The ideal cellar, or how to drink good wines without breaking the bank

Like a plane ticket, last-minute buys are expensive. But for wine, they may also not be totally relevant. Here are some recommendations to overcome this.


Which wines should you have at home?

A little of everything, according to three criteria:

The style of wine. Even if you are particularly fond of certain wines, having a wide range allows you to try and meet the needs of food and wine pairings and not impose your tastes on those around you.

The price. Having only great wines is a sure-fire way of drinking them on a thirsty day when the local shops are closed! The drinking occasion and peak drinking time may not be optimal. Finally, always having simple wines allows you to pick and choose (there are some good, reasonably-priced wines... provided you choose well).

Cellaring capacity. At its peak, a wine is much better, and that goes for both fine wines and everyday wines. (Re)discovering the aromas of a mature vintage becomes more and more expensive, impossible even for an impulse buy.


The table below attempts to provide some solutions, on the basis of 100 bottles of French wines (transposable of course to foreign wines).


For 50 bottles (the capacity of a small wine cellar under a work surface), halve the quantities.

In the next episode, we will suggest how to arrange these bottles.


By Alain Echalier