How do I choose how many stars a wine should have?
The star rating system is your personal system for categorizing your wine. Star ratings systems that model how you choose a wine to open work better in practice than systems that simply mimic quality rating scales like the common 100 point scale. For example a star to 100 point system might look like this:
Classic: a great wine
Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style
Very good: a wine with special qualities
Good: a solid, well-made wine
Mediocre: a drinkable wine that may have minor flaws
It might seem that a scale like this would work well but in practice stars 0, 1, 2 would rarely be used. A better approach is to think about how you go about choosing a wine from your cellar and use a star scale that makes sense for that. When it comes time to select a wine to open, you can sort by stars, scroll to the star level you're interested in, and choose something from the top of the list (which will be sorted by readiness with most ready at the top). Here is an example:
Unusual (for me) wines: port, champagne, gifts, dessert wine.
Unique, one of a kind, very special bottles.
Special occasions. Wines I selected carefully and have in limited quality.
When I want a step up from my house wine.
“Daily” or “house wine”. Usually bought in quantity. Quality can actually be quite good but I’m not saving these for any special occasion.
Wines I haven’t given a star rating to yet.
What is maturity?
For any wine you intend to cellar it’s helpful to have a span of years that you believe the wine should be opened. Though you can specify a beginning year and an end year directly (as a custom maturity), there are some built in maturity choices that make this easier (Year One, Year Two, Year Three, etc.). These built in choice are based on the vintage year of the wine. For instance a selection of Year Four for a vintage 2016 wine would mean you expect the wine to be at its best between 2020-2024.
The stars for a wine change color depending on the where the current year falls in the maturity range.
Yellow Stars: Hold
Green Stars: Best Years
Red Stars: Past its Prime
How do I decide what maturity to choose?
Many wines are made to be drinkable upon release. If you have no other information then you can choose the Year number that gives you the current year as the first year. For example let’s say you buy a just released everyday wine with vintage 2018 in the year 2020. Choosing maturity Year Two gives you the maturity years 2020-2022.
If you decide a bottle might benefit from a few years of aging you can choose a different maturity. For example, let’s say that you buy a just released wine with vintage 2018 in the year 2020 and determine through recommendations, research, experience etc. that you’d like to give it 2 more years of bottle aging before you first open it. Choosing maturity Year Four gives you the maturity years 2022-2022.
How can I use Cellar Star to organize my cellar?
Cellar star allows for multiple cellars and multiple bins within cellars. You can store bottles of a particular wine in more than one bin.
A cellar is organized by dividing the storage area up into named and/or numbered bins. Bins that hold between 12-24 bottles are ideal. If an area has only single bottles then maybe bins of 6-12 bottles would work better. For example if you store your wine in boxes, give each box a bin name. If you store wines in racks, give each rack or area in the racks a bin name.
The 12-24 bottle guideline has advantages. When you shuffle your wine around to make room for more, you can move bottles around within a bin without having to change the bin location for the wine in Cellar Star. When choosing a wine in Cellar Star you'll note the bin location. Finding a particular wine in a bin with 12-24 other bottles is pretty easy. Especially when a bin has multiple bottles of the same wine.
Reconcile - Does my physical inventory match my Cellar Star inventory?
It happens. You pull wine out of storage with every intention of updating Cellar Star. Or you move wine around or add wine without updating Cellar Star.
To get back on track you can reconcile your inventory. Tap the Sort button on the bottom toolbar and choose Reconcile. This will sort your wines on the main screen by Cellar - Bin. Verify the bottle count for each wine (adjusting if necessary) and tap the label to add a check mark. When all labels are checked move on to the next bin.
Adjusted bottle count
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