Generally, this term is reserved for exceptional wines from the world's best vineyards,
the highest quality grapes and the most acclaimed winemakers. Over a period of years,
they've achieved 'blue chip' status — Grand Cru clarets and Burgundies are
classic examples. Due to demand, such wines can command anything from around $50
to $200 or more a bottle.
Are they worth it?
It's a bit like asking a car enthusiast if a Ferrari is worth the money (if
you see it just as a means of getting from A to B the answer is probably no). If
wine is just a drink like any other, then perhaps no. But if wine is a genuine interest
and if your enjoyment of it encourages you to experience greater, more complex,
richer and satisfying bottles, then this is an area you ought to be exploring.
If I spend twice as much will it be twice as good?
Yes … no … well, sometimes. A $10 bottle of wine may well be
twice as good as a $5 bottle … and a $16 bottle twice as good as an $8 one.
Over and above this level though the value for money becomes more subjective. To
a degree, you're paying a premium for perfection because it's so rare and so hard
to achieve. You need therefore to buy with caution to avoid expensive mistakes.
You can find the occasional gem for $15 or less, but wines above $50/bottle usually
guarantee a wine made without compromise. It may not be your cup of tea, but it
will be made with perfection in mind.
How do I know what to buy?
As with any specialist product the most important thing is expert advice
from someone you trust. At WSJ Wine, we don't buy on name and previous reputation
— we select with great care, always taste 'blind' and ensure that all wines
are very competitively priced. Backed by our unconditional guarantee you can buy
with complete confidence.
What is 'En Primeur' buying?
Another word for this is 'pre-release' buying because you pay the 'cellar
door' price of a wine prior to its official release. This guarantees your allocation
of the wine … and protects you from likely price rises in the future. Shipping,
insurance and duties are paid prior to delivery. 'En Primeur' buying is most common
for fine Bordeaux and Burgundies, although we have a few exclusive selections that
we make available on an allocated basis each year.
How do I know when to drink my fine wines?
Many of the finest wines in the world are built to last and need a few years
to mature in bottle. In our wine lists you will find suggested 'starting' and 'drink
by' dates. Sometimes we are able to offer small parcels of mature wines which are
ready to enjoy straight away. Give them a couple of weeks to 'settle down' first
though after the journey to your door.
What if I have no storage space?
If you plan to keep wine for any length of time keep it away from direct
light at a, constant temperature, as cool as you can find (down to 55°F). Underground
cellars are ideal of course but if like most, you don't have one, a closet away
from heat and vibration will work fine.