Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wine Storage for the Rest of Us

By Becky Dietrich

No room or budget for a wine cellar? Borrow from these simpler decorative storage ideas

Before the wine police throttle me, let me concede that wine cannot really be successfully stored in less-than-perfectly-controlled conditions. Of course, that assumes you are a connoisseur buying high-end wine for either investment or long-term maturing.

But what about the rest of us poor folks who buy our wine at the 5-cent sales at BevMo! and drink it before its feelings are hurt? What do we have to consider when we want our wine both accessible and decorative?

I talked with Mike Schiller at Sonoma Enoteca (a boutique wine-tasting room in Sonoma, California) about storing wine in the kitchen. According to Schiller, here are the no-nos: Wine does not like heat or vibration. This makes storing wine above the refrigerator a really bad idea, no matter how appealing that space might seem. 

In fact, Schiller tells me, wine refrigerators differ from standard refrigerators in that they have no vibration. A couple of hundred dollars can get you a wine fridge if you have the space and are so inclined.

If you prefer a more decorative approach, here are a few other hints from Schiller. Sunlight pouring in the window is surely good for people, but it’s not good for wine. In fact, direct sunlight is wine’s enemy — especially a white wine in a clear bottle. Leaving a sauvignon blanc in direct sunlight for only 30 minutes can drastically alter its taste — and not for the better.

Which is why planning for wine storage in a protected area of your kitchen island is such a good idea. Building it into the cabinet will keep light at a minimum.

Just be sure that your island experiences no fluctuations in temperature. Yup, you guessed it: Wine doesn’t like those, either. This would also mean that storing wine above or around your stovetop is not a good idea.

Another creative way to store your wine is to make use of the space between the studs in your wall. But make sure your rack is built with a lip to keep the wine from rolling off the edge.

Here is another ingenious use of stud space. The way the bottles are recessed into the wall prevents the wine from getting direct light.

Turning a column or small room divider into wine storage is brilliant. 

But freestanding wine racks are still one of my favorite decorating solutions...

… as are hutches that accommodate both wine bottles and glassware.

A small decorative wine rack like this one nestled in the corner under the cupboards is a perfect solution for the everyday wine drinker. Because, honestly, the best way to keep your wine at its best is to drink it, not store it!

At Cabinet-S-Top we can help you create the perfect solution for your wine storage. Located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330.236.3630 ~ www.cabinet-s-top.com

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