Saturday, January 28, 2012

wine spelunking, part 2: how to be poor and buy good wine.

(part 1.)

I could hear this one coming from a mile away - that it's not the very affordable wine storage at the very affordable The Cave Wine Storage that's the issue, but the wine you must now buy to store in it.

Here's one way to resolve that.

One of my winos told me something very helpful one day, and that was anything priced over $50 was all smoke and mirrors. Meaning you'll see plenty of wine that costs more than $50, but it pretty much won't taste any better than the $50 bottle. This was a couple years ago, so let's adjust it for inflation and call it at $51.58, according to the inflation calculator.

I'm not entirely sure why, say, the 2009 Walter Hansel Pinot Noir Estate Russian River sells for $39.99 while the 2009 Dumol Pinot Noir Ryan sells for $99.99 - when Robert Parker rated them both 91(- 93 for the Dumol). This is a random example, and there are many wines with much greater price-to-point curiosities. I don't know if one wine costs more to make or if it is prestige, marketing, or whatever.

So you can drink some pretty decent wine for fifty bucks or less. But you're pitifully poor. So now what?

Here's what I do. Every Monday I withdraw a specific and set amount of cash from the ATM, my weekly budget. I arrived at the number when I realized it was pretty consistently what I was spending, give or take, in a usual seven days, if I didn't need to get socks or something unusual like that. At the end of the week, if I have anything left over, it goes into a pile. It could be two dollars or twelve. If I over comes out of the pile. But after three or four months, I go to the wine store and get a bottle or two of wine.

Neither pretty nor glamorous, mostly it's the world's slowest growing wine collection. Also, it's not the kind of collecting that most wine collectors do when they buy a case of the stuff at a time and open a bottle every once in awhile to see how it's progressing, but we'll talk more about that next time.