Cellaring Wine: Managing your wine collection... to perfection (March 4, 2004)
by Dean Tudor
Cellaring Wine: Managing your wine collection... to perfection
(Storey Publishing, 2003; distr. by T. Allen, 259 pages, ISBN 1-58017-474-4,
$29.95 paper) is by Jeff Cox, a long-time wine writer, currently a contributing
editor to The Wine News. He has also written From Vines to Wines,
a book about growing vines and making wines.
This book has two major sections: one, how to collect and acquire wine
(10 pages), and two, building and using a wine cellar (110 pages). He
delves into the collecting mentality and mania, giving guidelines for
wine collecting which involves learning and sharing knowledge (the
more you study wine, the more information you gain, the more you understand
wine, the more refined your tastes become, the more passionate about wine
you become). We've all seen it happen to people; the trick is to contain
it. Cox has material on pricing for rarity, birth-year wines, gift-giving,
the futures markets, wine as investment, how to visit wineries and what
to look/ask for, cult wines, wine software for inventory and note keeping,
how wine ages and what wines age best.
The second section shows several plans for making a wine cellar, ranging
from cardboard boxes to hiring a contractor to dig out a cantina affair.
He has copious notes on organizing a cellar by function or purpose: aging,
drinking, wine library, investment. And he gives examples of good and
bad wine writer tasting notes.
There's an index, a glossary, and a resource list to wine events, mail
order catalogues, US retail shops, vintage charts, wine storage cabinets,
cooling systems, racking systems, customized wine cellars... Indeed, his
book discusses just about every wine accessory out there in the marketplace.
What I don't like about this book: some parts of the resources
list are out-of-date already. Three URLs of wine software sites have changed.
Also, the funny drawings (these are not cartoons with captions) detract
from the written material, and just take up space.
What I do like about this book: a really original book, not about
the wines themselves, but about collecting, buying, and appreciating them.
It does a good job in addressing the collecting issue.
Quality/Price Ratio: 93.