Tips for Enjoying and Organizing Wine

Spring Clean Your Wine Collection

Do your wine preferences change when the weather becomes warmer?  Perhaps you're in the mood for something lighter or something new to try.   
Regardless of the size of your collection, it's a good idea to review your wines at least once a year, and springtime is as good a time as any.  

  • Take a look at what you have.  If you're planning a spring party, you'll have a better idea of what you already purchased and what you need to buy.  
  • What wines should you drink soon and what can cellar well until next fall/winter?
  • Did you stock up on wine over the holidays for your guests, but those wines aren't what you like to drink?  They might make great gifts for those upcoming barbecues, weddings or reunions.  
  • Be on the lookout for spring and summer sales on some of your favorites.

(posted April 2015)

Take Stock of Your Wines

If you received some wine as gifts over the holidays, or are looking for a great winter project, take some time this month to go through your wine inventory.

Whether you have a lot of bottles, or just a few, here are a few things to consider:

  • Do you have any bottles you'd like to save for a special occasion?  If so, label them appropriately or put them in a specific spot so you don't accidentally drink them.
  • Do you have any bottles that should be drunk sooner rather than later?
  • Are there any bottles you bought for a party or two, but you probably won't drink yourself? Set them aside to bring to an upcoming event, to donate, or to give to a friend.

It's always good to take stock every once in awhile.

(posted January 2015)

Gift Ideas for the Wine Fans on Your List

Here are a few ideas for the wine enthusiasts on your holiday shopping list:

  • Their favorite bottle is an obvious, yet appreciated gift. Or, consider an assortment of ones they may not have tried.
  • New fans may appreciate some much needed accessories, like a foil cutter, wine coaster, decanter, aerator, wine chiller, wine charms/labels or pour spouts.
  • If they don't need any new tools, they'll always enjoy a gift card to their favorite wine shop or wine bar, or tickets to a wine-tasting event.
  • For those always looking to learn more, they might be interested in wine classes or a subscription to a wine publication. 

Whatever you choose, if it has to do with wine, it's bound to be a success!

(posted December 2014)

Plan Your Holiday Wine Needs and Gifts

Since you don't want to waste your precious time making too many trips to the store or dealing with the crowds, take a minute to think about your upcoming holiday wine needs.

In addition to the gifts you want to buy for the wine fans on your list, what else do you need to purchase?  Think about the wine you'll need for events you're having at your home or hostess gifts for parties you're attending.

If you have several of these occasions happening, then also take a minute to organize which bottles you bought for what reason.  Group together your dinner wines, hostess gifts, individual gifts, etc., so you know what is where.  It will help prevent an "oops" of opening the wrong bottle one evening, and then having to make that extra trip to the store that you wanted to avoid in the first place!

(posted November 2014)

Organize Your Wine Preferences and Thoughts with an App

One tip I always share is taking photos of wine bottles - it helps you track which wine you had at a party and wanted to try again, bottles you wanted to purchase the next time you're at the store, etc.  It's an easy way to remember what you like, don't like, have, and want to purchase. 

However, if you'd also like to record your thoughts on the wine, where you had it, find out where you could purchase it, and even more, then perhaps you want to use a wine app. There are many different apps out there, each with different features. Here are just a few: Drync, Vivino, and Delectable.

Set aside some time to take a look at what they each offer, or download one or two and see what fits your needs best.  Your wine preferences and thoughts will be organized in no time! 

(posted October 2014)

Stock Up at Fall Wine Sales

Several wine and liquor stores have large sales starting this time of year.  It's a perfect time to take advantage of great prices and deals and start preparing for upcoming events.

Take a minute and think about when you might need wine in the next few months:

  • Will you be doing any entertaining this fall? 
  • Do you need to replenish your supply with some different wines from what you enjoyed over the summer? 
  • Do you have any birthdays or anniversaries coming up where giving a nice bottle of wine would make a great gift?
  • Even though they're not here yet, consider stocking up for the holidays: Thanksgiving dinner, holiday parties, hostess gifts, presents for the wine fans on your list, etc.
Save yourself some money, and time, by going to the stores now.

