How Many Bottles do you Have?

Posted by: Lisa Shea

How Many Bottles do you Have? - 04/21/09 05:47 AM

How many bottles of wine do you have in your house? Do you stock up millions of bottles and hope you can drink them all before you die? Or do you drink as you go, confident that you can always buy more wine if you need it so why bother to overload your home with the clutter?
Posted by: winelvr

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 04/21/09 08:38 AM

I think I have 20 bottles or so.
Posted by: Peter May

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 04/22/09 10:52 AM

The wonderful CellarTracker gives me the answer of 334 bottles.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 04/23/09 12:18 AM

Wow Peter I just couldn't do that, enter every bottle into the software all the time. I guess I lack the discipline smile

I just look in my various fridges and grab something that looks interesting, or panic if one of them is getting too empty. We have two in the basement for storage and one in the kitchen for short term use. So I think we have about 200 bottles. I'm not a storing type of person though (which is a bad thing, I admit). I tend to drink things right away rather than let them sit.
Posted by: Peter May

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 04/23/09 06:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Lisa Shea
Wow Peter I just couldn't do that, enter every bottle into the software all the time. I guess I lack the discipline smile


With CT most of the work is done for you; almost every wine that exists is in the database

Originally Posted By: Lisa Shea

I think we have about 200 bottles. I'm not a storing type of person though (which is a bad thing, I admit). I tend to drink things right away rather than let them sit.


This does not compute smile
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 04/24/09 07:41 PM

lol well what it means is that we drink at a fairly quick rate. We have wine parties and such where we'll drink 8 Malbec in one night. So we buy a lot - and then drink a lot - and have a high turnover.

Do you have a scanner or something that scans the bottles? That might not be so bad ...
Posted by: Peter May

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 04/24/09 07:57 PM


I don't have a scannet but CT is designed for operation with a scanner.

Both for importing wines, but then you can print bar code labels and have a scanner in your cellar to swipe outwines as you take them
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 04/24/09 09:27 PM

I don't know if I would want to be printing out labels for every single bottle. Like I said, we have high turnover here so it's not about buying things and keeping them for multiple years. If it was something that I could scan the UPC code of each wine bottle so I could tally later on exactly what the year was on something I drank, for example, that could be useful. I don't always remember to take photos of the labels and sometimes the photos come out fuzzy.

So I would probably never out-scan. I'd use the in-scans as a record of what I had bought at different times, for use in my notes later on ...

I'll have to look into that!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 04/24/09 09:29 PM

Oh wait this is an online only system? I would really want this on my home system - I've seen too many websites die over the years. I'll look into software instead!
Posted by: Harold Keith

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 05/10/09 02:41 PM

Hi

I've just joined up, posted a few lines of non-sense here and there and figured I had better introduce myself before I get too carried away. This seemed like a reasonable thread to do it in.

I grew up in Arizona, but have been in Australia for about 25 years now. My wife has been dragging me kicking and screaming grin to wineries around Oz ever since. We got the winery visit bug when we were still in the USA and visited Sonoma with some friends and to this day we buy most of our wines at the cellar door. It is not cheaper to buy at the cellar door, but we find it is much more rewarding.

My wine collection currently holds roughly 1000 bottles, not including 'this years drinking'. I am in no way an expert pallate. I have an lousy nose that prevents me from picking up on some of the subtler nuances. My wife can detect a corked Sauternes from across a crowded restaurant (it caused quite a stir at the time too - and she was right), but I have to depend almost completely on mouth feel, thus I am a fan of big full-bodied reds. Fortunately there are quite a few Australian wines that fit the bill. I can appreciate the subtler wines, but big reds are the go.

Because we live in Melbourne and buy almost all of our wine at the cellar door most of out wine is Victorian, and most of that is from Rutherglen. We have a group of friends that make a trip every year for the entire 25 years I have been here. Rutherglen is famous for its fortifieds, but they make some outstanding table wines as well. Especially if you like big full-bodied reds like I do.

We have visited all the major wine regions in Australia, Hunter River, Griffith, and Riverina in New South Wales, Coonawara, Barossa, Mclaren Vale, and Clare Valley in South Australia, Margaret River and Albany in Western Australia, Tamar Valley in Tasmania. We have visited most of the wineries with a cellar door in Victoria in regions like Rutherglen, Geelong, Heathcote, King Valley, Yarra Valley, Mornington Penninsula, Gippsland, Great Western, the Pyrenees and others.

