Cellar notes #27: Finders keepers

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Like twitchers and other anoraks, wine collectors love nothing more than looking for that something special.

Like twitchers and other anoraks, wine collectors love nothing more than looking for that something special. In their case, this happens while browsing shelves or the internet for a case of wine to lay down for subsequent cooing over. For those without the time or space, there are a variety of off-the-peg cellar plans, payable as a one-off or by monthly instalments (typically of around £100), and formulated by some of the top wine merchants in the country.

At least half the battle is selecting a wine merchant with a first-rate service and a cherry-pickable range of fine wines, the right sort to lay down. But a good merchant will also offer correct storage conditions, friendly advice on what to drink and when, accurate descriptions and, increasingly, an interactive website with access to viewing your wine portfolio. Some merchants will even open an account for children or grandchildren and buy back or advise on realising your investment.

Berry Bros & Rudd's Cellar Plan aims to secure young wines that will benefit from time, including parcels of wines that are only available in limited quantities, such as en primeur bordeaux, burgundies or vintage ports. For more details, see www.bbr.com or call 01256 340123.

Justerini & Brooks offers four types of cellar, each with new releases of France's finest and free storage for two to four years - email joss.fowler@justerinis.com or ring 020-7484 6400. Other tempting cellar plans include Lay & Wheeler's Bin Club (0845 330 4085) and Jeroboams' Cellar Plan (call James Wormall on 020-7235 6468).

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