long term project. I will elaborate on that fur­ther in next months issue.

What varieties should your “cellar of ready to drink wines” have ? Of course, it depends on your personal preferences but here is a general guideline of varietals and current Wine of the Month Club selections that fit the bill.

Here is a list of 12 basic bottles:

  • 1 light whitc-Chenin Blanc-White Oak ’88
  • 1 med. white-Svgn. Blanc- KonoctiFume’87
  • 1 bold white-Chardonnay-Monte Verde’88
  • 1 dessert white-Late Harvest Reisling
  • ­1 sparkling wine-Clair Diamant
  • 1 rose -Geyser Peak Pinot Noir Blanc’88
  • 1 light red-Beaujolais
  • 1 med. red-Merlot-Garland Ranch ’87
  • 1 fruity red-Zinfandel-TKC’84
  • 1 robust red-Petit Syrah-DaVinci
  • 2 aged red-1 Pinot Noir-Congress Spgs’87
  • 1 Cabernet Svgn.-Miramonte’82

For the second twelve bottle, you can add single bottles of varie­ties that are not listed, in the differ­ent styles. When you have more space, add more bottles of the wines you particularly enjoy.

Do not be afraid to substitute imported wine varieties in place of the California counterparts men­tioned above.

Next month, ageing wines……

PLEASE NOTE: Chateau Mon-contour ’86 Vouvray, and Mira­monte ’82 Cabernet are back on the reorder list. Last chance……PK

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