Ask the Wine Wise Guy: How Many Bottles Should I Keep in My Home at One Time?

Our expert answers the nagging questions that sommeliers and wine columnists hear most often.

Photograph courtesy of California Home Design.

Wine expert Anthony Giglio is constantly fielding questions about the great grape from amateur drinkers and pro collectors alike. Now you can ask him yours: Tweet it to him at @WineWiseGuy and check back every Tuesday afternoon for the answer.

The answer: No more than the number you can drink if you opened a bottle a day for the next three years. Let me give you the round number: 1,000. Sure, that's an absurd number, but if you're a wine collector, you like absurd. You covet wine bottles like trophies. And if you get a whole case in a fancy wooden box, you don't even pull the nails out of the lid (and when you show your collector buddies the tightly shut virgin box, they can all get tight in the pants with you). You know what I call those boxes? Caskets! You know why? Because you don't even care if the wine under the lid is alive or dead. Robert Parker told you to wait 20 years before opening them. I, on the other hand, believe that we should buy wine with the intention of drinking it within a reasonable time limit—say, up to five years from its vintage date. Any longer than that and you could risk losing it (the wine could get corked or cooked). Unlike a Perdue Oven Stuffer Whole Roaster chicken, there's no little white button that pops up on your wine bottle to tell you it's ready. More often than not, those bottles that you're holding hostage in that nailed-shut casket will be cooked by the time you think they're "ready." There are no guarantees. Drink while you can.

—Follow Anthony Giglio on Twitter at @WineWiseGuy.

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