About 25 years after becoming a serious wine collector, Scot Six had accumulated a collection of about 14,000 bottles. With a collection this big, Six was in desperate need of an easy-to-use app that would make organizing and keeping track of his collection more simple. “I was looking for something to make it easier to navigate my wine,” he says. Vinfolio introduced Six to the VinCellar app, and it quickly transformed the way he used his collection. As Six explains, VinCellar is an absolutely essential tool for serious collectors who own hundreds or thousands of bottles, yet one that is easy enough for a casual user to pick up quickly. Any collector who wants to look at their cellars from a variety of perspectives will benefit from using the VinCellar app.
Spreadsheets Are a Thing of the Past
Before he started using the cellar management app VinCellar, Scot Six’s Achilles heel was his hand-crafted spreadsheets. Six tried uploading all 14,000 of his bottles into a single document, but soon discovered he was in over his head. He spent two weeks entering information on every bottle into the spreadsheet, eventually filling up more than 20 pages of data. In the end, he says his efforts were for naught; he still couldn’t search his entire database quickly by varietal, region, or price, and all of the information was trapped on his home computer. For collectors who have more wine bottles than Six, making their own spreadsheets can take months, and there’s no guarantee that the end result will be particularly useful.
With free cellar management apps like VinCellar, there is absolutely no reason to use your own spreadsheets anymore. Excel-type spreadsheets are a hassle to use on a daily basis, and require more maintenance than most collectors have time to handle. Six says, “VinCellar is super user-friendly. If it wasn’t easy to use, I would’ve dropped it.” Part of what makes the app easy to use for serious collectors is Vinfolio’s upload service option. When a collector stores his wine with Vinfolio’s storage facility, experts automatically upload every wine bottle onto the app, with absolutely no effort required from the collector. Alternatively, collectors with home cellars can manually upload their wines to the app as they would with a traditional spreadsheet, but without having to build the sheet from scratch or constantly update it based on market price changes.
After uploading wine vintages to the app, users can navigate to the “My Inventory” page, where they are given the option to search their collection by varietal, region, price, rating, and vintage. The app also updates wines according to current auction prices and average market worth. The key to the app’s success is speed, which is vastly superior to spreadsheets. In a spreadsheet, collectors are often forced to search the sheet by keywords; with VinCellar, wines can be automatically sorted according to a wide range of criteria with the click of a button. Vinfolio Manager of Collector Services Derek Cienfuegos adds that once collectors have consumed a bottle of wine in their collections, VinCellar can scan the bottle’s barcode from the collector’s phone, removing the bottle from the online inventory and prompting the collector to provide tasting notes on-the-spot.
VinCellar’s Psychological Benefits
Scot Six says that after he made the switch to VinCellar, his brain thanked him; he was able to concentrate on his wine without the mind-numbing monotony of entering numbers into a spreadsheet. The wine app gives collectors a way to objectively compare the value of their wines without forcing them to perform hours of research themselves. In addition, the app can give collectors a better sense of their identity as collectors; it shows them whether they collect more wine from Bordeaux or Napa Valley, and even whether they favor producers that are losing ground on the overall market. Without an app that makes this information readily available, collectors might stress over these questions, rather than taking meaningful action to fix problem areas. Six says the app “allows you to look at your data in a macro way,” which significantly improves confidence in a collection.
One aspect that collectors like Six say they love most about VinCellar is that these options are entirely mobile; your collection can come with you everywhere as long as you have your phone or laptop. Let’s say you’re at dinner with friends, and you’re discussing the state of Margaux on the market. With VinCellar, you can find out up-to-the-minute information on how your Margaux vintages are performing, and research prices on the wines your friends recommend. Without the app, you might have stressed about the value of your bottles through the entire dinner, but now you have all the information you need at your fingertips. The mobile app is especially helpful during live wine auctions, since it allows you to compare how much a vintage is going for on the market to what the broker is selling it for, ensuring that you always get a fair price.
A Breadth of Knowledge
Six explains that new collectors sometimes tend to buy too many older wines, realizing years later that they actually prefer drinking wines on the younger side. VinCellar makes it easy to pinpoint the wines in a collection that no longer meet your tastes, and switch them out for bottles that better reflect your current preferences. Scot Six says that in his 25 years as a collector, he has seen his own tastes change dramatically, which is partly why he owns so many different types of wine in his current collection. Like most collectors, he tends to over-buy wine that he might never get around to drinking, but notes that VinCellar makes it easy for him to see which bottles he likely won’t get to try. With this information in hand, he can take immediate action, either selling the bottles or giving them away.
VinCellar also has a huge database of ideal wine drinking dates, making it the perfect option for collectors who have a wide range of wines in multiple vintages. Collectors can see older bottles that might have been forgotten, giving them the option of dealing with the wine before it spoils. To use the VinCellar app effectively, take a macro look at your collection at least once every quarter, if not once a month, to ensure that you’re not forgetting bottles that are drinking right now. The wine app makes it easy to search for bottles by suggested drink date, giving you a comprehensive look at the bottles that need to be immediately sold or drunk.
Six was immediately impressed with the number of wines available on the app’s database, as he was able to dive into his favorite regions, varietals, and vintages with few, if any, gaps in the data. When Six first started using the cellar management app, he looked into some of the older Spanish wines in his collection, expecting only a handful of them to be in the app’s database. Instead, he was surprised to find that nearly all of them were already listed in the app; all he had to do was click on the wine to add it to his online account. “The completeness of the data is what makes it special,” Six says. Too many wine apps have gaps, which lessens the functionality of the app as a complete database for a collection.
Six says the best wine apps are those that work for every type of collection, not just his own. He says, “I don’t think you need a huge collection to get value out of VinCellar. I think it’s helpful for anybody.” As Six points out, collectors rarely know what kind of collector they will be when they get started with wine. Even small-time, amateur collectors will want to use the best tools on the market before they grow their collections. Using a cellar management app like VinCellar allows collectors to avoid the pitfalls that are common among beginning collectors: spoiled wine, lack of cellar identity, and poor market investments. While many wine apps focus on just one of these issues, VinCellar handles each area equally well, making it an essential tool for collectors of every experience level.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the world’s finest wine.