How to Start a Wine Collection and a Cellar to Match

Wine collecting often starts as a casual hobby, accumulating a few bottles here and there, waiting for the perfect time or occasion to open them. Then, one day these bottles have exploded to more than just a few and you now have a serious passion…or obsession.

When this realisation hits, it’s time to start cellaring to get the most out of these wines. To create the perfect cellar, systems and infrastructure need to be put in place.

The Royal Mail Club has expertly cellared thousands of bottles over 40 years. Here are some helpful tips and answers to our most frequent ‘ask the somm’ questions.

Your Wine Collection

Where to buy, what to buy, when to keep and when to drink, are just a few of the questions we’ve heard over the years.

If it’s time to add more bottles to your racks, we’d ask what kind of drinker you are. Do you wait for special occasions to crack a long-awaited bottle? Or do you enjoy a great bottle of wine, while relaxing on the couch during the week?

Sommeliers Peter and Matthew can put together a range of wines that suit your tastes and needs. The Royal Mail Club team suggests buying at least two bottles of each drop. If you love it, you’ve got another, if it’s too young, you can drink the other down the track – it’s the perfect system.


Our sommeliers are available to answer any questions on the correct time frame for ageing your wines. The time in which wines need to age varies from short to medium to long term. It is also important to remember an inferior wine cannot be made better through the ageing process. Ageing is to make a good bottle, great.

Wine Storage

Cellars can be set up anywhere from under-utilised cupboards or garages, even small apartments can house a decent cellar. The enemies of wine are light and temperature fluctuation. A cellar avoiding these two elements will keep your wines in great condition.

To take your cellar to the next level, the perfect temperature is an ambient 18 degrees Celsius. Building strong racks is also a great place to start. This will allow you to store your corked bottles on their sides, ensuring the cork doesn’t dry out and begin to let oxygen in.

Keeping Track of Your Cellar

As you add more and more racks to your cellar, keeping track of what you’ve recently bought or consumed can easily run away.

Analogue methods like keeping a note book or bottle neck labels, romance the cellar and offer a great keepsake of your collection, past, present and future.

Meanwhile, modern times call for modern solutions. There are a number of wine cellaring apps on the market, which provide all your cellaring needs. These apps track the history of your cellar, fill your racks, record your tasting notes and pro ratings from world guides and pair dishes with every wine. Apps include, Vinoteka, Cadent wineCellar and VinoCellar.

Any further questions on starting your collection or cellar, please feel free to contact Peter and Matthew at hello@royalmailclub.com.au


Open Wednesday to Sunday – our phone lines are often busy, if your enquiry is not urgent please email us at relax@royalmail.com.au

Aboriginal Flag

In the spirit of reconciliation, Royal Mail Hotel acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Custodians of the land we are on, the Gunditjmara and Eastern Maar Peoples and their elders past, present and future. Continue reading.