Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How To: Store Your Wine Collection in a Small Space at Home

A reupholstered chesser drawer used as a wine storage unit
Many of us that are not wine enthusiast per say, still enjoy the idea of a good glass of wine from time to time. 
If you are anywhere like us and enjoy traveling, you may encounter a good bottle of wine in your traveling ventures of which you may want to collect for that special family event. 

Conversely, many do not have the ability or the space for that matter to store their collected wine gems. With this idea in mind many may be tempted with the idea of displaying there collection in a glass enclosure for the world to see and admire. Nevertheless many wine experts will say, this is not a good idea

Conventional wisdom also teaches us that wines should be stored at an ideal humidity of 70 percent. In theory dry air will tend to dry the corks of wine bottles, which may cause air to filter into the wine compromising its quality. 

You may have already seen or heard of Thermo electric wine coolers or cellars. Now,unless you live in the desert area or in extreme arctic conditions, the possibility of humidity compromising the condition of the corks may be close to none. 
Also keep in mind that most wines are best enjoyed within a couple years (2 to 5 yrs) of their release.

Note: With that being said, If money is not an object and you are looking to buy wines to MATURE over time, you should consider investing in some professional grade storage. (A total different animal.)

Some Basic simplicity for storing wine effectively are:
1. Cool is the way to go

What ever you do keep it cool. Heat is a public enemy number one for wine. No matter what you heir about temperatures of wine storing, always remember this is not an exact science. People are different, palates are different and no wine is particularly created equal. Nevertheless, don't fret too much about a couple degrees higher or lower in temperature. 

2. Common Sense  

when it comes to storing wine, some common sense goes a long way. Your refrigerators normal temperature is 45 degrees on lower in order to prevent foods from going bad. So this option is not necessary because you are not wanting to prevent your wine from going bad per say (at least not in regards to spoilage).

Your attics temperature fluctuates way too drastically from season to season, hence storing wines in attics are a complete no,no. 

3. Flip off the switch

Potential problems can arise due to light,especially sunlight (direct or indirect). The sun's UV rays can degrade and prematurely age wine. The light emitted from indoor lighting may not necessarily damage the integrity of the wine. Nevertheless fluorescent bulbs which do emit minimal amounts of ultraviolet light should be avoided and or kept to a bare minimum.    

4. Are you seeing things sideways?

Traditionally, wine bottles have been stored on their side as means of keeping their corks from drying up (in theory that is). Conversely, if your bottles have alternative closures such as(caps, plastic corks or screw caps), this is by no means necessary. 

5. Again, Where should my wine be kept?

If your living conditions are not necessarily blessed by having a cool,basement that can be used as a cellar, you can indeed improvise by using racks. Please avoid areas like the kitchen, laundry room, sun room, etc. Have you got the drift ! 
These areas will filter in too much constant light and or sunlight, hence compromising your prized sweet tasting pleasures over time.

If you like your wine cool'not chilled'. Then you may consider investing in a wine cooler following the same guidelines. Maybe there is a small closet space you could partition for storing wine? As long as the space is deprived from constant light or any sunlight, not too damp or dry and not too warm, it should work just fine. 

If this is not the case, then a standalone cooling unit may be your best bet if you are indeed the wine aficionado.      

NoteIn this short post for whom I would like to say, the common non-wine experts out there like ourselves,we will focus more on the budget friendly and chic way of storing your wine collection in a small space of your home. Especially, if you have just a couple precious bottles you have collected on your most venturous travels.  

Publishers note: (Steps on how this gorgeous furniture you'll see below was upholstered and put together will be posted in the near future...) 

A reupholstered chesser drawer re-purposed  as a wine storage unit

A reupholstered chesser drawer re-purposed as a wine storage unit

Above you can admire how this gorgeous (if I may say so myself) piece of re-purposed chesser drawer furniture was transformed into a Chic Wine Storage, perfect for a small space.  
Wine Glasses displayed in an Reupholstered Chesser Drawer

We used the top drawer to store most of the wine glasses. If you place heavy wine bottles in a top drawer, it may cause the furniture to topple over if it's the only shelf that's fully opened. 

If you decide to place wine bottles on the top drawer, best practice is to keep it to a minimum (as we will show below),to avoid the topple over issue.

Wine bottles and glasses stored and displayed in a re-purposed chesser drawer

Wine bottles and glasses stored and displayed in a re-purposed chesser drawer

In the second and third drawers we began to carefully lay the bottles according to our own desire (Year, Countries visited, etc.).

How the bottles are laid into the drawers are also a matter of choice. If your drawers are deep enough, you may choose a more vertical layout as opposed to the slanted view you see here.  
A Marble 12 X 12 tile used as a cutting board & Fine Cutlery

No need to break the bank. We went for this inexpensive 12 X 12 nonporous white marble tile, and used it as a cutting board that perfectly blends in with the white upholstered color of the unit.  

A Marble 12 X 12 tile used as a cutting board, Fine Cutlery and Wine bottles stored in a Re-purposed chesser drawer

Resting on this Re-purposed drawer we simply placed some useful embellishments(white marble 12 X 12 cutting board,wine bottle opener,fine cutlery and an ornamental gold sphere)which sets the tone for the evening. 
These choices shall make this small, thrifty and chic wine storage unit a perfect " serve yourself " nook for the next gathering event.   

Food for thought ! 

When you think of wine and where to  store it, Think fruit
In other words, since wine obviously comes from the sweet grape vine, and if you have had the privilege of tasting grapes in their different environments, you will notice that the taste varies depending on where it is grown, at what temperature it has been kept and how long it has been sitting on your counter or fridge. 

If you haven't, give this little tasting experiment a test. 

The Vine
The fruit while its on the vine it's shaded by its wide deep green foliage. This protects it from the harsh sunlight UV rays. This is where the juicy taste of "new wine" per say, is the sweetest.

The Storefront 
When the fruit arrives at the store shelves, depending on its origin, it has already lost some of its moisture, therefore affecting its original flavor somewhat. Nevertheless it still tends to remain fairly tasty.

The Counter top or Fridge
when you bring these bunches of delicious sweetness home you may choose to leave them on the counter or store in fridge. Leaving them on the counter in a hot humid environment will compromise its texture and taste more rapidly than refrigerating them.

If you are eating them rather quickly, leaving them out of the fridge will be the tastier choice.

Ups,I think these are going bad !  
If left too long the grapes will become wrinkled and almost juice less. If you tried an old grape you may have left on the bunch for too long, you will notice an almost fermented raisin like flavor to it. The taste is no longer that of a grape. Hence if dried properly it may now become sweeter than its original fruit form.    

In this same manner, all wines are created differently by means of selection, process, and STORING. 

Conclusion: When you think wine storage, always keep in mind how the environment affects the fruit itself,this in turn will help you decide what's be best ambiance for your precious savory liquid goodness. 

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