I have a home-grown database program. Yes the biggest problem is data entry, but I have it down as easy as I can. I have drop down lists for everything practical, wineries, labels/brands, grape varieties, regions, even box/storage bin numbers and bottle size. This means that when I come across something new I need to add it before I can record the bottle. But most times I can just copy an existing record and change just the data that is different, like the vintage, drinking year, and price. I can locate a bottle anywhere. I can produce listings by region, maker, grape variety, specified drinking year, vintage, etc. I can export it to HTML and publish it to the web if I want. There are far too many bugs in it to make it public, but one day I will, I promise.
Posted by: Peter May

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 05/10/09 02:47 PM

Welome Harold.

I was in your part of the world for a short time in January and I was very surprised by the sheer number of wineries there.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 05/24/09 08:21 PM

That is so cool Harold, you definitely should make the software available for sale!

I have never been to Australia and have always wanted to go. That is great that you've been to so many wine regions there! Do you have any photos? I love looking at photos from far away places smile
Posted by: Brom

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 06/11/09 04:22 PM

Poor old Brom. Down to a couple dozen in wines that matter (Bordeaux, dessert, white Burgundy) and I like to keep a half-dozen or so mixed any time bottles on hand. (Yeah, I like to do that, but it was only last week that I had to say to myself "What? No white to drink?"

I note the mention of refrigerators.

I keep my wines in an old chest of drawers in the cellar.

Anyone use actual wine racks or old boxes?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 06/18/09 05:23 PM

I used to have a large network of wine racks in my basement along one wall. Over time though everything got moved into a fridge. It just added that extra level of security for times we got a heat wave of 100F for 7 days in a row, so I didn't start to worry about losing the flavors of the wines.

I do have a small (24 bottle?) wooden wine rack in the kitchen for drink-quick bottles. But I also have a small (30 bottle?) wine fridge in the kitchen too where I put better drink-quick bottles. So really nothing tends to end up on the wooden wine rack, and my boyfriend keeps after me to give it away so we get that space back. I like it because I put things on top of it and because I hang my casual-use glasses underneath the top shelf (it has an area for upside down hanging of glasses)
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 06/18/09 05:24 PM

It might be easier just to show a picture of the kitchen rack -



It's been moved now and no longer holds the alcohol on top.
Posted by: Peter May

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 06/21/09 10:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Brom
(Yeah, I like to do that, but it was only last week that I had to say to myself "What? No white to drink?"


Me too! Last week I was having fish and wanted a white. OK, I've got 12 bottles of white and not one that I really fancied --I wanted Sauvignon Blanc... So scooped up one from the supermarket. But Ineed to stock up on savvys.
Originally Posted By: Brom

Anyone use actual wine racks or old boxes?

Yes: I've got a 'ready rack' under a work surface in my kitchen and in a spare room closet I've got a rack
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 07/01/09 04:56 AM

These are the PVC racks we built that I used to have in the basement -



I've since given those all away to friends and family though. So we only have actual fridges in the basement, then upstairs we have one fridge and the one wooden one.
Posted by: jonfitzsimon

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 12/20/09 05:09 PM

I am new to wine and I have heard many different things about the storage and shelf life of wine. The old adage is that wine tastes better with age. But then I also hear that wine should be drunk soon after you purchase it, up to around 5 years. Too much misinformation out there. I'd like to start a collection, but if its not going to age well, it kinda kills the idea. Any suggestions?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 12/20/09 07:32 PM

There are thousands of types of wine so there's no one rule to apply to them all. It would be sort of like asking "how do you cook a vegetable". It depends greatly on what vegetable you are trying to cook! Every one is different smile

I have a set of guidelines by wine type here -

http://www.wineintro.com/basics/aging.html

but even that is simplistic. There are Cabernets that are very much meant to be drunk in a year or two. There are also cabernets which age wonderfully for 20 years.

The key is to figure out what wines you love, and to start there. So example lets say I love 10 year ports. So I know the flavor I love is when they've aged for 10 years. So that means I build a library of ports that can age for 10 years. I don't buy "drink now" ports and try to put them into that shelf. I look for ports that are meant to age 10 years.

