Walter was delighted by the steady drumbeat of UPS deliveries to his front door, but somehow—he doesn't know how—his collection grew to over 5,000 bottles. He rationalized that the math says if you drink a bottle every night, that's only about 15 years' worth of wine—and he's got more than 15 years left to go—but it doesn't really work out that way. He started to feel like the wine owned him.
Having too much wine, as he said, "is a good problem to have." It's not life or death. It's not even close. But it's still a problem, and that begs the question: Is this really a good problem to have?
From a practical perspective, Walter was in an untenable situation. His walk-in locker at the storage place was jammed and crammed from floor to ceiling, from front to back, in a jerry-rigged 3-dimensional game of Tetris that kind of works in the sense that it all fit, but when he needed to get a particular bottle for a dinner, it was a half-day commitment. Sometimes he would sheepishly apologize and bring something that was closer at hand. And if you can't get to a bottle, what's the point in even having it? And, to some degree, he started looking back at his wine collection like I look at my old vinyl record collection. I used to love Punk Rock when I was in my 20s. Not so much anymore. Tastes change. I don't hate Punk Rock now, but I don't choose to listen to it very often.