1. Do you have your own wine collection and how many wines are there? If not, why don’t you collect wine?
    What is the most valuable wine for you and when are you going to uncork it?
    How often do you buy wine and how much?
    By what principle do you select wines for collection and for what purpose do you leave them to mature?
    What advice can you give to our readers who would like to build their own collection, where to start? 

    Janis Kalkis, President of the Latvian Sommelier Association


Yes, but it’s hard to call it a collection. I usually have 50-60 good wines at home, which I like, but they often come to me for reasons completely beyond my control. The collection still presupposes some thematicity, consistency and certain rules for the selection of wines.

I have no wine that I could call the most valuable to myself. In any case, not from a moral point of view. Of course, any wine can be estimated in monetary terms, but if you ask me which of my wines is the most expensive, I cannot answer this question, since I do not even remember exactly all the names of the wines that I have. I can uncork any bottle at any time, or I can wait another 10 years. It doesn’t really matter. I have long understood one simple thing: wine is a drink that is meant to be drunk and enjoyed from this process. I have wines that are still too young to drink, but someday their time will surely come.

I often buy wines “for every day”, but they have nothing to do with the contents of the wine cabinet. They are in an ordinary cardboard box under the table … For the wine cabinet, I usually buy wines when I travel to different countries or when I especially like some wine. But most of my “collection” is made up of the wines that were presented to me.

Almost all the wines in my closet are from three vintages: 1995, 2005 and 2012. During these years my son and daughters were born. These wines do not have any particular purpose and purpose, and I cannot say exactly when I plan to open them. Time will show.

The most important thing is to clearly understand for what purpose the collection is being assembled. It is one thing to make a money investment, and quite another to collect wines just for your own joy and pleasure. When it comes to investment, then you need to carefully study the ratings, vintages, producers, etc. If you are selecting wines for your loved one, then all you need to do is purchase a wine cabinet to ensure the correct storage conditions. And then buy wines that you like yourself and that have storage potential. And in fact, and in another case, it will not hurt to consult a specialist.

Kaspars Vesitis, sommelier of Laivas restaurant

I admit that I have my own collection of wines, but I do not want to talk about it publicly. These wines are meant for my family, relatives and closest friends. Among my wines there are also those that are designed more for specialists: sommeliers and people associated with the wine business.

The most important thing, in my opinion, is to provide the wines with ideal storage conditions. There is no need to spare money when buying a wine cabinet or building a wine cellar. The wine will thank you for sure and will pay back a hundredfold in the future.

It is very important to remember that wine does not know how to deceive. Wine marketing can praise a particular wine, boost its rating to the skies and provide producers with favorable sales prices. But the taste of wine cannot be faked. Therefore, you must always rely on your own feelings, and then no marketing can impose anything on you.

Agnese Meyersone, winner of the 2017 Latvian Sommelier Championship

I am currently in the process of forming my own collection. I think this will be a very long process that will take many years. At the moment I have about 150-200 bottles of wine and I have no plans to open them anytime soon.

I don’t think I have any bottle of wine that is more valuable to me than the rest, which I am saving for my 50th anniversary. But there are regions and manufacturers that I like more than others. For me, wines from a producer like Franz Hirztberger are very dear (especially a vineyard called Singerriedel). I tried one of the Rieslings when he was 22 years old and was still bouncy and fresh. I would even say that it was too early to drink it. He was youthful and flirtatious, but at the same time power and depth were already felt in him. I have already put aside a lot of wines from the Singerriedel vineyard, so I will try to build a solid vertical collection in the future. I also choose Piedmont wines very often, as Nebbiolo is one of my favorite grape varieties. These wines have proven time and again that they can age very elegantly.

I buy wines regularly and, perhaps, in much larger quantities than I am ready to admit. From each trip I usually bring two boxes to replenish my collection (if I travel outside Europe). And if my route passes through Europe, then these figures can be twice as high.

I select wines for my collection based only on my own taste. I do not follow wine fashions and recommendations of wine critics, and I do not seek only highly rated wines. Although, if you study the ratings of the wines in my collection, then many will turn out to be very high. I choose wines that I like and match my taste, have a high storage potential and will become even more beautiful over the years. For what purposes am I postponing them for such a long time? Let’s consider this as my kind of pension fund. There will be something to do in old age!

It seems to me that it is very important to clearly define what the collection is for. If we are talking about a serious investment, then I would advise you to seek the help of an experienced specialist who will help you solve this problem. You can fill your cellar with great and valuable wines pretty quickly. But if you want to compose your own collection and enjoy selected wines, then you need to identify for yourself which wine styles, grape varieties are your favorites. Maybe it’s Riesling, Chardonnay, Bordeaux Blend, Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Syrah. It is also very important to understand whether you will like aged wine, which will develop a lot of tertiary aromas over time. So that it does not happen that after waiting 12 years and opening a bottle of Riesling, you will not be able to drink it, since a very strong gasoline note will be felt in the wine. Check if you like aged Pinot Noir, with its aromas of dried mushrooms and forest flora, or aged champagne, in which there are no bubbles as such. Be sure to find an opportunity to taste aged wines and determine for yourself whether you like them or not. And then you will avoid a lot of disappointment in the future.


Raimonds Tomsons, director and sommelier of Vincents restaurant

We can say that I do not have a collection of wines! At the moment, I live by the principle that wine should be enjoyed here and now and share these emotions with people close to you. Wine can accompany significant moments and turns in life that will be remembered forever! I have several bottles of wine waiting for their special event.

Wine presented by people dear to me is of great value to me. Very soon, I will open a bottle of Riesling Spatlese vintage 1992 to celebrate a special occasion with a special person for me.

Very rarely. As I said, I have not yet seriously thought about creating my own collection. Therefore, all the wines I buy usually come from business trips or travels.

If I want to buy some wine, then most often this happens during my travels, when I have the opportunity to communicate directly with the winemaker and see with my own eyes the place where this wine was created. My task is to share these wines, stories about them and personal impressions with my friends. But, of course, I also have such wines that I save for special occasions and special people.

First, be sure to take care of the correct storage conditions for your wine. This should be a wine cabinet or wine cellar where the correct temperature and humidity will be maintained. There is no point in investing in wine if all the rules are not followed. The size of your wine cabinet or cellar will determine the size of your collection. Then you need to understand what kind of wine you like and whether it is suitable for long-term storage. Why spend money on wine if they will not bring any pleasure ?! Decide on the amount that you are willing to spend on compiling your collection, and to get started, seek professional advice. An experienced sommelier will tell you which wines are intended for long-term storage and where it is most convenient to buy them.