Let's say for the sake of argument that I also love white zinfandels. White zinfandels are meant to be drunk within a year. So while I might have a few bottles in my fridge so I can grab one when I have a salad, I wouldn't be aging those. They would be short term storage, like you'd have salad greens in your fridge. They are in there for the short term.

Yes it means you have to learn what you like - which is a fun quest! And it also means you have to keep track what's in your fridge, because if you let those white zinfandel bottles age for 10 years, they aren't going to be very tasty smile
Posted by: jonfitzsimon

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 12/21/09 07:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Lisa Shea


Thanks! That is exactly what i was looking for!
Posted by: Brom

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 12/22/09 04:37 PM

What you posted abut is, as Lisa notes, not really misinformation. Wine with some age is a wonderful thing and most wines are best drunk within a couple of years of buying.

It is indeed a learning experience as are most things. Generally speaking, it is, unlike many things, an expensive experience too.

Be prepared for that. if you don't want to spend money, don't make wine a hobby.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/06/10 08:49 PM

That's a very good point. Let's say you sort of like ports and want to start getting ports to age. You can't just get any random port and stick it in a fridge, because for all you know that port is not going to be one you like at all in 20 years. You need to learn what types of port you like, so you can get those specific ports and age them. But the way you learn is to drink them, and that's not free.

So either you find some wealthy friends who are happy to feed you lots of port, so you can figure out what you like and dislike, or you spend your own money to do that.

In art collecting you can look through photos online and learn what you like and dislike for free. But for wine, you have to ingest it, which means spending money. So it is definitely a hobby that requires some money. Or good friends smile
Posted by: jilly

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/07/10 08:23 AM

Wow, you are all very impressive with your wine collecting! I only have a bottle or two on hand to drink after dinner. Sometimes I will buy six bottles or so to stock up, and then we drink them...

Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/08/10 08:48 AM

It's all a matter of space too Jilly smile Someone in an RV will buy as they go, and that works perfectly!
Posted by: jonfitzsimon

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/09/10 03:52 AM

I have an iPhone and there are quite a few cellar tracking apps available. They make it very convenient to store your info and have wish lists and reviews as well.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/12/10 02:51 AM

I really love my iPod and my iTouch, but it would be a royal pain for me to type into their system. I am still hunting for something that can easily scan every bottle and store it for me locally smile
Posted by: jilly

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/14/10 02:42 AM

Lisa, true, in an RV you really can't be having the extra weight around. Plus there are space issues and the jostling can't be good for the vino.

But here at home I have room. I guess it doesn't make sense to have a home cellar if all I can afford are cheap bottles of wine. Can you imagine showing something like THAT off? :P
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/14/10 07:07 AM

Well, but for most people a wine celler isn't at all about showing off. It is solely about aging. It's about being very frugal.

Say I love port, and that port tastes best when it's 20 years old. One option is to buy 20 year old ports at stores, which would be say $60 a bottle. The other option is to buy ports when they are brand new and fresh, at say $20 a bottle, and then age them myself. You save a TON of money by doing that.

So if you like a certain type of wine, which tastes best when it is aged, then it is always far more frugal to buy that wine "brand new" and age it yourself. It is much more expensive if you make the wine shop or winery age it for you, and then buy it when it's "ready".
Posted by: Peter May

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/14/10 01:34 PM

Originally Posted By: jilly
I guess it doesn't make sense to have a home cellar if all I can afford are cheap bottles of wine. Can you imagine showing something like THAT off? :P


It the convenience of having a bottle of wine there at hand when you want one.

When I arrived at a rented apartment in South Africa recently we decided to get some food from the supermarket and have dinner on our balcony. WE got to the shop at 5.15pm on Saturday to find licensing laws forbade selling of wine from 5pm on Saturday and all day Sunday.

No wine!! We went out to a restaurant.

Later on the stay one afternoon my partner said she fancied a glass of fizz. We had none, so I had to go to the shops, which luckily were open.

I had forgotten how unpleasant it is not to have a stock of wine to hand!!

Thats the primary purpose of my home cellar, second is to age some wines but thats not so important. My cellar is also all those wines I bought a case of because they were on special offer.

