My "Drinking Problem"

Friends, I’ve got a drinking problem. I am not drinking enough wine to keep my wine cellar current.

You see, almost 16 years ago, when I moved to Europe, I began collecting wine. Not really collecting wine so much as amassing.

Collecting implies a strategy. I’ve been much more random than that. For years, as I traveled through France, Italy and beyond, I bought wines—the more obscure the better.

Whether it was rare French grapes (Prunelart or Chatus, anyone?) or unknown producers, my wine adventures usually led to more bottles. Sure, I’ve got some ageworthy collectibles like late-harvest whites from Alsace (where I once harvested) and reds from Bordeaux to Barolo, Burgundy to Brunello di Montalcino.

But in general, as I’ve gathered more wines, I haven’t dealt with one obvious fact: Most of the wines in my cellar weren’t meant to last decades.

I might have seen the warnings. From the start, friends and family gave me gifts to help manage my wine cellar, such as journals (with cellar software).

I never touched any of it.

Why? I was a wine romantic. I didn’t want to run my cellar like an accountant. Where’s the fun in that? I can’t even tell you how many bottles of wine I own. I thought of my cellar as a storehouse of memories. And who wants to drain their memories?

In 2006, the situation got worse when I started making wine in my garage with a friend, using our own grapes and grapes we purchased in Provence. What we didn’t drink of our micro-production piled up in the cellar.

Well, now all I can I can say is “oops.”

In December, I chose a bottle to make an evening meal a little more the full blog at