Discover our wine buying guide

Terry Pomerantz offers us his wine buying guide. This compact guide will help you build your basic wine cellar. Before we dive into the incredible adventure of building a wine cellar, let’s first answer a few questions!

Terry answers a few questions

It is important to make the distinction between a wine cellar and a wine cooler. A cellar can maintain the wine in conditions that are just as optimal as the winemaker’s own cellar. The cooler, on the other hand, only serves to keep wine bottles at a desired temperature. It is thus impossible to properly age a wine, even if it is a wine made for aging (or “vin de garde”) with a wine cooler.

Wine barrels were invented by the Gallic and contain anywhere from 30 to 350 liters of wine. Considering that classic wine bottles hold 750 ml, barrels can thus contain from 40 to 466 bottles

A standard wine case contains 12 bottles of wine, each of which holds 750 ml.

We usually pour 12 to 15 cl of wine per glass. So, a 75 cl (750 ml) bottle holds 5 to 6 wine glasses.

A universal wine glass usually has a 35 to 45 cl (350 to 450 ml) capacity.

Young woman about to taste a new wine in her wine cellar

How to Have the Perfect Variety in your Cellar?

You must first take into account your preferences. Even if all wines are not meant for aging, there is no reason you should deprive yourself of a good Douro, Chilean, Niagara red or Quebec white wine. 

According to Terry’s personal tastes: “the best wines for aging are those from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Tuscany and California”.

“We can begin building a cellar with fifty bottles that we purchase progressively over time. A cellar should be comprised of 65% of red wines, 25% of dry white wines and 10% of everyday wines. Look for the best value for your money. You should pick, for example, wines from Piedmont or Sicily over ones from Tuscany, a wine from Languedoc over a Burgundy, a Côte de Beaune over a Côte de Nuit. Only purchase two bottles of the same wine, one of which you drink right away and the other you can store to age, taking into account that you enjoyed the first!”

It is also important to respect your budget. “The vast majority of wines that range from $ 20 to $ 30 are those meant to be uncorked and enjoyed immediately. Wines that are good for aging, or “vin de garde”, cost more than $ 50. Most of these are reds that will only reach their full potential after 5 years”.

If your budget is too tight, do not look for wines that are meant for aging. It will be more pleasurable for you to enjoy a good bottle that you can easily afford rather than a more prestigious bottle that is not really within the limits of your budget. “It will end up being bitter tasting” assures Terry.

Defocused moving shot of red wine splashing into a glass on a dark background

Purchasing Wine Online

You can buy excellent wines online on has regular exclusives sales for members. It is the perfect opportunity to by great vintage wines.

With the Vivino application, you can simply take a picture of the label from a bottle you are enjoying either in a restaurant or at a friend’s house, and learn all about its pedigree, right there, on your smart phone. The only thing left to do will be to check for availability at the SAQ. You may also be able order it online directly from the vineyard or wine importer. 

Top view of two glasses of red and white wine, with a bottle opener, figs and cheese

An avid wine lover, Terry Pomerantz shares his love of fine bottles, guided by a responsible approach to the art of living. Discover his advice on food and wine pairing, his favorite bottles, and the ideal choices for each season and occasion. Immerse yourself in his passion and learn to fully appreciate each bottle in good company.