Proper storage of wine has always been an issue for people who take pride in collecting it. This is because there are a number of factors that affect how well these precious brews can be preserved.
Traditionally, wine was stored in cellars which were often part of aristocratic homesteads. Most times members of the royal class brought different vintage drinks from various parts of the globe. It was not unusual for a brand to have been in a family for decades.
The reason that these drinks could last that long was because of the place and way they were stored. Most Oenophile, (one who enjoys and is quite knowledge about wine) in modern times may have the desire to build such collections (that would last for decades) but not all can. This is mainly due to the types and brands that are available these days and also storage accessories.
In this article, we would discuss some modern/contemporary wine storage accessories such as wine cellar refrigeration split system and a few others.
Best Places to Store Wine At Home
Unless you operate a wine shop or collect them professionally, there might be no need to go all out for special storage facility. That being said however, if you spend considerable part of your income on exotic brews and sparkly bubblies, then you need to spend a little more on storage space and accessories.
Some people decide to dedicate one room in their home to proper storage of their collection. Others make do with a closet or an enclosed space that is known as a cellarette. Some other still go a step further to include wine caves or cellars in the blueprint of their home.
All this just to ensure that the storage space would have the right temperature, humidity, light and other conditions necessary to keep the drink intact for long.
For people who are really space constrained, there are racks and other systems that are designed to maximize space while storing the wine well.
Thankfully, everyone has options that they can rely on to keep and enjoy their collections.
List of Wine Storage Accessories
Listed below are some accessories that can help to enhance the storage of your bottles:-
Ductless Split System Refrigeration
This is a cooling system that helps to regulate the temperature of the storage space. Its features include the following:-
- Ideal choice for places where your collection is served regularly; this means that you do not intend to leave the drink to age. You just need proper storage for your brew that you can serve to friends or family or for special occasions.
- Works perfectly for rooms that are already built or rooms that have brick or concrete wall. It’s also ideal for rooms that don’t have space for ducting.
- It operates quietly
- Comes with evaporator that is mounted on the wall.
- It is controlled by a digital thermostat that has large display.
Just as the name implies, this appliance helps to regulate the humidity in the storage space. There are different models and designs of this appliance and the one you use for your space would depend on the following:
- The external and internal temperature of the storage space
- Also similar to the first point is the weather/climate of the region where you reside.
- The size of the space.
- Personal preference/budget
Wine Cooler or Refrigerator
This appliance is similar to a regular fridge but different in the sense that it keeps your drink at a consistent temperature. This is quite different from a regular fridge which keeps contents cold and dry. It should be noted that this appliance is suitable for short-term storage.
Questions to ask before you purchase any brand or model include the following:-
- Is it designed in a way that makes for ease of keeping and retrieving your bottles?
- What are the shapes of the bottles you have and how would they fit into the cooler?
- Would the overall design make for ease of use?
- What about the door? Is it UV-resistant? This is a necessary feature because it helps keep sunrays out which is one condition for prolonging the shelf life of wine. You can check this out for more details on proper storage : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storage_of_wine
- How does the door swing? And is it a clear, tinted or tempered glass door? Each of these features has their advantages and disadvantages.
- How many temperature zones does it have? This important because you may want to store whites at different temperature from reds.
- Do they come with humidity control?
This is a device that monitors the power, humidity and temperature in your storage room/space. Once it detects a reading outside the humidity or temperature range that was set, it would send alerts electronically (text, email or phone call).
This is so important for aficionados who have designated cellars that people do not stroll into like other rooms in the house. And even if people go into the room from time to time, they may not easily notice any change in the humidity or temperature of the room.
These are LED lights that are mostly installed in wine cabinets that are kept in a dark corner of a room. Storage cabinets for wines are kept as dark as possible because UV rays from sunlight can destroy the volatile ingredients in the drink.
So a dimmer light would serve to regulate the lighting in the cabinet and also ensure ease of access when one needs a bottle.
These dimmer lights come in different designs and with varying levels of digital pizazz.
These are alternatives to wine cabinets and are very practical for people who are space constrained or not inclined to use up much space to store their collection.
There are many designs and styles of racks; so many that you would be spoilt for choice. There are cable wine systems, top quality wood racks, metal racks and combination racks. All these come in different shapes and sizes and can also be customized to the customer’s taste.
Check this post out for more innovative designs and ideas.
A Few Wine Tips for Newbies
We have been addressing folks that we assume have some knowledge about wine. But in this segment we want to throw in some bonus points for those who know next to nothing about wine.
Make Sure You Have Good Stemware
Stemware is the name for different type of wineglasses. Make sure you invest in pretty good ones that would last long. Medium sized bowls in a glass makes it versatile; this means that you can use it for all types of wine. Thin rims on the other hand have been touted to make your bubbly taste better.
When you buy good quality stemware, ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instruction. As a rule of thumb though, most experts advise that wineglasses be washed by hand instead of in the dishwasher.
Get Essential Wine Tools
Here are the essential tools you must have as you start out your journey as a wine enthusiast:-
- Wine sleeves that are filled with gel- These must always be in your freezer so that you can use them to quickly keep your bottles cool or chill the drink.
- Buy a comfortable and easy to use wine opener or a lever style corkscrew.
- Non- drip pourers. This would ensure that you can pour your drink without fear of spillage.
Ensure That You Always Have House Wines
These are drinks that are not so expensive that you’ll think twice before opening them but are not ‘cheap’ either. These bottles should convey a sense of class to your friends when they come for a hangout at yours or to company on Sunday afternoon/evening.
Examples of such wines are whites such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and reds such as Rioja and Merlot.
Ensure You Have Proper Storage
If you must be counted as an Oenophile, then you must be ready to invest in storage. You cannot just keep them on top of your fridge because the heat from the fridge and its vibration can spoil the wine.
You need to keep your bottles in a dark and temperature controlled space. If you are space constrained, you can keep your bottles in a closet. However, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to do a thorough research on how to store your bottles properly.
Take Out Time To Study Wine
Since you have decided to become an Oenophile, you should have a journal for notes on everything about wine or you can use an app. Learn to take notes of your impression about any wine you come in contact with.
Note the brand, where it was produced and by whom, the price range, the name and the flavors and aroma. You should also have short notes that would serve as a summary of the wine and which menu it went down well with.
If you are using an app, this would be very easy to do and best of all, the app would help you note your favourites and keep track of them.
Befriend Experts and Salespersons
Do not be shy to ask questions from experts and salespersons in wine stores. Ask what type of wine to order for/with different menus and occasion/time.
Also ask them to add you to their mailing list so that you are aware of every sales and event that they have. And don’t forget attending free tasting sessions; this would also help you to build both your knowledge base and your collection.
Good Quality Drink Can Come In A Box
Oenophiles have a tendency to be snobbish about the package in which their brew comes. In days gone by, it was assumed that good quality wine would never come in a box; but gone are those days.
High end producers world over now make the financially wise decision to make some great quality brew in boxes. These types come in handy for single servings or for cooking and they lasts for a while too!
Similarly, sparkling, spritzers, white, red and rosé also come in cans now.
We’ve gone to quite some details about wine in this article. We believe that the information here is comprehensive enough to help you find proper storage and accessories for your exotics brews, sparkling et al.