I’m often asked, “Why should I cellar wine?” Now, we’re not talking about a well-stocked shelf of bottles to pull from or a Eurocave filled with your favorite juice. We’re talking about a wine cellar filled with vintages that are left to sit for years or decades in perfect, cool, moist, dark, vibration-free harmony. The answer is simple to me; for provenance and value.

You see, there are plenty of older bottles of wine around the world. Some sat in someone’s well-maintained cellar, but most did not. There are simply very few ways to ascertain that a bottle was treated perfectly throughout its life. How do you know it was bought at the cellar door and not a closeout at the corner liquor store after five years of sitting on a retail shelf with a hot bulb shining down on it each day? Some retailers and auction houses go through extremes to declare the healthy provenance of their older bottles, some do not. It’s a minefield, really, and that’s without considering the possibility of forgery, like when you taste that bottle of traditionally-styled Barolo, and it reeks of new oak. “Hmm, how’d that get in there?”