Wine tasting

How do you start your first wine cellar?

Constituer sa cave à vin

Today, we are going to give you the answers to an all essential question: How do you start your first wine cellar? It’s surely something you’ve wondered about. To answer the question, we recommend considering five main criteria:

1 – What type of wine drinker are you?

When do you drink wine? Do you drink wine with meals? If yes, is it mostly with dinner or with lunch? Or do you only drink wine when you have guests, or as an aperitif before meals? How you answer will affect your choice of wines, but also the quantity of each you want in your cellar.

The first crucial step is to assess how often and on what occasions you drink wine.

2 – Your profile: Wine connoisseur or novice

The second important step is to identify to which category of consumer you belong. The creation of a cellar will differ depending on whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a novice.

A connoisseur will no doubt fill his or her cellar with fine wine. That makes sense as they know how to appreciate it.

On the other hand, someone with little wine knowledge, in theory, won’t need to splash out on lots of exceptional bottles.

3 – Budget

What you can afford is ultimately a major aspect in the decision-making process. What budget do you have? This is a question that you absolutely must ask.

The answers to the previous two questions will then dictate whether this budget is on the upper or lower end of the scale. It’s worth noting, however, that based on an average price of €15 a bottle, you’ll need to spend €450 for just 30 bottles. Of course, this budget can be more or less depending on the bottles you want to buy.

One small tip: Consider ordering bottles by cases of 6 or 12 as you’ll often get a better deal. Don’t forget either that you may need to spend another important sum to buy a wine cabinet to store your bottles.

4 – Cellaring logistics

That brings us to the actual physical cellar. So what’s there to know?

Already got a real cellar in your house? Brilliant! All you’ll need to do is decide how to organize your collection of bottles.

If you’ve not got a real cellar in your house then two solutions are available to you.

  • First, you can buy an electric wine cellar. The cost will vary depending on its storage capacity, which typically ranges from 20 to 50 or 100 bottles. With this solution, you have your bottles to hand and can manage your cellar yourself.
  • The other solution is to entrust your bottles to a service provider. There are today many wine storage providers out there. The space that they provide will offer special storage conditions for the proper conservation of your bottles. This type of service, however, is generally designed for storing bottles requiring long ageing. So the choice is yours!

5 – Aim for balance and a variety of wines to discover

When making your final choice of wines, remember to go for variety. Your cellar is like a gold mine and should be rich in surprises.

Aim for a diverse selection:

  • Wines from different regions: Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, Provence and even wines from abroad
  • Wines of different styles: Red, white, rosé, sparkling, etc.
  • Different price ranges: Fine wine and more ordinary wines to suit all sorts of occasions
  • Different formats: A magnum will always impress your guests when you have a crowd
  • Different stages of ageing: Think ahead by buying wines that will be great in a few years’ time.

To learn more

Now that you have a nice and well-balanced wine cellar, the hardest part is yet to come… Which bottle you should open? Discover our tips and advices for perfect Food and Wine Pairing Throughout a Meal.