Fine wine is expensive and relatively fragile but ages superbly in the sort of conditions found in underground cellars.Most wine storage attempts to replicate this environment as closely as possible.There are a number of companies who will cellar wine for you, but if your wine is intended to be drunk, then off-site storage has its drawbacks. You can't just pop in and retrieve the bottles you want when you want and there are delivery charges each time you put in or take out--costs which soon mount up.

As a result, where space affords, most wine lovers find it more convenient to keep their wine at home and the bottle opener handy. Wine should be kept at a cool constant temperature in the dark, so for those of us lucky enough to have proper cellars, storing your wine in a wine rack will provide close to the ideal conditions. That's especially true with cork-sealed bottles which are best stored horizontally rather than upright. Humidity is also important because it helps keep the cork in good condition. In a humid cellar a sound cork can comfortably remain in good condition for around 70 years.

For most of us urban dwellers, though, where living space is at a premium, a cellar is not available. In that case a wine cooler or wine cabinet is the most versatile and affordable way of storing wine at home. Temperature-controlled storage conditions of some kind are a necessity as the vast majority of homes in the UK are not air conditioned, and during summer ambient temperatures can reach as much as 30? C. Wine coolers come in several different shapes, sizes and finishes, and range in price from relatively cheap to the hugely expensive. Some are little more than adapted refrigerators, while the top of the range models are bespoke pieces of furniture specifically designed with wine storage in mind.

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