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It is the best of times. It is the worst of times. And right now I’m in between.
About two years ago we decided to build a wine cellar in our house. I spent a lot of time with my wife choosing the various designs for the cellar, the tiles, the paint, the racking, the custom made door (ordered from Mexico), etc. When the cellar was done it was magnificent. Everyone that sees it is impressed. It looks like you are walking into a cave in Bordeaux. The months of construction and work had paid off, or so I thought.
With the cellar done, I had to get to work filling the cellar. I made weekly trips to the wine stores near my home. The stores had lots of choices of great wine, so I bought a lot. Having a cellar also made buying us gifts much easier. People gave us wine (some of it GREAT wine). When I had about 300 bottles filling the cellar, I noticed that some of the wine was at its peak! One-third of the wine to be more accurate. When I was buying I did not pay attention to planning the wine in the cellar. Most wine is meant to be drunk within a year or so of when it is bought. I bought too quickly and too much wine that was not meant to cellar, which is about 90% of all wine. Needless to say, my wife and I are a great hit at parties and with my relatives since we now bring great bottles that are ready to drink when we visit. I’m now working on a better plan to fill the cellar with wines that will peak over the next several decades.
I recently wrote a blog entry about using my iPhone for WineLog related activities. That got me to thinking of other wine related devices that I use. The first is an aerator that accelerates the breathing of a wine.
I do not plan ahead well enough to open a good bottle of wine a few hours before we drink it. For a while I never knew the difference between decanted and non-decanted wines. After taking a few courses where the wines were decanted, I knew I wanted to decant wines more. I could taste a lot more complexity in those wines. But we’re always in a rush these days and I’m very impatient. I was desperate for something that would speed up the decanting process, so that within minutes I could have what others wait hours to get.
I have to admit I tried hard over the years not to like Apple products. The elitist attitude always gives me pause. However, Apple’s ability to “think different” has won me over. Not only do I use a MacBook Pro, but I also got an iPhone. Our team ooo-ed and ahhh-ed with the user interface the first day over crab fries and cheesesteaks at Chickie’s & Pete’s.
So here it is, a month later, and I am still very impressed with the device. The ability to have a real browser is key to its success. I think this device and its successors, think “iPhone 2.0,” will further integrate our wine 2.0 business into every day activities related to wine. I certainly know it will at WineLog.
From my personal wine-on-the-go perspective, the iPhone has drastically changed the timing of when I record and look at details on my WineLog. While dining out, I can now access the full WineLog site (not the simplified mobile version) on my iPhone to search wines on the wine list and immediately log the wine.
One of the things I’m interested in learning about wine is the investment side. With China’s growing interest in good wine and the inherent limited quantity of good wines, I think the wine market is an interesting one to invest in. Like most things I’ve jumped right in. I purchased a bottle of 1830 Sercial Solera. Here’s a nice shot of it.
I won’t say how much (because I’m thinking that I paid too much right now). The good news is that it wasn’t totally as an investment since I’m gonna drink it. The bad news is that I really didn’t understand how to do the financial due diligence around such a purchase.
A good site to learn about wine investing is wineinvestor.com. Wine Investor is collecting (in one place) all the types of information I would need to explore investing in wine. The guy that runs Wine Investor is from the financial services field, works with technology, and loves wine. What a killer resume.
A little under a year ago I met Jason and Kim. They are different from the rest of us. They are young, very mature for their age, and they see a bigger picture for themselves and WineLog. Also, my wife and I had never been to a self-uniting ceremony before. Pretty cool.