How to Build a Home Wine Collection: 6 Wines to Start With

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If you are just getting into wine, I bet you don't have a little collection of bottles at your house waiting for you when you want to pop something open. But just like how speeding to the grocery store because you need a loaf of bread is annoying, you shouldn't stay in the habit of having to run out to grab a bottle of wine every time you want one! 

To help you out, I've put together a list of the 6 types of wine to buy for your home collection when you're just starting out. These are my top 6 "staple" wines that I always seem to need for one occasion or another. Start keeping these wines at your house regularly (just 1-2 bottles of each at a time will do just fine!) and you can forget about running to the store whenever you want wine! 

1. Bubbles

Okay, so if there’s ever just ONE bottle of wine to keep at your house at all times, make it bubbly.

First of all, bubbles go with almost everything. Since it is carbonated, it can scrub away flavors in many dishes, refreshing your palate. Second, I’m a firm believer of always having sparkling wine around just in case you need to celebrate something. What if you get a big promotion tomorrow? What if your friend you haven’t seen in months pops by to surprise you? What if your kid got an A in school? These are things to celebrate! There’s nothing easier than having a bottle of sparkling wine on hand for one of those “let’s have a bottle of wine” moments. We easily forget about bubbles, thinking they are only for special occasions...but in truth they are for any occasion! Whether it’s Champagne, Cava, Prosecco or whatever, make sure you’ve got a bottle of sparkling wine available at home.

2. Chardonnay

Other than bubbles, this is the only other white wine that makes the list. That may seem surprising, but honestly...Rose will cover any other white wine situation. Chardonnay comes in all shapes and sizes, but the type of Chardonnay I’m talking about having on hand is full-bodied Chardonnay with creamy, buttery notes. Now...there’s a lot of bad Chardonnay being made in this style, but if the wine is balanced with great acidity and fruit flavors like lemon, apple, and pear...it’s a winner. This style of Chardonnay is going to pair with anything from lemon chicken to fettucine alfredo to popcorn. Apparently I eat a lot of these foods at my house because I’m always running out of Chardonnay!

3. Rosé

Rosé all day everyday! There is truth to this phrase in that Rosé pairs with almost everything, which is why you should always keep a bottle of it at your house! Rosé has flavors of a red wine but drinks like a white, making it incredibly versatile. Rosé is my go-to for daydrinking as well so...always gotta have it available. Side note on Rosé though: it doesn’t stay fresh very long (only about a year) so make sure you drink it!

4. Pinot Noir

Being the lightest of the major red grape varietals, Pinot Noir finds itself in many wine drinking situations. I personally love Pinot Noir with earthy dishes, especially ones that feature mushrooms. Other light dishes like salmon and chicken also go great with it. I actually don’t drink Pinot Noir as much as some of the other wines I’ve suggested here, but it would be really terrible to need it and not have it available. Keep one around!

5. Sangiovese

Spaghetti, anyone? I am CONSTANTLY needing to replenish my supply of Sangiovese because I’m always drinking it. You may know this grape variety better by the region it is most famous from...Chianti. Sangiovese is the most planted red grape in Italy and for a good reason...it goes so well with Italian food! The wine is high in acidity which goes great with foods that are also high in acidity...especially anything with tomatoes. Since tomato sauce is a staple in my household, I always find myself reaching for a bottle of Sangiovese over any other red wine in my house.

6. Cabernet Sauvignon

Last but not least, we can’t forget about Cabernet Sauvignon! This is the most in-demand wine in the world and the easiest wine to pour when company comes over. One of your friends may not like Sangiovese or Rosé, but he or she probably won’t complain if you give them Cab! Steak and Cab are best friends, by the way, so if you’re a meat eater like me you will find yourself sipping on it often.

There you have it my friends, these are the 6 styles of wine that I always have around and what I suggest you start out with in your home collection! Add any other styles that you love and don’t forget to try new things! As time goes on, you  will find your own wines that you need to have around all the time. Let me know in the comments below if there are any wines besides the ones I suggested that you NEED to keep at home!