I envy people (like my brother) who have a huge wine cellar. While he has not yet filled that space, I have no doubt that he will shortly be looking for more storage space.
On the other hand, do not have a wine cellar: I have a wine closet. Thanks to Ikea I have four low-price metal wine racks in my bedroom closet. Once people find out that select wines for a fine dining restaurant, I am occasionally asked what kind of wine I own. Well, you didn't ask but here is a listing of what I hold in alphabetical order. Please note: I don't own cases of any of these and in several instances only own one bottle.
- Château de Beaucastel, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2005. I own one bottle which I'll save for a few years.
- Cline, Zinfandel, 2003. Good everyday zin.
- Les Frères Couillaud, Chardonnay Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France Domaine de Bernier, 2007. I have bought this since the 2004 vintage and found it to be an awesome value in a French white selling for around $10 at retail. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
- Fireside Winery, Hearthside Red, 2007. I have already written about it.
- Ferraton Père & Fils, Côtes du Rhône-Villages Plan de Dieu, 2007. Hold three bottles will open in a couple of years. When I tasted it, it was "tight" but not overly so for a Cotes du Rhone - I am hopeful for a great wine.
- L'Illuminata, Barbera d'Alba Colbertina, 2002. Awful wine. Awful. Awful. Awful.
- La Crema, Russian River Valley Chardonnay, 2002. Past it's prime. Still good, but no longer great.
- La Creama, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 2002. One of the very few wines in which I could taste the soil - this is no exageration.
- Dr. Loosen, Riesling Kabinett Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Graacher Himmelreich, 2005. Oranges, blossom and citrus. Will drink very soon.
- Monte Antico, Toscana, 2004. Value priced, food-friendly Italian red. Humble but good.
- Bernard Morey, Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot, 2006. The 2005 was lively and elegant - lemon on the nose and a lovely wheat color. Have not tasted the 2006 yet.
- Castelo do Papa, Godello, 2005. Great value. Wonderful with fish.
- Morgan, Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Double L Vineyard, 2004. Best pinot noir I have ever tasted.
- Purple Silo, Various Iowa varietals, 2008. Crazy winemaker enduring floods and subzero winters.
- Ridge, Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains Santa Cruz Mountain Estate, 2005. Best American chardonnay I have ever tasted.
- Ridge, Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Lytton Springs, 2003. Ridge has never let me down.
- Ridge, Zinfandel Russian River Valley Ponzo Vineyard, 2005. Ridge has never let me down.
- St.-Cosme, Côtes du Rhône White, 2006. Underappreciated white. Can't remember what I paid for it, but I think it was a good deal. If you find Cotes du Rhone whites: buy them.
- Tardieu-Laurent, Côtes du Rhône Guy Louis, 2004 and 2005. My current favorite overall wine.
- Yalumba, Shiraz-Viognier Barossa Hand Picked, 2005. Full flavored but not over-powering. The viognier rounds the shiraz edge. Lots of fruit and a nearly overwhelming nose.
I freely admit that I am able to aquire hard-to-find wines from our wine reps which has allowed to be buy a trophy wine, or two. I have missed some great ones despite having been affored the opportunity to buy them before they got famous - Molly Dooker comes to mind.
I have a bias against wines like Opus One and Silver Oak which make a fine product, but not so great a product to demand the significant premium. And, I take my greatest joy in finding the low priced gems.
If you have a wine that I should be tasting: let me know.