Have you ever purchased fine wine and wondered where to store it? While few of us buy wine as an investment to fill a wine cellar, we want to take the same care for our wine as the vintner who made it for us. There is a range of options from the simple to urbane depending on how we store and serve the popular beverage.
Wooden Racks: “The worst thing you can do is put a little, six-bottle wine rack on top of your refrigerator,” says Beau Farrell of Haskell’s. “Wine is sensitive to heat, light and oxygen. You are better off laying the bottles on their side under your sink, or putting a cardboard case of bottles on its side in your basement next to an outer wall.” Wine racks are easy to find but the trend is toward enclosed cabinets, says Debbie McKee of Cabinets by Choice.
A Cabinet in the Kitchen: Jeff Hagen of VinGrotto Wine Cellar Construction, says kitchens are okay for a short-term storage. “It is better to store wine in a cabinet at a constant 60-degree temperature than to cool it to 50 degrees and allow it to vary in temperature even five degrees above and below.”
Wine Chillers: “We are seeing more use of Viking and Sub-Zero wine chillers in the kitchen,” according to McKee. Hagen says chillers are good for “keeping a few bottles handy for a couple of months. However, chillers introduce vibration from the motor and from just walking around. They may not control humidity and are not optimal for long-term storage.”
Bar Area or Pantry: McKee says wine connoisseurs are getting away from the kitchen and installing chillers in their bar area or pantry. Sub Zero makes a tall dual-zone unit for storing whites and reds at different temperatures.
Make a Space in Your Basement: Minnesota basements are “tough to beat for aging wine,” says Jeff Hagen. “You can buy a case of very good wine and keep it in a small wine room in your basement for five to seven years without any damage whatsoever because ground temperature is a constant 55 degrees even in the summer when it may be 100 degrees outside.” Hagen says to build a small wine room in the corner of your basement with framing for the two outer walls, a vapor barrier, insulation and a door. Be sure to check with an expert to get your vapor barriers on the correct side or you will get mold. You can finish the project off by picking up an exterior-grade door at your local lumber retailer. Beau Farrell says that is what he has in his home.
Wine Cellars: A good Bordeaux is not ready to drink for seven years, according to Hagen. “You would not want to expose it to vibration, ultraviolet light or temperature change. You also need humidity controls to ensure the cork will not dry out.” He says living near an airport, a highway or a railroad would rule out a wine cellar.
Below are some local businesses that may be able to help you get started.
Cabinets by Choice
3300 Gorham Ave
Saint Louis Park, MN 55426
Cabinets by Choice has everything you could need for wine storage. Utilize that cabinet space in a way that benefits you and your palate.
Compleat Wine Cellars
4351 France Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Add to your collection with the endless options at Compleat Wine Cellars.
VinGrotto Wine Cellar Construction
1015 W Cove Lane
Minnetrista, MN 55364
Get the ultimate, custom-made wine cellar at VinGrotto, and invest in a storage space you will use for years and years.
For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSMinnesota.com/YourHome.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.