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Buying And Saving Wine For A Special Occasion

Buying And Saving Wine For A Special Occasion

Buying and saving wine for a special occasion is an exciting process. Its conviviality brings people together, and makes it the ideal beverage to mark a milestone in someone’s life. If you have kids, save a wine bottle or two of their birth year, and open it on their special vintage birthday bash. Better yet, you just got married… Buy a whole case of wine from your very special year. How cool is that?! You can open a bottle of wine every year for the next 12 years and NEVER forget the date ;) You’re welcome.

And if you get divorced, well… You’ll have plenty of wine to help you forget the date.

Buying And Saving Wine For A Special Occasion

Shortly after my sons were born, I invested in various wines from their respective birth years, knowing I would open it with them on their 18th… Ahem, 21st birthday! Yes, definitely 21st. Anyway, where was I? The wine becomes a time capsule of sorts, and is a great way to commemorate the occasion. If you don’t have kids, no worries – the same practice can be used for any special event in your life, like a significant anniversary, as mentioned above. But don’t dilly-dally! The more you wait, the harder it’ll be to find that special vintage.

What If You Did Not Plan Ahead?

Not to worry, there’s always a way to buy aged wines. Stay away from Ralphs or Vons. Groceries stores are not where you’ll find a 15 year old Cabernet Sauvignon. You definitely want to try stores like K&L Wines to have a chance to find the vintage you are looking for. You can also search online but your best bet will be to reach out to the winery directly. They store wines year after year to check how it is aging, and to sell it. Naturally, they cost a little more but that’s understandable.

Here Are A Few Tips On How To Save Wine For A Special Occasion

Buying and saving wine for a special occasion isn’t complicated. The only thing you have to do is not drink it! But there are a few things you should keep in mind. Choose a wine that you know will age well. This means avoiding wine with elevated amounts of sulfites, as they tend to fade over time. What you want is the perfect balance of tannins, sugar, and alcohol content. I know what you’re going to ask… How do I know that? Well, unless you’re the winemaker, you really don’t. Labels don’ t say it because that would be too easy. Your best bet is to look it up on the winery’s website. Most wineries share the wine’s ideal consumption’s dates. Go to their website and look up the wine you are intending to buy.

The other option would be to ask someone in the wine store. Now again, avoid grocery stores, because the person in charge of the wine, AKA bagging clerk, will have no clue. But if you shop at stores like Total Wine & More, or K&L Wines, you’ll have a far better chance to speak to someone who actually knows more about wine than you can even imagine. Oh and if you intend on keeping the wine for more than 15 years, avoid whites. In fact, you should probably prioritize your search around Bordeaux blends, specifically.

Find The Right Place To Age Your Wine

Wine storage – How to store your wine properly with a wine fridgeStore the wine in a cool, dark place. A wine fridge is ideal, but a closet or basement will work in a pinch. A wine seller would of course be optimal. Unlike Europe where every house is built around a wine cellar, our U.S. homes don’t. But we have a family room AND a living room, which I have yet to understand the existential difference. I wrote an article a while back about optimizing wine storage space in your home. I realize none of it is ideal but as I said before, a wine fridge remains the best option, as long as you don’t lose power. The next best thing would be to start digging ;)


Check The Wine Periodically

Aging wine with peace of mind – Check for signs. If you notice seepage or stained labels, it means that the wine expanded and pushed itself past the cork, probably due of excessive heat. That could also happen with a dried-up cork. Always store your wine horizontally. Check the color of the wine and make sure it isn’t starting to change. Dark-colored wines, such as purple and red, that turn a brownish color, as well as light white wines that change to a golden or opaque color, is a sign that the wine is past its peak.

Never just buy one bottle. Considering how important this is, you want to “insure” your initial investment by buying at least 3 to 4 bottles, ideally half a case. That way, if the wine is bad when you open it, you have the other bottles to fall back on. This also gives you a chance to open a bottle half way through the aging process to make sure the wine is aging nicely.

And To Make Saving Wine For A Special Occasion Even Better…

The wine industry is no stranger to clever marketing strategies. The main target is us, the consumers. We often buy on impulse and winemakers continuously craft new ways to make their wine more appealing visually and emotionally. Here are some wine options that will create far better memories than you would ever dream of, all thanks to marketing wisdom.

If you or the person you’re doing this for has a favorite color

Or how about a wine with your son’s or daughter’s first name

Perhaps a wine with an animal in the name

A wine with funny & quirky name

And finally, a wine with a pun in the name

Wine With A Pun In The Name

As you can tell, there’s a wine for everyone. Saving wine for a special occasion is a great way to make the celebrated event even more special. It shows that you’ve been planning ahead and that you’re thinking of the future.

Getting Ready To Open That Very Special Vintage?

When you’re ready to drink the wine, give it a chance to breathe. This means opening the bottle and letting it sit for a while. The wine has been sitting for years and it is important to allow plenty of time before drinking. At least an hour is ideal, but even 30 minutes will make a huge difference.

Buying and saving wine for a special occasion is a game of patience. As the anticipation builds up, just know that the wine is only getting better as time goes by. If you’re planning in aging the wine for 10 or 15 years, don’t worry. It will keep for many years. I purchased and aged the wines for my sons for 18 years! So when stored properly and monitored carefully, wine can last a very long time. And once again, if you aren’t sure how long to age a particular wine, always check the wine notes online or contact the winery. They’ll tell you when it will reach its full potential.


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    1. Very true. And that’s a good sign, at least for me. It means the wine was aged appropriately before being bottled. Unlike a Beaujolais Nouveau, which is harvested, vinified, and bottled, all within a couple of months!

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