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Choosing a Wine to Buy and Hold to Mark a Special Event

People often wonder what special bottle they should buy and hold to commemorate a big event.

Now I’m often the wrong girl to ask because I don’t save anything. You put a good bottle of wine in front of me, you can be darn sure I’m going to empty it today.

But I get it. You started a company. You closed a big deal.  You want to buy a bottle of something that you can hold, enjoy in the future and relive the moment.

Before we even talk bottles, there are two important things to consider:

1. Proper storage.

Whether it’s your own wine fridge or a professional storage unit, don’t think you can buy an expensive bottle, keep it on the floor of your closet and expect it to taste good. Sure it may surprise you, but it may also taste like vinegar.

2. Patience, Young Grasshopper

You have to be willing to wait anywhere from 5 to 10 years -- maybe more -- for some of these good bottles to age and truly be considered an investment.

If you’re still in, then what to buy?

1. Champagne

“When you close a big deal or to commemorate a great event, there's only one choice: Champagne!” says Dorothy Gaiter, senior editor at Grape Collective.  People often don't appreciate how well fine Champagnes can age.

She suggests the Pol Roger, Cuvee Winston Churchill. “It's got gravitas, elegance and the perfect amount of yummy uplift that's worthy of the marvelous feat you've just accomplished,” says Gaiter.

Related: How Much Do You Tip for a Bottle of Wine?

2. Port

Exclusively from the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal, it’s typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine.

But it lasts forever and gets better with age. And the bigger bonus: once it’s opened, you can leave it on your counter for a few months and enjoy a little every night. No need to finish it in one sitting.

3. Large Formats

For a special occasion, go for a big bottle. “Two reasons. One, they are special. And, two, they are produced in smaller quantities and so often command a premium as time goes by,” says Justin Gibbs, director at the London International Vintners Exchange, the Liv-ex, which is a global fine-wine marketplace.

Larger-format wine bottles age more slowly, and possibly even develop more complexity and nuances than wines from smaller wine-bottle sizes.

So if a regular bottle of wine is 750 ml, a magnum is double that – 1.5 liters, or two bottles.

Next size up is a Jeroboam. That’s a double magnum, which is three liters or four bottles all in one.

And consider your mainstream wines in this case: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italy and even the U.S. in some instances.

Be careful about the Bordeaux market these days. It certainly was investment grade at one point, but we have seen four years of declines, down 40 [percent from its peak, says Gibbs. (Blame China, but that’s fodder for another column.) Burgundy, Italy, and the New World (like the U.S.) are all near record highs and continue to move up.

4. Labels With Your Logo

Tons of places help you make your own wine labels these days. 

So consider putting your logo on a bottle to serve at the deal closing or to just save as a remembrance.

Check out Windsor Vineyards. They’ll help you create a label with your logo and slap it on a bottle of wine for you.

Either way, don’t overthink it.  Everyday is worth celebrating with wine – whether you closed the deal or not.

Related: The 3-Step Plan for Picking the Right Wine for Your Business Dinner