We have seen on movies and television where the Lord of the manor summons the butler to retreat to the wine cellar for a bottle of wine. How impressed would your family and friends be if they discovered you had your own little wine cellar? Home wine cellars are becoming a trend for the average wine drinker. You do not have to be wealthy to start your own cellar. In fact, one of the reasons that prompt wine lovers to start their own cellars is that they can purchase their favorite wines in bulk. Having your own personal cellar also gives you a chance to experience with different tastes of wines as they age. If you plan on starting your own cellar, it is important that you keep in mind that wine is a living thing and is greatly affected by its environment.
- Red Wines should be stored between 50-60 degrees F.
- White Wines do best in temperatures between 42-60 degrees F.
- Humidity levels are important. A dry cork will allow air into the bottles. Humidity levels between 42-75% work well.
- Your wine cellar should be in a dark place. Underground is best. However, you can make a wine closet above ground if the temperature, humidity and light conditions are monitored.
- The area where you store your wine should be odorless and free of mold and mildew. Your wine could possibly take on the smell of the room.
- You should store your dining wines on their side. This keeps the cork moist.
- Wines do not like being sloshed around. Bottles need to be on a stable rack that does not jar easily.
When it comes time to stock your cellar, slow is best. You should not go out and make bulk purchases based on opinions of your friends, or what you have read in a magazine. You should buy a few bottles of different vintages, or blends, to see what you like. You can also save money on aging wines if you purchase them when they are in their youth and allow them to age in your cellar. A personal wine cellar can be as large, or small, as you like. A general rule is that you have at least a case of wine that is aging, a case each of two favorites, and a few bottles of dessert wines and champagne.
Written by Wendy Jackson