Keeping wine organized follow up to #6

Having a wine collection is a luxury. It’s also a major pain in the posterior keeping wine organized and under control. You may have multiple vintages of the same wine in different sizes, wine purchased from different retailers, some might be stored offsite and auction purchases  too. It’s a challenge to keep up with drinking windows  and wine valuations. As the value of your collection increases the need to have  a proper inventory  for insurance purposes . In an earlier blog post I mentioned Cellar Tracker , it’s important enough that I feel compelled to mention it again.

Cellar Tracker ( LINK)  was created by Microsoft employee Eric Levine in early 2003. Originally it was designed to keep track of his personal cellar as well as cellars of a couple of buddies. Later in the year it was expanded to a Beta test involving 100 participants and a database of 60,000 bottles. With constant feedback from members Eric added features and functionality and it currently  has a collection of almost 6 million tasting notes and helps  the subscribers  keep track of 75 million bottles.

The site is divided into a couple different sections.

Home , Links to wine news, popular wines and most active users.

Wines,  This section is the meat and potatoes of the tasting notes. One section indexes the notes by Valuation, Type,Vintage, Variety,Country, Region, Producer and a couple other categories. Next section is Popular Wines and has several sub headings  sorted by Price, Recent Reviews or Most Popular All Time. There is a third very interesting category called Tasting Stories. Members post the results/notes from tastings and dinners they have attended. Since many wine dinners have themes  this can be an invaluable resource to see how you favorite producers wines are evolving or assess the quality of a specific vintage . Lots of really good stuff here.

People, This section provides profiles on each member and highlights the most prolific contributors to the site.

Discussions: This section is subdivided into General Discussion , Cellar Tracker Support , Wine Data Errors and Correction and Release Notes.  I particularly recommend the General Discussion  section with topics such as “What are you buying now ?” “ What are you going to drink tonite” “ What did you drink last night?” plus a wide ranging discussion of food travel and many other wine related issues. Generally a pretty civil bunch and a lack of trollish behavior.

Articles: This is one of my favorite sections it has extensive articles on wine sorted by producer, region , grape variety plus many other categories.

Cellar Tracker is the most sophisticated online inventory management system I know. It has integration with your subscriptions to Burghound, For The Love of Port, Purple Pages, Vinous and many more. When you enter a wine in your inventory if another user has entered its information the program auto fills all the relevant info with you having to retype the entries over and over. It can give you reports on value, as well as the years suggested for drinking and many more metrics. The system supports multiple cellars as well as futures purchases, bar code creation and restaurant use as well. You can export a copy of your inventory to an Excel spreadsheet for offline access and Eric does super regular backups off all the data entered in the program. The site founder Eric Levine is a former Microsoft employee and is amazingly responsive to suggestions for improving the program. This multi-platform system currently is the defacto tool for all your cellar organizing needs. Suggested payment for use of the Cellar Tracker Program is $40 per year for under 500 bottle, $80 for 500-1000 bottles and $160 for a 1000 bottles or more.

You might needs some racks for your collection at some point. Follow the link to see what we offer.  http://winecellardepot.com/wine-racks/

If you have any feedback we would love to hear from you on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/winecellardepot/ .

Also check out our Houzz Page for design ideas and planning. http://www.houzz.com/pro/winecellardepot/wine-cellar-depot

Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.

Cheers

David Lancelot

 

Riesling can age really!

One of my favorite wines to buy and age is Riesling. While most of my wine collecting buddies are aging big reds from California or Bordeaux or even lighter wines from Burgundy I have prioritized aging white wines. Riesling, Semillon and Chablis are my main three. I have a few reasons why. The first is I love the taste and aromatic profile of older Riesling. It has a ripe round white peach character when young that slowly devolves into a funky , slightly gassy ( some say diesel note ) when older. Secondly they are beautiful with food and act as an interlude to the reds at the dinner table. Third reason is my friends all have the other wines so when I show up with older, interesting whites and dessert wine it’s a win for all of us. I would like to tell you about some of my favorite producers for aging. For more background information follow the links to each winery website. If you want more in depth coverage of the world of Riesling I highly recommend Stuart Pigotts book Best White Wine on Earth: The Riesling Story Link

If you are interested in the cutting edge of Riesling in the southern hemisphere then Grosset Polish Hill Riesling is the finest example . Link . This low yielding organically farmed vineyard in Eden Valley is the epitome of dry age worthy Riesling. First made in 1981 it has an bright citrus edge to it and the ability to age easily for 15 years. Not always the most stylish when young , it really blossoms at the 7-9 year mark. Fantastic food wine.

For a German option my all time favorite is JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese. This is a beautiful of a sweeter Riesling that can age for 20 years and can be brilliant when consumed young. Tons of white peach and apricot notes. Generally a fairly substantial amount of acidity but always brilliantly balanced with the residual sugar. Never cloying . This wine is amazing with pork dishes and moderately spiced Thai Cuisine ( think spicy prawn dishes). Link to a pretty lame website

I have two BC wineries that are worthy of your consideration for aging. Tantalus and Synchromesh Winery are making wines that I believe are excellent candidates for aging at least 10 years from the vintage on the bottle. I believe very few BC Chardonnays have the potential to do that.

Tantalus is owned by Eric Savics and David Peterson is winemaker/general manager . Tantalus makes two different Riesling that are generally available but not necessarily year around. A more approachable when young Riesling and an Old Vines Riesling that can go the distance. Link

Synchromesh is owned by Amy and Alan Dickinson . They are a young couple striving to elevate the image and status of Riesling in BC to a higher level. Each year Alan makes a number of single vineyard Riesling that are unique and age worthy. His Storm Haven Riesling is particularly noteworthy. These wines are highly sought after and often sold out by mid-summer. The mailing list is the best way to secure a bottle or case of these wines. Link

If you have any feedback we would love to hear from you on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/winecellardepot/ .

Also check out our Houzz Page for design ideas and planning. http://www.houzz.com/pro/winecellardepot/wine-cellar-depot

Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.

Cheers

David Lancelot

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