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Feb 19, 2007 04:59 PM

$5,000 Wine Budget ...How would YOU spend ?

If you had $5,000 to spend on wine, what would you buy. A single trophy wine ? 500 three liter boxes of Peter Vella ?

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  1. Probably exactly how I spend now . . . although that's actually changed a bit of late.

    Typically I have always bought 3-4 bottles each of the expensive stuff -- by which, for me, I mean wines in the $30-50 price tag (excluding Champagne and Porto) -- for my cellar, and between 4-6 bottles each of wines in the $10-30, as they are typically fall into both the everyday drinking *and* cellar categories. Lately I've found some real steals in the under $10 range, and so have purchased full cases (or two or three).

    Knowing what it costs to produce, I have a really hard time spending $50-60 for table wine. But that's me. YMMV . . .

    2 Replies
    1. re: zin1953

      So what are the "steals" you have found. I love a bargain.

      I would probably buy one very expensive bottle (for me), maybe $500 or so just to see if there is a diffrence. A couple of bottles of good Champagne. Then the rest in wine that is above my normal price range, and worthy of keeping for a few years. That way I could open a special bottle when I had a whim.

      1. re: WyCo

        Why would you spend "$500 or so just to see if there is a diffrence"?

        Of course there would be, and the odds are you would be saying, "I spent $500 for *this*?!?!? What a waste!" It would be a waste, too, because at that price, you're paying for either a) the name, b) the hype, or c) the age of the bottle. And at that price, the name is rarely worth it; the hype is usually excessive; and unless you enjoy older wines, you may be left scratching your head and questioning your taste buds . . . .

        With "a" and "b," you can experience much the same (or better) wine for $100 or so, and spend the other $400 on more Champagne.

        As far as "c" is concerned, older wines are often someting of an acquired taste, as the lush, vibrant fruit of, say, a young Napa Cabernet is replaced by secondary and tertiary flavors, qualities and characteristics that can only develop with time. Many people -- warning, broad generalization ahead! -- who prefer the lush, ripe fruit of today's "modern" wines do not necessarily enjoy mature wines from the "traditional" school.

        All this is, of course, merely my opinion. YMMV , , , ,

        * * * * *

        As far as the bargains I've purchased lately, one of the wines I've purchased by the case is described at -- the wine generally sells for around $20; I paid $8 for this last month.

        Another is described at -- Kermit Lynch is offerring the 2005 vintage for around $20 (+/- $2). I picked this vintage up a couple of months ago for $7.

    2. What do YOU like?
      (I love to answer questions with questions.)

      1. For a $5,000 wine selection you should definitely spend a bit of that on optimizing your storage area... doesn't have to be fancy, but just creating a decent space wrt temperature, humidity, ventilation/ air quality, and light....

        But after that, figure you have $4,000 to spend on 25 varietals, that's an average of $160 per varietal... You'll spend a bit more on some varietals, a bit less on others, but you will have an EXTREMELY well-stocked cellar with something for almost any occasion imagineable.

        What you buy will be influenced by: 1) What you want to do with the wine 2) If this is going to be your only purchase or if you intend to add to it regularly, and if so how much 3) What period of time you want this purchase to "last" for.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. My wine cellar (erm, pile o' wine in the closet) only holds 24 bottles, and it's currently got only one open slot. Sadly, there's just no more room in my one bedroom apartment. So, I'd blow it all on 10 spectacular grand cru burgundies and invite some friends and family over. I've never had Romanee-Conti, but I'm pretty sure I'd like it!

            zin1953, I'm so very jealous of your ability to store entire cases of wine at a time...

            6 Replies
            1. re: oolah

              I started out "building" my cellar -- something I *never* did intentionally -- by purchasing 4-6 bottles of wine I liked. Drinking one or two, saving the other 3-4; buying 4-6 of something else; etc., etc., etc. For a long time, I stored wines in an interior closet (be it bedroom, hallway, whatever -- *interior* is the key) of my apartment until I had too much to fit, and started off-site storage. When I lived in LA, it was a temperature-controlled locker at the wine shop in which I worked. But since 1976, when I moved to Northern California, it's been passive, underground storage . . .

              It doesn't take much -- just buy a couple of extra bottles at a time and sock 'em away . . . ;^)

              1. re: zin1953

                That's what I'm afraid of! There was definitely a time when a bottle purchased at the store was consumed that same evening, but as I learn and enjoy wine more, I find that I acquire more of it. One day I realized I had the beginnings of a cellar, completely accidentally. I try to limit my purchases at this point, but there are just so many wonderful things to drink that I can totally see myself with a bathtub full of burgundy within a few years.

                Did that happen to others here? Or did you purposefully build your cellars?

                  1. re: zin1953

                    Just afraid that my appetite for wine exceeds my paltry square footage!

                    1. re: oolah

                      It's a great reason to get a bigger house! ;^)

                  2. re: oolah

                    Started with a few mixed cases of 1-2 bottles of many wines, that I wanted to store well, though was not then buying for long term. Soon, I realized that I had purchased some really good wines, and wished that I had acquired 6 of many, and not 1-2. Started doing half and full-cases of ones that really impressed me. Added some, that should benefit from aging. Bought more shelving. Added a room to the basement with insulation, though passive, it was in Colorado and against the N & E walls. Moved it to storage in AZ. Built an active cellar. Placed my wine in it, and began filling it. Started buying full-cases in many instances. Started picking up older reds and some older whites. Unfortunately, my purchases have exceeded my consumption, so I have had to slow down a bit. Also, as I have aged, I have re-evaluated my purchase of current releases of 1er Cru Bdx, and Vintage Port, as I am likely not to live long enough to do them justice and do not plan on leaving any wine for my legacy, except for one bottle, so my wife, and rowdy friends, can toast my demise. Maybe I'll make that a magnum!