Thursday, June 12, 2014

Home Wine Cellar, Part 2: Storage

Why did the size of our wine cellar increase beyond 18 bottles, which was sufficient to meet our daily needs? 

Well, frankly, it was not a conscious decision. It just happened! As we became more familiar with wine and the impact that aging can have on better wines, we began to buy multiple bottles of wines. One to enjoy now and more to enjoy later.

A great conundrum is realizing that the wine being tasted today may not be available tomorrow and trying to decide how many bottles to buy to be able to continue to enjoy the wines.

One of my personal rules of wine shopping is never buy a single bottle of wine. Buy wine in pairs. If it is good enough to buy today, I will want to enjoy it again. Buying wine like this naturally increases the number of bottles that are maintained. A really great wine at a really great price point may mean that a case needs to be purchased to lay down and to have for later. 
No, This isn't my Wine Cellar

It have to admit that for good wines, it is a lot of fun to watch a wine develop. And, it is educational. We are watching a wine that we helped develop mature in the bottle. It is a 2009 vintage from Virginia and it has changed significantly from when it was first bottled and sold.

Changing the way wine is purchased means that wine holdings just naturally begin to increase, incrementally over time and then, suddenly, there are cases of wine crammed into closets. Ultimately, I would love to have a real wine cellar like the one in the image--but I have neither the space nor the money for such an ornate cellar. Something, however,  has to be done or good money will be wasted on wine that will go bad in the bottle.
Small wine Refrigerator

Three words:

Storage, storage, storage.

Start small. Buy an inexpensive wine refrigerator that holds 50 or more bottles. That will provide two of the most important aspects of managing a small collection: darkness and consistent temperature. 

Light and fluctuating temperatures are known enemies of wine. A small wine refrigerator allows the wine collection to be maintained, even near the kitchen or on the main level of a house, where temperatures fluctuate and sunlight is present.

As enjoyment of wine increases, we have found that having a selection our favorites on hand is always preferred to running out to the wine shop for something fast. Having a modest cellar has increased our wine enjoyment immeasurably because we always have something on hand suitable for everyone's personal tastes.

-- Bob and Christina Doan, Elkridge, MD

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