There are so many types of collections and so many types of collectors. I've seen and met a lot of them. One who collected stamps, had only one and every single one he looked at it and looked at it. Another who collected shells, had so many that he left them directly on the beach. And one who collected only wine labels, without the bottle, indeed when he bought a fine bottle at auction emptied it in the sink anxious to detach the label for his collection, and one that collected bottles of wine full, very valuable but before putting them in the cellar, he took the label off us. Upon his death, family members found a collection of nearly 35,000 bottles of priceless value, presumed because they were not labelled.
But the most fascinating collection is that of wines that you buy to collect and a moment before you arrange them in a perfect temperature-controlled cellar you decide to open them and drink them. I'm one of them. My wine collection is priceless. I tried to get it evaluated at Christie's or Sotheby's but when they came to see it they found an empty cellar, in fact there was no cellar. They asked me what it signified and I replied that the wine was there, a moment ago, but just when I was going to store it in its dedicated compartment, I decided to drink it. Like this, every single time. Because at the end, what changes, I told them. Sooner or later it was going to be drunk, wasn't it? I just anticipated the timing. So here I have extraordinary high-quality bottles in my collection. A moving Cheval Blanc from 66, an immortal Clos Saint Jacques 1985 by Armand Rousseau, not to forget that 1985 Monfortino. Where are those bottles now? I collect them in my memory. A Krug Collection of '85 rests on the second shelf to the right of my memories, right at the height of that pub of Via Merulana in Rome at 3 a.m. and the bottle uncorked after a pint of Guinness and served in plastic cups. As well as that Mission Haut-Brion drunk on the sidewalks of the Colosseum at 4 a.m. paired with a porchetta sandwich.
It is my private collection of wine memories, kept in the secret shelves of the cellar of my memory. It's priceless, and no one can steal it.