Every now and again the stores drastically slash prices and its then we pile in and 'fill our boots' with bargains to drink later.

Not showing off -- just expediency and common sense smile
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/15/10 12:21 AM

That's a great point, Peter - this isn't even necessarily about "old wines". I suppose I think of my "wine cellar" as the basement, where we stick the wines that have to age. We put them down there so I won't drink them young. Not that it works very well smile

But we also have wines upstairs, and those are exactly what Peter was talking about - a group of wines we can have with dinner. So that way if I have a craving for a sparkling wine, I don't have to get dressed, get in the car, and go somewhere to buy one. There is one already on the shelf.

So it's just like having soups in your cupboard. If you want soup, you want to get it off the shelf and eat it. You don't want to have to go driving to the store to buy your can of soup smile
Posted by: jonfitzsimon

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/15/10 02:23 AM

Peter,

I'd love to see a pic of your collection.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/15/10 08:57 AM

Yes! Collection photos! A great idea! smile
Posted by: Peter May

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/15/10 11:20 AM


No, its not interesting.

I don't have a basement. I have a Eurocave in my dining room which is crammed with bottles, nothingto see there, a large rack in thekitchen with ready to drink wines and a small closet in a spare bedroom stcked with wine in polystyrene containers.

Not at all photogenic.
Posted by: jonfitzsimon

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/16/10 01:42 AM

Boo! Let's see it. I'll post a pic of my wine fridge! Lol.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/16/10 05:03 AM

I think I've posted photos of my wine fridges in the past, even though to me they're sort of boring! I'll go track those down smile

Peter, your EuroCave is really cool!
Posted by: jilly

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/16/10 11:49 PM

What is a Eurocave?
Posted by: jilly

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/16/10 11:50 PM

Storing wine - can i use a shed outside to store wines? What happens to wines when they freeze?
Posted by: Peter May

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/17/10 04:03 PM

Originally Posted By: jilly
What is a Eurocave?


http://www.eurocave.co.uk/acatalog/essentielle_v266.html
Posted by: Peter May

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/17/10 04:04 PM

Originally Posted By: jilly
Storing wine - can i use a shed outside to store wines? What happens to wines when they freeze?


Not a good idea. Liquide expands whenit freezes so likely to either shatter bottle or push cork out and thus let in air.
Posted by: jilly

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/18/10 06:01 AM

Well, I keep my vodka and hard liquors in the freezer - they don't freeze - so was wondering about wine. smile

And wow re- the eurocave. Big!
Posted by: Peter May

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/18/10 12:26 PM

Vodka is a spirit; it is their high alcohol level -- around 40% abv -- in spirits that prevent them freezing until a much lower temperature than can be achieved in domestic freezers.

However wine will freeze. Indeed it is a way to keep a part opened bottle: see here
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/19/10 04:45 AM

Yes exactly, this is a fun lesson that many people do in chemistry class. Ethanol - i.e. alcohol - has a freezing point of -114C which is -173.2F. So if you had a bottle of 100% alcohol, it wouldn't freeze until it got down to -173 degrees. Your freezer could never get that cold smile

If your bottle was 100% water, it would of course freeze at 32F!

So then it's a matter of what proportion of alcohol is in your bottle. We always warn people NEVER EVER to freeze wine, the water will of course expand and the result it will shatter the bottle! Not fun smile
Posted by: jilly

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/19/10 08:19 AM

Excellent! Thank you both, that kind of info is exactly what i was looking for. Peter, i like the idea of freezing wine to save it. Maybe with a bold red. smile
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/25/10 03:13 AM

I prefer the idea of drinking the wine and not saving it smile

The ice winery guys I visited were horrified at the idea of someone just drinking down their ice wine. I think they wanted it to be sipped and savored over the course of a week or two ...
Posted by: Eiganjo

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/25/10 09:15 PM

Ha ha ... my collection is into double-digits ... just barely. I have 10 bottles ... and thats only because I bought 6 this weekend smile

Still exploring to see what I enjoy, before buying a lot of anything.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: How Many Bottles do you Have? - 01/25/10 09:32 PM

That's a very wise plan, Eiganjo! No need to rush. If you bought random bottles you didn't like, they would only be clutter!