January 07, 2014
The beginning of a new year is a motivating time to make positive changes. While you are feeling encouraged, consider making a New Year's resolution to organize, inventory, properly store and restock your selection of Missouri wines.
The first step to getting the most out of your wine in the new year is organization. There is no right or wrong way to arrange your collection. Whatever method you choose should make your wine more accessible when you are ready to enjoy it. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Varietals: Put wines that are made with the same principle grape, such as Norton, Vignoles or Chardonel, in the same space.
- Geography: Group Missouri wines from the same region and/or wine trail together.
- Color and Type: Separate red, white and rosé wines into different sections. Break each section down further with more specific descriptions such as dry, sweet or sparkling.
- Brand: Bottles that come from the same vineyard can be placed together.
- Value: Differentiate between wines that are for anytime and wines that are for special occasions. Set aside wines that you'd like to watch age.
Once your wine is organized, it is time to create or update a record of what you have in storage. There are several ways to manage your wine inventory including free online and smartphone tools like the Missouri Wines app, which assist users in keeping notes on the state's wineries and wines. There are also restaurant-style interactive systems with barcode scanners and printers that can be installed into home wine cellars. In addition, you can use any spreadsheet program that evaluates and organizes data. Track information such as the name of each wine, the number of bottles you have, where each bottle is located, the monetary value of your collection and personal tasting notes. Color-coded wine bottle tags allow you to get information about your wines at a glance.
Whether you are a serious wine collector or just have a few bottles, proper storage is required to preserve the quality of your wine. Wooden crates, wine racks and wine refrigerators are all adequate if you don't have a custom basement cellar. Your wine will do best in a dark, cool area that is not too damp or too dry. The ideal temperature is a steady 45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level between 50 to 80 percent. To prevent the corks from drying out, store wine bottles horizontally.
A well-organized, inventoried and correctly stored wine collection is ripe for expansion. With so many award-winning Missouri wines from which to choose, this can be both an exciting and overwhelming task. Ask yourself these questions as you prepare to explore wines that are new to you:
- What kind of foods do I cook on a regular basis, and which wines pair best with those types of cuisines?
- Do I have a variety of light, full-bodied, dry, sweet, red, white and sparkling wines for entertaining?
- How can I widen my collection to represent a diverse array of wineries, regions and grapes?
- Do I have at least one case of my favorite Missouri wine set aside for gift-giving throughout the year?
With your collection stocked and organized, it will be easier than ever to savor Missouri wine all year long.
Missouri wines pair well with New Year's resolutions!