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Ten truths about collecting wine
Ravenswood 2000 Vintners Blend California Zinfandel
California Wine Club: Join now, earn a FREE bottle of wine!
Last Week's Wine Advisor Index

Ten truths about collecting wine

For today's column I'm in debt to Virginian Craig Potts, an old online pal in our Wine Lovers' Discussion Group. His lighthearted-yet-serious 10-point guide offers good advice to everyone who "collects" wine, whether you have a 10,000-bottle cellar or just a few nice bottles on a wine rack in your dining room.

So without further ado, here is Craig's list of "Ten truths about collecting wine," with a couple of my editor's notes added:

1. There are so many great wines in every vintage that you can not possibly find them all, let alone afford to buy even a percentage of them. So quit chasing vintages.

2. Wine mailers and allocations are traps. Dump them. All of them. (In other words, consistent with Truth No. 1, don't chase "cult" wines. It isn't worth it. --RG)

3. Every day, every bottle in your cellar should be a candidate to open. (Yes, but with the caveat that it's prudent to hold immature wines, and perhaps imprudent to open the special bottle that you were saving for your anniversary to enjoy with pizza tonight. Read this one as: "Don't revere your prizes so much that you never do open them." --RG)

4. Keep an inventory. Forget the insurance reasons. It's fun.

5. Join a wine group, or several. Your knowledge, experience, and your enjoyment will grow in proportion to your expanding cellar.

6. Knowing more about wine than your local merchants is more important than pretending that you do.

And yet...

7. ... Somehow, 10 percent off a mixed case is cheaper than 1 or 2 bottles at full price.

8. Do not try to convert your friends and family into wine lovers. It will cost you plenty and they will still serve you plonk every time you visit. (On the other hand, it's never in bad taste to offer your non-wine-loving friends and loved ones something decent to drink. --RG)

9. Whenever you travel, especially on holiday or vacation, buy wine and bring it home with you. These will become the most memorable and special bottles of your lifetime.

10. Share your good bottles with people who like wine. Share your great ones with people who know wine.

Thanks, Craig! There's a lot of wisdom in that list. Now, if you would like to take part in an interactive discussion of these "Ten Truths," you're welcome to click to this topic on the Wine Lovers' Discussion Group:

Ravenswood Today's tasting reports on the subject wine for this month's Wine Tasting 101 feature on WineLoversPage.com. Check
to learn more about this free, interactive way to learn and practice recording your wine notes in a friendly setting where there are no wrong answers.

Ravenswood 2000 Vintners Blend California Zinfandel ($11.69)

Clear dark reddish-purple color, with a pleasant scent of berries with a somewhat green and sappy aroma in the background. Full mixed-berry fruit and lemon-squirt acidity, fruity but a bit on the tart side for Zin, which I don't usually think of as a high-acid wine. It's good, though, and makes a better-than-average food wine. (Aug. 9, 2002)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with a pizza topped with Italian sausage, green olives, green peppers and onions.

VALUE: Reasonable value for the price.

WEB LINK: You'll find Ravenswood at

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Last Week's Wine Advisor Index

We're moving gradually back toward daily publication, with two Wine Advisor issues and one FoodLetter per week for now. Here's the index:

An Argentine bargain (Aug. 7)

2000 Bordeaux: an affordable preview (Aug. 5)

Complete 30 Second Wine Advisor archive:

Last week's Wine Advisor Foodletter: Tuscan beans (Aug. 8)

Wine Advisor Foodletter archive:


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All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.

Monday, Aug. 12, 2002
Copyright 2002 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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