Stocking A Wine Cellar
It is most important to round out your cellar, and in the interest of diversification choose wines from as many different regions as you have space in your cellar.
I have known wine enthusiasts who have chosen to stock only their favorite first growth Bordeaux Grand Cru vintages. When they had a request from one of their guests for a white wine they had to call up their wine merchant to have them delivered, this is absurd. Select good wines for every occasion for near term drinking. For long-term laying down buy the Great Crus at the best prices you can find, if possible buy futures.
Try to find wines for the right purpose at the right price and use a good wine-merchant to guide you in your search.
Keep in mind what dishes you intend to pair the wines with, while making your choices. Serve the lesser of the wines first if more than one wine is to be served; keep a little wine in your glass to compare with the following wine, and so on, until the best bottle arrives with the main or cheese course. I have made mention of a few wines below but these are just casual suggestions and they should vary widely depending on your location and preferences.
CHAMPAGNE AND SPARKLING WINES
Champagne (Champagne, France); Sparkling Wine (California); Prosecco (Italy)
WINES FOR EVERYDAY
White Wine for Everyday
Muscadet or Gros Plant from the Loire Valley; Mâcon blanc, Bourgogne Aligoté from Burgundy; Sylvaner or Riesling from Alsace; dry Graves or Entre-Deux-Mers from Bordeaux; Pinot Grigio, Frascati, Orvieto (Italy); Santa Rita Sauvignon Blanc (Chile); Cloudy Bay, Overstone, Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)
Rosé Wine for Everyday
Red Wine for Everyday
Chinon, Côte du Rhône (France); young Sangiovese (Italy)
White Picnic Wine: Muscadet (Loire); Bourgogne Aligoté (Burgundy); Verdicchio (Italy)
Rosé Picnic Wine: Provençal, (Provence); Sancerre rosé (Loire).
Red Picnic Wine: Beaujolais-Villages (Beaujolais); Chinon, Bourgueil (Loire); Chianti Classico (Tuscany); Dôle (Switzerland).
White Wines for Leisurely Dining: Chablis Premier Cru (Chablis); Pouilly Fumé (Loire); Gewürtztraminer (Alsace); Simi Reserve Chardonnay, Acacia Chardonnay, Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Reserve (California); Fendant (Switzerland)
Rosé Wines for Leisurely Dining: Tavel (Rhône);
Red Wines for Leisurely Dining: Nuit St. George, Volnay, Pommard, Santenay (Burgundy); lesser class growths of Medoc, Graves and St Emilion (Bordeaux); Bandol (Provence); Cahors (South-West); Corbières (Roussillon); Jordan, Beaulieu Private Reserve, Bonny Doon Old Telegram, Saintsbury Pinot Noir, Diamond Creek Gravely Meadow (California)
GREAT GROWTHS FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS
White Wines: The Montrachets, Corton-Charlemagne, Premier Cru Meursaults, Grand Cru Chablis, outstanding Alsace Rieslings, Chateau Grillet
Red Wines: Crus Classé of Mèdoc (Bordeaux); Outstanding Grand and Premier Crus from the Côte d’Or (Burgundy); Côte Rôtie, Hermitage (Rhône)
After Dinner Wines: Sauternes (Bordeaux); Beerenausleses, Trockenbeerenausleses (Germany)
Bordeaux Futures: For vintages that have had a good growing season and are rated favorably. Buy classed growths from the Médoc, Pomerol, St. Emilion, Graves.
Others: Buy Grand Crus and outstanding Premiers Crus from the Côte d’Or and Côte Chalonnaise (Mercurey, Givry, Rully and Mercurey) and stock some good red Rhône wines such as Côte Rôtie and Hermitage and the white Rhône wines Condrieu and Ch. Grillet.