Spring Cleaning A Wine Collection

Posted By Don Sumner on Apr 22, 2015 |

In an excess of cleaning frenzy, I cleaned out my pantry last week. This was a good thing, because I could barely walk inside. The result? A clean and orderly walk-in pantry, easy to add to or extract from.

What does this have to do with wine? Here’s what happened.

At first, I was going to simply rearrange our wine collection: ordinary “spaghetti reds” together, finer wines on a lower shelf, because we don’t drink them as frequently. Then I started reading labels and the fun began. The accumulation of wines picked up from that summer winery visit, the alluring bottle purchased from that great boutique wine shop, the amazing deal offered by a wine club…all those bottles had been tucked away to age, but some were definitely reaching—or past—their optimum drinking date.

The good news? Time to drink some seriously great wines. The not-so-good news: time to organize things better. To keep this from happening to you, here are some wine collection spring cleaning tactics:

  • Put small round stickers on the end of each bottle’s foil, so that it will be easy to read when the bottle is on its side. Write its drink-by date.
  • If you have a lot of wine, collect cases of wines with the same drink-by date, and mark the case, or just color code each bottle’s foil with a sticker (see above)
  • Store wines needing the longest aging on the lowest shelves. Store the “spaghetti reds” at waist level where you’ll be grabbing them most often.
  • Mark your calendar to schedule a once-a-year audit…and possible party!


Need help organizing your wines? Visit our Wine Storage Shop.