Over the years after really discovering wine when I relocated to the West Coast, I found my tiny but excellent collection of wine increasing. We all have been there, with wooden wine racks in the living room, closet, bedroom and garages. I never really though twice about why I was storing my wine bottles in that wooden wine rack in the living room, where I kept the temperature at 68-70 degrees. Why would they sell so many of them if they were bad right?
Then I started learning about the importance of keeping my wines at a lower temperature , and began rotating between the garage and interior closet. I lived in the Pacific Northwest,and could keep them relatively cool. But as time went on, my collection got more expensive, with wines that could cellar for 10-20 years, I realized it was time for accurate temperature control. But wait, thats not the only reason I decided to build a wine cellar.
Here are my top 5 reasons you need a wine cellar / closet/ refrigerator.
1. Ask anyone in the wine business and they will tell you the correct wine storage temperature is 56 degrees F plus or minus a degree. Wine kept at this temp will age properly, not spoil, and also more convenient to serving temperatures. For most reds you can take a bottle out and serve, and minimally chill whites. More on serving temperatures in a later blog.
2. For security of your expensive wines. I don’t know about you, but my wine collection is one of the most valuable things in my home. With that in mind, my wine cellar is secured with a custom solid core hardwood door and a numbered push button combination lock system.
3. Under age children. Not only do I keep my wine collection in the wine cellar, I also store my alcohol there also, in a special chamber.
4. Once you have a wine cellar, you will find yourself keeping a more accurate inventory of your wines. This is helpful, because nothing is worse than “discovering” an awesome bottle of French Bordeaux that you should have opened and enjoyed, three years previously.
5. Having a wine cellar, you now can refer to your “Smart Phone” for the decision on which of your wines you will serve with dinner this evening, walk into the wine cellar, and know exactly where it is.
6. Yep! A bonus reason! Your friends will either now realize you are a “wine geek”, or you’ll impress the hell out of them.