KonMari for Wine? Well, They Both Spark Joy
January 29, 2019
Over the long winter days tucked up in front of the fireplace, I’ve been watching porn.
No, not that kind of porn…..organizing porn! And it’s seriously swoon-worthy.
Netflix released the original series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on January 1, and sparked more than joy. For anyone living under a rock, Marie Kondo is the Japanese decluttering (or “tidying”) phenom who has published The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy. Her books, videos, and licensed consultants have definitely catalyzed a movement in decluttering by category instead of location. Anything that does not “spark joy” for the owner is relegated to donations, recycle, or trash. As a result, thrift stores are experiencing a larger than usual surge in January donations as people rid themselves of their joy-less possessions.
For one of her categories – books – she was thought to have made an offhand remark about 30 being the most books a person should have. This did not sit well with book lovers, who have flooded social media with declarations that ALL their books are a source of joy and will be guarded as such. (And for the record, she did not tell everyone to get rid of all but 30 books; that is HER personal number.)
But what if we think of it another way?
People who are ready to purge their libraries are bringing more joy to book lovers who are headed to used book stores and thrift shops to search for treasures. Old books go to new homes to bring delight to their second owners.
What if that’s also true for wine?
Tasting beautifully crafted, aged wine is a peak experience for many wine drinkers. Once you’ve had it, you’re on the lookout to repeat the experience. The problem is that you don’t just walk into the grocery store and buy a 10 year old cabernet. Some restaurants have old wines on their lists, but most have a price tag resembling a car payment. So how do you get your hands on those mature beauties and still pay the mortgage?
One possibility is to buy them yourself, and hang on to them for a decade or more. That works well if you’re patient. (I’m not.)
Another possibility is to buy them…..already aged! (Here’s where KonMari comes in.)
Just like a reader’s book collection can outgrow their shelves, a wine drinker’s bottles can outgrow their storage area. Unlike books, wine is not typically dropped off for donation to charitable organizations. (If it were, I’d start one tomorrow!!) How can anyone get rid of their carefully collected, curated, lovingly cared for bottles? For starters:
- Tastes change. A wine drinker who once loved rich, luscious reds may now prefer crisp, bright whites.
- Families who inherit a collection may not want or have space for the bottles, or may not choose to consume alcohol.
- Downsizing and moving may impact the amount of wine a collector can keep.
- Health concerns or new medications may reduce wine consumption dramatically.
- A wine may increase in so much in value that it becomes an asset to sell, either for cash or to invest in other wine.
Due to alcohol regulations, collectors typically must use an intermediate wine broker to sell their wine. Most “fine and rare wine” that comes from personal cellars is sold through online and/or brick-and-mortar auction houses. Purchasing wine through an auction from Zachys or Christie’s can be both thrilling and intimidating. Shopping on Winebid.com[i] provides an easier way to start from the comfort of your couch.
Every week, Winebid.com hosts a seven-day auction ending Sunday nights, 7 p.m. Pacific Time. Much like eBay, there are both traditional auctions and “Buy it Now’ options. Online bidding is simple, allowing the bidder to place a maximum bid on a particular “lot” (which could be one bottle or many) and to track notifications as the auction progresses. Winning bids have a buyer’s premium (Winebid.com’s fee, currently 17% of the sale or “hammer” price.) Wines can be picked up at one of their warehouses, shipped immediately, or stored in Winebid.com’s cellars for a small monthly fee. Standard ground shipping runs around $25-$35 per case.
You don’t have to buy only expensive “fancy” wines through auctions. In fact, purchasing older, lesser known wines can be a great way to acquire some treasures of your own, sometimes for less than a comparable bottle from a recent vintage would cost.
I’ll be heading over to Winebid.com now, searching for the wines that no longer spark joy for their current owners. Let’s raise a glass (and an auction paddle) to new adventures in wine buying!
[i] Post contains affiliate links.