What to Do When Your Wine Collection Outgrows You: Wine Inventories

Nobody likes doing household inventories, but they’re a necessary part of organizing your life. So, let’s talk about a fun kind—inventorying your wine!

Surprisingly, many wine buyers (and collectors as well) put this off for as long as possible. They’re convinced they’ll remember everything they’ve accumulated, or they’re content to rely on jotting down notes of recent purchases. This works for a while, but as their collections grow, they long for a detailed list that helps them remember the what, where, when, and cost of all that wine.

If you’re one of these procrastinators, you have several options to get you started. You can use a simple spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel, or if you’re more adventurous, you could try a database program like Microsoft Access. There are also several iPad apps that perform this sort of task. No matter what you choose, it must be easy to use or you’ll just revert to old habits.

About 20 years ago, I began using a database program called FileMaker Pro to manage my collection. It allowed me to keep all the information about my purchases, from cost to consumption and absolutely everything in between. But there was a weakness in using software that’s essentially tied to a homebound computer. For instance, when I browsed through a local wine store and came upon a wine of interest that was familiar to me, I needed total recall of what I’d bought in the past, or else carry around a print-out of my inventory. I realized I needed something I could access from my iPhone.

Enter web-based CellarTracker for my computer, and the Cor.kz app for my iPhone (they also make an Android version). CellarTracker is quite comprehensive, automated to some degree, and shows a wealth of information about your wine right on the screen. Best of all, my online inventory can now be accessed via the app on my phone, and voila, everything is right there. I don’t have a financial interest in either of these products. But, you can consider me a very happy user.

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