(posted September 2014)

Give Your Wines a Specific Home

Just like when you organize your closet, kitchen or other room in your house, everything needs a specific place to live so you can find it when you need it.  The same is true with your wine collection.  No matter if you have 10 or 100+ bottles, arrange them so you can easily and quickly find what you're looking for. 

Based on what you have, separate your whites from your reds, have your South American Cabernets in a different spot than your California ones, keep your Zinfandels apart from your Merlots, and so on. Do whatever makes sense to you so you know where to look for what you want. Now that sounds like some fun, and practical, homework!

(posted August 2014)

A Simple Way to Remember Wines to Try or Buy

Have you ever walked up and down the aisles at a wine store hoping to recognize the bottle of wine you had at a friend's party?  Have you visited a restaurant and had trouble remembering the wine you enjoyed last time you were there?

Next time you want to remember a wine to try or buy, simply take a photo of it with your phone.  You'll have all the details conveniently stored, to help you find it or show it to someone else to help you. 

There are different wine apps out there to help you keep track of your favorite wines, have a list of new wines to try, etc.  But if you don't have an app you like, or don't have time to pull it up and enter all of the information, simply snap a photo.  It's a great first step!

(posted July 2014)

A Fun Product to Keep Your Wine Chilled

There are a lot of different products on the market to help keep your wine at the right temperature, even during warm weather.  There are insulated wine bags to keep your wine cool when bringing a bottle somewhere, and even products to keep the bottle frosty sitting on your patio table. 

But if you're looking to keep your glass of white wine chilled this summer - and ice cubes will only water it down - then maybe these wine pearls will do the trick!  They're also great for when you forgot to put the wine in the refrigerator, but you're ready for a glass now.

They might make a great hostess gift for an upcoming party, or as a gift for the wine enthusiast on your list.

(posted June 2014)

Know How Much to Buy with This Tool

As you begin to plan for your upcoming spring and summer parties (graduations, barbecues, engagement parties, etc.), you might be wondering how many bottles of wine you should buy. 

On one hand, you could buy several bottles that will work for more than one occasion - save yourself an extra trip to the store.  On the other hand, if you're trying to plan for something specific, check out this handy calculator tool to help you estimate how much to purchase. It also calculates if your guests are light or heavy drinkers and if you're also serving beer or liquor. 

Keep in mind some retailers will let you return unopened bottles so check with your favorite store about its return policy.  Perhaps you want to buy more than you need just in case, or perhaps you'll use the leftovers throughout the next several months at different events, including sitting outside relaxing with a glass yourself!

(posted May 2014)

A Helpful App for Food and Wine Pairings

If you've ever wondered what wine to have with a specific type of food, the Hello Vino app is for you.  Whether you have your food and are looking for a wine, or if you have your wine and are looking for what to serve, this app can give you many suggestions, as well as specific recommendations.

It can give you a lot of ideas, it's free, and best of all it can save you time the next time you're wandering around the wine aisles trying to decide what to buy!

(posted April 2014)

How Do You Pronounce That?

Have you ever wondered how to pronounce certain wines?  A couple years ago, I was doing a wine tasting and wasn't as familiar with a specific varietal, and I wanted to know how to say it correctly.


I found a Pronunciation Guide at this website and often refer back to it.  It's a handy resource to bookmark if you're asking for a bottle at a restaurant or store, or if you're just curious.  

Now you'll know how to pronounce several wines from Amarone to Zinfandel!

(posted March 2014)

What You Can Do With All of Your Corks!

Are you someone who likes to keep all of the corks from the wine bottles you've opened, but you don't know what to do with them?  Do you have a large drawer full of corks that you've been meaning to clean out?

Consider using those corks to make something with a Cork Kit.  I've seen cork kits sold at Target or Bed Bath & Beyond, as well as online at Amazon or Wine Enthusiast.  You can make useful items such as bulletin boards (here is an example) or trivets, or something more decorative, like a sign or a table. 

It would make a great winter project and help free up some space being used by your corks.  Send me a picture if you end up making something!

(posted February 2014)

Labels are a great organizing tool for wine bottles, too!