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Starting a wine collection or cellar? When you have a collection, you have a go-to bottle for every occasion. Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or a wine lover who’s looking to expand their palate, beginning or expanding upon your collection ensures that you’re never left without a trusty bottle of wine.  

Every good wine collection has its staples. While we could just stock up on our favorite brand, isn’t it better to be a little adventurous? Part of the appeal of a wine collection is trying new kinds, learning more about wine origins and flavors, and having a different type for every night and event.

So in order to get some real versatility and intrigue in your collection, you need the five must-haves no matter what. As long as you have the five essential types of wine at all times, you’re golden.

The Fab Five

Why are these five wine categories so important? Because you have to be prepared. Long day at work? There’s a wine for that. Did your mom make a surprise visit? There’s a wine for that too… as long as you have them stocked.

So without further ado, here are the fabulous five must-have wines for your collection:

The Weeknight Wine

You spilled coffee on your lap during the morning commute, your boss yelled at you this afternoon, and the reports you needed didn’t get done on time. You need a night of television, relaxation, and of course, wine. It’s so important to have a weeknight wine because you never know when you’re going to need it. So as you’re making your dinner and getting ready to turn on your favorite Shonda Rhimes show, make sure you have a wine in your collection that’ll help take the edge off.

The weeknight wine you choose depends on your preferences. First, figure out whether you like whites, reds, or pinks the best. After a long day, do you prefer a refreshing flavor, a fruity one, or a dry one? Some of the most popular weeknight wines include Chardonnay, Rosé, and Cabernet Sauvignon because they’re not too pricey and they go great with different dinner options. Feel free to try different flavors and select your favorite through process of elimination.

The Dinner Party Wine

It’s Friday night and you’re ending the week with a gathering of all your closest friends. Everyone’s excited to end the week with a night of conversation, board games, and (you guessed it) wine. When you host this party, you need to make sure that you’re stocked with a wine that they’ll want to keep drinking all night.

Dinner party wine should be upscale, but casual enough for a fun gathering. You don’t have to break out a $400 bottle from Italy, but try to find a wine that is just classy enough to hit the sweet spot. Some reliable options for dinner party wine include Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir.

The Seasonal Wine

Nothing’s better than a wine that epitomizes a season. When you’re drinking a seasonal wine, you feel all the great things that each season brings. In the winter, nothing’s better than a wine that warms you up. And in the summer, you want something refreshing. Here’s a breakdown of the best wines for each season:

Winter

  • Full-bodied reds (pair well with hearty dishes)
  • Sparkling wines (great for the holidays)
    • Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oaked Chardonnay, Malbec

Spring

  • Lighter, aromatic wines
    • White blends, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Moscato

Summer

  • Crisp whites (to quench your thirst)
  • Chilled easy-drinking reds
    • Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Merlot, Riesling

Fall

  • Full-bodied whites and light-bodied reds (complement the cooler weather)
    • Soft red blend, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Viognier

Make sure that before each season starts, you have plenty of seasonal wine to enjoy out on the porch or inside by the fire.

The Night Out Wine

It’s Saturday night and you’re ready to let loose and hit the bars with friends you haven’t seen in a while. But who needs to buy $10 drinks when you can warm yourself up with some wine before you leave?

The night out wine should be fun, light, and fruity to get you in the mood for a few hours of fun. These wines are usually crowd favorites that go down easily. So before you and your friends head out the door, visit your wine collection and pop open a bottle of Pink Moscato, Rosé, White Zinfandel, or Merlot.

The Special Occasion Wine

Special occasion wines are those wines that you refuse to break out unless something monumental happens. These are the times when you go to the back of your collection and dust off the 5-year-old beauty that you’ve been saving.

If your sister just had her first baby or your significant other announces their new big promotion, you need that go-to special occasion wine that is a tier above all the rest. The special occasion wine you pick depends on your budget, the places you’ve visited, and your flavor preferences. As long as you find a wine that is at high enough of a caliber to be considered for a special occasion, you can take liberties with your choice.

Diversifying Your Collection

Using this guide, you’ll know how to pick all of your staples. When you have at least one wine for each of these crucial five categories, you can begin to expand your collection even further. To find different types if your fab five is running low or you want to throw in some new varietals, research different wines. This will help you stock your shelves and learn a little more while you’re at it.

When you’re trying to find a new wine or brand, look into its origin, ratings, price, vineyard location, and tasting notes. After this, you can make an informed decision based on your preferences, and you’ll be sure to love every bottle that’s in your possession.

Bottles on Bottles…on Bottles

And there you have it — the fabulous foundation for your new wine collection. Hopefully you now have plenty of insight to find the wine you’re looking for while trying some new ones along the way. Most importantly, you can now be sure that you’ll never be caught without the right bottle, no matter what comes up in your life. Wine is a staple of social gatherings, great meals, and important events, so why not take advantage of that by having a comprehensive collection at your fingertips?

While there are plenty of options for places to buy wine, why not buy all the wine you need online in just a few clicks? Find a bottle for each of these categories, along with many more, on WTSO.com at any time.