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How To Curate A Cellar


Think of curating a wine cellar like curating your wardrobe. When it comes to having a well-curated collection, both wine cellars and closets share some common elements. First and foremost – every single wine cellar should be unique to the person who owns it. As unique as that person’s wardrobe. From picking quality pieces that you love, to understanding the basics of good storage – these two art forms have more in common than you might think!

A cellar also doesn’t have to be a fancy underground cave for aging wines for decades (although it certainly could be!). I realize that the majority of people don’t have the space, or patience, to hold on to wines that long. Having a “cellar” can also just mean 15-30 bottles to have on hand for every day or special occasions.

So if you want to house wine for longer than 1 year, you absolutely need to make sure you’ve got the right, and stable, environment. That is important when holding on to wines short term as well, to maintain integrity, but you can fudge a few of those rules (i.e. you likely won’t need a temperature controlled wine fridge).

Quality Over Quantity

The most important rule in curating any collection (fashion or wine), is quality over quantity. Just as when choosing items for your wardrobe – by selecting a few high quality foundational items that reflect your personal style, you can create a wider range of outfits for any occasion. When building your wine cellar, focus on the types of wines that will enhance the overall flavor profile of your collection. Taking the time to pick out high-quality wines that you love will not only help ensure they last longer, but they’ll also taste great and be better appreciated by others. And you’ll make sure that you have something you love for any occasion!

So what does “high quality” mean in terms of wine? It doesn’t just mean expensive. It does mean that you might want to do some homework on reputable producers, and vintage reports. Remember – investing in wine for the short or long term is like investing in the stock market. You wouldn’t likely just a buy a stock without doing some research first. When is it a good value to buy? When is it a good value to sell (i.e. pop it open!)?

If you’d like to learn more details about this – check out the second blog post in this series.

How To Curate A Cellar: Knowing Your Preferences

Once you’ve established quality as a top priority, it’s time to get focused on knowing what types of wines and clothing make up your particular taste. With wine cellars for instance, consider varieties from different regions and countries around the world – keeping an eye out for unique bottles or blends that will add character to your collection. Similarly with wardrobe curation, take note of colors and shapes that flatter you best; as well as details like fabric weight and texture. Once you understand which types of wines or clothing fit within your preferences, it becomes much easier to narrow down what goes into your collection going forward.

I have a book that goes through tasting wines and teaches you how to taste wine in a helpful way. By using my process, you’ll go beyond just “seeing, smelling, savoring” and you’ll actually understand why you like the wines that you like, so that you can find more wines you like. Check it out on Amazon here.

Check out the third blog post in this series to see more examples of different styles!

How To Curate A Cellar: Storage Solutions

Having proper storage solutions are key for maintaining any collection – whether it be for wines or clothes. In terms of wine cellars this means investing in labels or tags for each bottle to help keep track and make finding them easier when needed; in addition to temperature control systems like fans & humidifiers so that wines can age properly without compromising their flavor profile over time.

Wardrobe curation includes finding creative ways to store items such as velvet hangers & stackable drawers; having enough closet space for hanging shirts & blouses; maximizing shoe racks & cubbies; utilizing bags & pockets for small accessories; as well as any other organizational system that works best for you.

Check out the last blog post in this series to look deeper into how this works!

And there we have it! As you can see there are many similarities between creating a perfectly curated cellar and wardrobe – both requiring thoughtful selection, balanced composition and smart storage solutions to make sure each piece looks its best when needed!

Hi! I'm Sydney,

nice to meet you!

I left a marketing career in Hollywood to go to the Culinary Institute of America. After a few years of working in restaurants, I am now a private chef and sommelier in the 30a area.



  1. How To Curate A Cellar - Finding The Right Wines To Age – The Somm Chef - […] This is blog post 2 in a series on how to begin thinking about curating a cellar. The first…

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