Resolution 2017: Start Your Wine Cellar at Less Than $50 Per Bottle

Posted December 03, 2016

Stacy Brody


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My sister recently moved into a new house. Her move has me thinking about setting down roots, starting something permanent. It has me thinking of starting a collection from which to pull bottles for anniversaries and births, for making it this far … and sometimes, just making it through the day.

At the same time, I don’t want to crack any nest eggs by laying down a few bottles.

Fortunately, there is no need to spend $100 or more on each bottle for a new collection. Here are a few recommendations, all under $50, many under $30, to get a good cellar started. 

1. German Rieslings 

Acidity keeps these bottles holding for years. German Rieslings are often more reliable "cellarers" than many reds precisely because of that high acid, in combination with intense flavor and, in some cases, residual sugar. Best of all, these wines are relatively inexpensive! Looking to get your cellar started in 2017? You're in luck: the 2015 German Rieslings on the market are outrageous - 2015 is shaping up to be a quite historic vintage.

Check out wines from top producers like J.J. Prum, Keller, Donnhoff or Max Ferdinand Richter. Most bottles are under $50 and many under $25! In reviews from wine critic John Gilman and the reviewers from Mosel Fine Wines, you'll see many drinking windows stretching from now until the 2030s! 

Two to consider:

2015 Keller QBA Trocken Riesling Rheinhessen

2015 J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett


2. Southern France

While southern France still produces oceans of wine, star estates rise above the waves and make stellar wines at value-driven prices. Southern France has long been known for high levels of production. Now we see wines of higher quality, too. 

Estates we've loved into Domaine des Enfants and Chateau Maris.

A few to save for later:

2012 Domaine Des Enfants Perdu: a red blend including Grenache, Carignan and Syrah, and aged in half barrel and half concrete

2012 Chateau Maris Minervois La Liviniere Les Anciens: pure Carignan from the Minervois sub-appellation La Liviniere

2009 Chateau Peyros Greenwich Cuvee 43: red blend of Tannat and Cabernet Franc from southwest France


3. Cru Beaujolais

The crus of Beaujolais offer wines that are radically different than Beaujolais Nouveau. Get the 2013s and 2014s before they are all gone. These cool vintages produced classic wines with acidity, structure and intensity - three key ingredients for ageworthiness. 

Lay these two babies down:

2014 Yohann Lardy Moulin a Vent: Moulin a Vent is one of the 10 crus of Beaujolais and is known for producing bolder wines

2013 Anne Sophie Dubois Fleurie Clepsydre: Fleuris is another of the crus and is known for more elegant expressions of Gamay


4. The Loire Valley

Coming from the cool climate of northern France, Loire Valley wines have high acidity, which allows them to age soundly over years. While Sancerre has become a popular wine choice, other appellations continue to fly under the radar. In other words, they still offer amazing quality (and ageability) to price ratio.

One to jumpstart your collection:

2014 Domaine De L'Ecu Granite Muscadet: From a top producer, this wine earned a 93+ point review, with a drinking window stretching to 2030+. It's only $20. 


5. Alsace

A relatively warm and sunny region in the rain shadow of the Alps, Alsace lies on the French side of the French-German border. It is a region known for powerful whites, value-driven sparkling wines and, more recently, Pinot Noir. The single vineyard and Grand Cru wines are built to last. While some highly recognizable names fetch high prices, many family-owned estates offer astounding wines for under $50 and even under $30. 

Three to keep away from your corkscrew:

2012 Josmeyer Riesling Le Dragon: A powerful Riesling from a single parcel and produced following biodynamic methods

2014 Domaine Ostertag Fronholz Riesling: Another showstopping Riesling expressing the terroir of a single site and made following biodynamic practices

2012 Domaine Charles Baur Gewurztraminer Pfersigberg Grand Gru: Grand Cru for less than $30 can not be beat


There's no need to run your bank accounts dry to start your wine collection. Go ahead, stock up! You'll thank me on your fifth anniversary and your tenth, and heck, maybe even your twentieth. 



Item: 90879

750 mL

Retail: $34.99

$24.99 per btl

Product Label.

Chateau Maris Minervois La Liviniere...

91-93 Jeb Dunnuck - Robert Parke...

Item: 92766

750 mL

Retail: $29.99

$24.98 per btl

Item: 93896

750 mL

Retail: $45.99

$34.99 per btl

Product Label.

Domaine De L'ecu Granite Muscadet...

93+ John Gilman - View from th...

Item: 93997

750 mL

Retail: $22.99

$17.58 per btl

Product Label.

Domaine Des Enfants Perdu

91-93 Jeb Dunnuck - Robert Parke...

Item: 94440

750 mL

Retail: $29.99

$21.58 per btl

Item: 94776

750 mL

Retail: $24.99

$19.94 per btl

Item: 96464

750 mL

Retail: $32.99

$27.98 per btl

Product Label.

Josmeyer Riesling Le Dragon

93 Wine Enthusiast

Item: 96830

750 mL

Retail: $38.00

$34.99 per btl

Item: 96873

750 mL

Retail: $30.00

$24.99 per btl

Product Label.

Yohan Lardy Moulin A Vent

92 Josh Raynolds - Vinous Media

Item: 96948

750 mL

Retail: $27.99

$21.98 per btl

Item: 97058

750 mL

Retail: $48.00

$44.98 per btl