Our simply stated goal: To assemble the perfect wine collection.
It doesn't matter whether you live in an urban apartment or a sprawling suburban mansion. A personal, bountiful and well-stocked cellar can be achieved by any ardent oenophile committed to furthering his wine education, whether the space available to him or her is a shoebox-sized wine rack, a hall closet, or a wood-paneled, climate-controlled room. We'll explore the world of wine here in the coming months, but first a few general pointers:
Knowledge Is Power: But there's no need to go whole hog on expensive wine-auction catalogs. Great insider knowledge can be gleaned from a trusted sommelier at your favorite local restaurant, or by chatting with the owner of your neighborhood wine and spirits shop. You might also brush up on the wine column in the newspaper as a relaxed requisite.
Taste Test: Don't be afraid to purchase wines that run the gamut in grape varietal and price. The more you taste, the better trained your palate will become and the quicker you'll learn. Pay attention to foods that incorporate wine into their preparation, whether sherry-drizzled lobster bisque or chicken stewed in French Burgundy. And remember that wine can be drunk with any meal--not only on date-night dinners, but also at backyard barbecues when your citrus-glazed salmon calls out for crisp, dry Sauvignon Blanc.
Social Sharing: When you do assemble that pitch-perfect collection, be sure spread the wealth that you've cultivated. Dinner parties are the perfect platform for introducing others to your favorite acquisitions and to sharing your newly amassed wine knowledge and expertise. Who knows? You may even receive a few tips from a fellow diner, which could turn into another capstone purchase.
For more advice on building your perfect wine collection, tweet at George Miliotes (@TheWineExpert), Master Sommelier for The Capital Grille and one of only 186 wine experts in the world to hold that title.