Every wine enthusiast reaches that crucial moment in their drinking regimen when simply having a go-to bottle on hand just doesn’t cut it anymore-- congratulations! You’ve graduated from the ‘go-to bottle’ to the ‘go-to case’ class! So where exactly does one start when building a go-to case of wine? Follow these six tips from our in-house Master Sommelier, Dustin Wilson, to curate an impeccable selection of wines to keep on hand at all times!
Keep It Balanced
Having a go-to case of wine on hand means that you’re ready for any occasion that may arise, so diversity matters. Keeping your case balanced with a mixture of reds, whites, and bubblies (and perhaps a bottle or two of rosé!) means you’ve got yourself covered, no matter what your guests’ preferences, dinner menu, or potential mood may dictate. A classic 4-4-4 case of red, white, and sparkling is most common, though swapping out a bottle for something pink is definitely encouraged.
Mix Your Regions and Varieties
Although balance is key, variety within balance is what makes a case exciting. Selecting an array of growing regions and grape varieties assures that you get the most out of your case experience, especially if you take a chance on a new bottle. Although we definitely recommend going with what you love, adding a staff recommendation or two to your case could open up a whole new world. Who knows, you might just find your new favorite bottle!
Light, Full, and Everything in Between
An impeccably curated case assures that you have all of your bases covered, so whether it’s steak on the grill, fresh seafood and salads, or a simple aperitif on the patio, you have that perfect bottle ready to go. Within your selection, be sure to have a variety of light and full bodied bottles. For whites, a solid example of ‘body diversity’ could be found in a Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc selection. For reds, a lighter Pinot Noir, medium-bodied Sangiovese, and two fuller-bodied bottles-- think Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Nebbiolo-- would also depict a classic example of ‘body diversity.’
Daily Drinkers Are Essential!
Sometimes, you just want to drink without thinking. Here at Verve, we are huge proponents of ‘Daily Drinkers,’ AKA, delicious, affordable bottles to sip on the regular. Having a go-to bottle of something you know you love is always a safe bet. We recommend finding yourself a ‘Daily Drinker’ in each category (red, white, rosé, and bubbly) for no-frills, enjoyable sipping.
However, There's Always Room for Something Special
When building a case, it’s not a bad idea to throw a bottle or two of something nice in there. If you happen to stumble upon something really special, grab two. Pop one open to drink now and lay the other one down in the cellar to watch the magic unfold. Your future case-building self with thank you!
Variety Is Key
A varied case is a happy case. Building your selection with an array of regions, bodies, and grape varieties assures that you’ll be well-equipped for any wine-demanding situation that comes your way. However, once you find a ‘daily drinker’ that you love, having a full case of said wine on hand isn't a bad idea! Not only does the bottle become your own personal ‘house wine’-- it also becomes your go-to bottle for informal gifting, dinner parties, and happy hours at friends’ places. Sharing is caring, after all, and perhaps someone else will love the wine just as much as you do!