By Neil Shrodo
Every home can usually find some space to keep a few bottles of wine for everyday use. A few bottles of Prosecco here, a few bottles of Pinot Noir there—maybe a few nice bottles of Cabernet tucked away for that special occasion. But for those trying to enhance their living spaces, wine can be a way to showcase your home bar or your passion for finer things. However, a showcase bottle can be many things depending on the collector. Here are three ways to showcase wines in your home.
UPDATE: Super Buy-Rite has extended their delivery service during our new social distancing guidelines. You can get 15% off some delivery orders by using the discount code “Digest” for all non-sale items on the app, buyritewines.com or via firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out our latest post on the best liquor delivery options in Hudson County here.
Wine has a long history, and many wineries have built their reputations over decades, if not centuries. From classic chateaux in Bordeaux, exotic villas in Tuscany, to modern classics in California and Australia, here are some of the big names of the wine world.
There is no way around it, the best wineries here are not cheap. But they improve for decades if well kept, and their names are instantly recognizable: Latour, Lafite, Haut Brion Mouton, Margaux. If it is in your budget, the Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2016 is from an excellent vintage and goes for $799.99. For most wines in this group, expect to pay well over $1,000 per bottle.
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia. This humble red was initially made in 1948 as a table wine for the family made in bad vintages, blending a small plot of Cabernet with Cabernet Franc. His nephew, Piero Antinori, convinced him to release it commercially. Demand grew, and eight years later it shocked the world, defeating the best Bordeaux blends in the world in a blind tasting! The 2016 will run you about $240, on sale.
Dominus. Historic for many reasons, the land here was first planted in 1836 by George Yount and was the site of the Napanook winery until it was bought by John Daniel Jr, owner of the Inglenook Chateau, then the most famous wine made in California. His daughters entered a partnership in 1982 with Christian Moueix, who was running, amongst others, Chateau Petrus in Bordeaux. He called his wine: Dominus, Latin for “Lord of the Estate.’’ Combining French technique with Californian grapes, these wines are unbelievable! The 2015 Dominus is $299.99 on sale per bottle and scored a perfect 100 points from Robert Parker.
Penfolds Grange 2012. This Aussie classic was originally made by Penfolds winemaker as an experiment melding Aussie grapes with French winemaking techniques in the early ’50s. By the 1960s, the wine began to get international recognition and helped establish Australia as a winemaking destination. The 2012 is considered near perfection, and runs $599.99 on sale per bottle.
Nothing in the wine world is more impressive than bottle age, period. Great producers in the best years can age for decades, slowly improving, integrating the flavors, softening the tannins, transforming under the slow passage of time. And when someone sees them in your collection, it is sure to be a great conversation piece!
Older wines, because they demand patience and a bit of risk, can be very expensive to procure. As the wines become increasingly rare, the prices increase. However, there are some regions or producers that age the wines in their own cellars, releasing them only when they feel they are ready and are often great deals for the consumer.
Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva Rioja 2006
Established in 1877, Heredia makes this exquisite red from a vineyard planted in 1913, and ages it in their cellar in both American oak and then in bottles. The 2006 is the current vintage, and is available for an amazingly low $45.99 per bottle.
Bel Air Lagrave 1983 Magnums
These 1.5L bottles are from a very good vintage in the early ’80s, and show just how well Bordeaux can age! Silky, smooth and fully integrated, these go for $99.99.
Smith Woodhouse 2000
Port is a fortified red that is one of the most ageable wines. The 2000 vintage was spectacular, and this wine is a great centerpiece of any bar or collection! $79.99 per bottle on sale.
There is something just incredibly awe-inspiring about gigantic bottles of good wine. Their presence dominates the room, the eye is drawn to them. Nothing is like the excitement of opening a double magnum (3L), a Jeroboam (six regular bottles), a Salmanazar (12 bottles in one), or a Nebuchadnezzar (20!). The bigger you go, these are increasingly rare, so finding a 3L bottle should be much easier.
Pol Roger 3L Champagne
$279.99 for this double magnum of classic French champagne.
Oddero Barolo Rocche de Castiglione 2010 3L
Here you get it all, bottle-aged Barolo in a classic year from a single vineyard with a huge display piece.