SO YOU WANT TO START COLLECTING?
PART ONE – Storing Wine On a Budget
By Rob “The Wine Guy”
So if you’ve ever listened to our show “The Wine Vault”, you may imagine us sitting in a vast wine cellar, with a cobblestone floor, and thousands and thousands of dusty bottles racked on the walls. While that isn’t the best acoustic setting for a show, it’s also an antiquated image of what a wine cellar, or vault looks like. In fact, anyone with an interest has the ability to store wine.
Wine collecting is different things to different people. For some, they do have thousands of bottles setting everywhere. However, those people are either quite rich, or are hoarders. But let’s assume you are not rich, and you do have your compulsions in order. So, for that person, the first question to ask yourself is, “why am I interested in collecting?” Is it because you want to have some special wines held back for special occasions, is it because you have a passion for wine and want to try your hand at aging, or is it because you’re a bit of a clown and want to impress others? For this article’s purpose let’s focus on the first two.
So you want to hold some wine for later, what are some issues to consider? In this article I’ll discuss the first step, storing your wine.
- Storing Wine
Before you go out and buy the wine, you need a place to store it. Obviously the best method is spending many, many of your dollars on a climate-controlled room in your house. But, as we’ve assumed, you do not have many, many dollars to spend (waste). For this reason, you may be tempted to store your wine on a decorative rack in your kitchen. To be clear, a bottle of wine is not a can of green beans or a box of cereal. In short, if you treat wine as such, when you open the bottle in a few years you will be punished. If you must have a fancy wine rack in your kitchen, treat the wine as you would wax fruit, as decoration.
So the next solution might be to buy a wine refrigerator, which will purport to control the temperature of your wine and age it into a timeless classic. I in fact have a couple wine refrigerators, and they do in fact keep wine at quasi-ish (not a real word) constant temperature. However, there are some drawbacks. First, wine refrigerators are not cheap. I’m sure you’ve seen some being sold at Lowes, Home Depot, or even…Wal-Mart, for under $300.00. That may or may not be cheap to you, however, in that price range you’re buying little more than a mini-fridge with wine racks in it. You most likely already have a bigger version of this product in your home where you store your milk, eggs, etc. So that’s not really the best option. If you go up in price range you’ll find what you’re looking for, however, we’re back to the issue of not having many, many dollars to spend. There is also the point that wine fridges require electricity, so there’s extra cost, and a negative impact on the environment, and some stuff about polar bears falling into the sea or something because of global warming (which does in fact exist)… With that said, if you live in an apartment or in a house with no basement you’re screwed and stuck with a wine fridge, and polar bears will hate you.
Really, the best place for your wine is a basement. What wine needs is a fairly constant, yet cooler temperature, a touch of humidity, and darkness. So, in your basement where can this be found? Start by locating a spot that’s away from the hustle and bustle, such as a place away from your washer/dryer, furnace, etc. Further, you’ll want to keep pets (cats) out of the area, because cats are a-holes and like to knock things over.
After your location is set, all that’s left is how fancy you want it to be. Honestly all you need are wine boxes and shelving. No need for racking. Wooden boxes are preferable, but not necessary, cardboard works. Just be sure your wine is stored either on its side or cork down. That’s it really.
So, there you go, step one is done. Next time we’ll tackle what to buy. But, until then, I’ll bid you adieu, from The Wine Vault.
Categories: Wine Vault