Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Reunited...and it Feels So Good...!

I waited five years...five trying, wishful, lonely years...to be reunited with my valued wine collection. Let me explain...

I started collecting in the early 90's after a few trips to Napa. My first purchase was a half-case of 1989 Beringer Cab with a random single bottle of 1988 (which I still have). I kept trying to collect wines but ran in to what most do in the early stages, I drank all my collections with little regard on how to actually begin accumulating the right wines. I had the odd couple of case always laying around, but most were "drinkables".

Then I met someone on a trip to Napa that gave me a few pointers on how to really 'collect'. The first step was setting aside a chunk of money ($500 - $1000) to buy en-mass separating out those to drink and those to put away for a while. Plus, learning to buy 6, drink 3, buy 12, drink 6, etc. so you actually accumulate some that you can open later along with buying some 'untouchables' for 10-15 years. I had accumulated about 150 wines or so, of which half were ready to drink (RTD). I was also a member of several winery wine clubs in the 90's collecting several wines from specific wineries that I liked (Sterling and Hess in those days...).

Then I discovered WineBid.com. Through some juicy financial years in 2001 - 04 I went on a tear buying some REAL collectibles from all over getting my collection up to about 500 bottles. I bought the the big 450 bottle Vin-temp cooler and stored a lot in my cool basement when I lived in Denver, CO. Ahhh...times were good.

Then I moved to Vancouver (Canada) for a special 2-year work project. I had to move my collection to a secure facility in Colorado, cancel all my wine clubs, could not ship anything up there and had virtually no access to fine wines without costing a fortune. (what was I thinking...?? ugh, sigh!!) And, I had to drink Canadian wines along with the odd import from Spain or Australia. California wines were ridiculously expensive and pretty much unavailable with the taxes and tariffs they put on US wines/alcohol. (what was I thinking (2)...??)

Then I moved to San Diego in '06 where I was in a few temporary living situation with work and personal stuff and it did not make sense to move all the wine out until I had the facility to take it back in. At this point, I really did not know what I had in my collection any more as my inventory sheets got messed up with all the moves and computer changes. At least I was able to drink CA wines again at reasonable prices.

Fast forward to Napa. I moved here in March '08, but again in a temporary situation as I was making a shift in work industries directly to the wine market. Finally, in July of this year we finally found a 'home' in Yountville (just North of Napa proper) where we are going to be for a while. After much trial and tribulation (and $$), I was finally able to get my wine, my cooler, and my wine stuff all shipped out from Colorado to Yountville.

At last, a physical reconnection with my long lost wines. Inventoried, organized, valued and well put away for the moment. And, all-in-all, they are in pretty good shape. Out of 40 cases, I only lost about 2 cases of wine to age/leakage/transport. The majority of all my valuables are very much in-tact. The bad/good news...I really have way too much wine to drink as most are 90's reds that need to be drunk now. I know, I know, you all feel very sorry for me...gee, why is everyone being so nice to me now...? I have a lot of new-found friends it seems.

Anyway, in my following blogs I will be giving some fun tasting notes on certain vintages, most from the 90's. And, believe me, I will work hard on getting through all of them in a timely manner...thank God for the Holidays coming up...more reasons to drink!

Until the sip...swirl ya' later!

Chief Wino

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