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A Place for Every Wine

The Vine Files #6

· Food,Wine,Video,VineFiles,Gratitude

Those with an organized wine space have an organized, presumably well-focused win life-good for learning about and enjoying win. Plus, wine benefits from short-term storage in a cool, dark place. Even a few days stowed under the sink helps a wine settle, knit together, and form a more cohesive, pleasing drink. After a wine rests, its often tastes rested, refreshed and at its best.

"Never buy the cheapest wine in any category, as its taste may discourage you from going on. The glass, corks, cartons, and labor are about the same for any wine, as are the ocean freight and taxes for imported wines. Consequently, if you spend a little more, you are likely to get a better wine, because the other costs remain fixed. Cheap wine will always be too expensive." -Alex Bespaloff, Wine Expert and Author

Most of the time, you store wine only briefly before drinking it. You could store it on its head or inside out, and it wouldn't make a difference. Simply keep it off of the radiators and out of the freezer. Even so, figuring out how and where to store your wine is a process, requiring you try different places until something clicks. The target storage temperature is 55oF (13oC) (and it is a target, not a rule). If it's dark and undisturbed, whether under a kitchen counter or in the corner by some cool exterior wall, it's perfect, whether it's 55oF (13oC) or 65oF (18oC). IF you mean business, buy a small digital thermometer for your wine space to keep track of temperature. Here are a few do-it-yourself wine-storage ideas to hold you over until you can excavate your own wine cave.

Under the Stairs

If your home or apartment has one of those funky, slightly hard-to-use closets beneath the stairs, think about reclaiming it for wine storage.

Underground (or Mother Earth)

For the greenest least expensive way to store wine, use the Earth's chilly crust to cool your collection. If you have a basement or crawlspace, look for a corner with as many earthen walls as possible. Stack wine on the floor, placed against the cool wall, with the bottles touching each other. This produces conductive cooling off of the earth, and your wine becomes the same temperature as the floor and the wall, almost regardless of outside air temperature.

Wine Refrigerators

Most wine refrigerators fit in a closet or under a counter, meaning maximization of space and good home storage.

Stacked Wooden Boxes

Most vineyards and wineries store their wines not in ornate cabinetry, but in small piles, with a half-dozen bottles stacked inside and open-backed wood box, with boxes atop each other until they form a square.

Wine Chest

Buy a secondhand, small, front-opening chest, and knock out the back. Push this up against a cool basement wall and load it with wine, and you'll have a stable cool environment. Any size works (as long as it fits in your home), but one about 3 feet by 4 feet (1x1.2m) will store about fifty bottles of wine. Slide the bottles as far back as possible so they touch or almost touch the wall.

Wherever you choose to place your wine, you'll have your wine tasting at its best when its time to pop open that bottle. Cheers!

Partners in Wine,


Wine Lover's Devotional Jonathon Alsop

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