Monday, June 16, 2008

Start a wine collection of your own.

I'm not sure about you, but whenever I try to start a wine collection, I seem to open and enjoy the bottles faster than I can collect them, but David Icken, Managing Partner and Wine Director of The Capital Grille in Burlington, MA. offers suggestions to beginners on how to start their own collections.

In building a wine list for the new restaurant, opened on March 26, David sampled hundreds of selections, aiming for a diverse, value-conscious wine list. He whittled down his choices to 350 unique selections from around the world.

So, how should the wine enthusiast begin to build his own collection? David offers the following advice:

Explore Spain: Wines coming out of Spain’s Priorato region provide an excellent value because they are often still produced by small farmers rather than large estates. A $40 Rioja will often drink like a $100 bottle.

Discover Germany: The Mosul region produces some phenomenal wines for exceptional value. David especially enjoys Dr. Fischer wines, which are elegant, sweet Rieslings that balance well with seafood, such as the restaurant’s popular pan-fried calamari.

Head South: Try the Southern Hemisphere. David looks to Mendoza, in Argentina, and the Maipo Valley, in Chile, for the region’s most enjoyable wines. In Australia, David looks beyond the typical Shiraz for Pinots and Rieslings, several of which appear on the restaurant’s “Wine by the Glass” menu.

Think Beyond Napa: While David’s collection for The Capital Grille, Burlington, includes several bottles of 1999 and 2000 Napa Cabernet, two of the area’s best vintages, he also recommends Cabernet from all over California, such as from Paso Robles.

Enjoy Your Collection: While prize bottles are nice, a wine collection is a waste if it languishes in the cellar. Be sure to include plenty of $10-15 bottles you can enjoy on a regular basis.

Linda Calder Smith, owner of is an Allied ASID Interior Designer in Middleton MA, Westford MA, New England, owner of New England Fine Living, and Party Planner North of Boston. Classic New England Style or Glam Interior Design and parties have been most recently completed in Middleton, Carlisle, Andover, North Andover, Marblehead, Boston, Salem, Newburyport, Newbury, Ipswich, Westford, Boxford, Topsfield, and so many more surrounding towns!