It's important to have an attractive and durable wine rack storage system. It is a given that anyone interested in having a growing wine collection would not want to do so behind a kitchen cabinet.
Most oenophiles (a disciplined devotion to wine, with strict traditions of consumption and appreciation, simply put, a lover of wine) long for a cellar of stocked wine racks, and since digging out a cave in most instances for a wine cellar is impractical and exorbitantly expensive, stand alone wine rack options in a good environment is a good place to start. You do not have to live over an arching grotto, or have the budget of an eighteenth century land baron, to cellar wine. You just have to understand the basics of wine storage pertaining to temperature, humidity and light to do it right.
An important factor with wines is the place where you will store the bottles to age.
Few environments are as potentially destructive to wine as the home. Too much humidity causes mold and damages the labels. This is also why cellars are often tiled rather than carpeted, as carpeting holds moisture facilitating mold. Humidity as high as 70 percent is desirable so corks don’t dry out. When allowed to dry out, corks shrink slightly allowing air into the bottles and oxidizing of the wine occurs. This is also why the wine racks store bottles on their sides: the wine keeps the cork wet, and the oxygen out.
Darkness is preferable, even though most wine is bottled in colored glass to protect it against most light damage. The proper storage temperature of 50-60F enables wine to age slowly to its full complexity. Excess heat cooks off its finer characteristics, while too much chill retards its maturation.
Wine racks are available in a wide assortment of materials, sizes and styles to suit any situation or decor for both home and commercial use: wood, metals like wrought iron and stainless steel, wire, wall mounted or hanging as well as attractive wine furniture pieces to complement the home, restaurant, or business.
Low-cost wine racks can be bought prefabricated or in do-it-yourself assembly kits.
Wine racks made of stainless steel and wire grids are less expensive. These decorative units can have a place for short term storage and display. If you are in the business to sell wine, be sure to showcase your collection with the best retail wine racking possible to help you market and sell more.
The warmth of wood is a popular choice for wine racks to display and store your fine wines. Softwoods such as Pine and Douglas Fir are more prone to warping but usually do not pose a problem if obtained from a good supplier using a premium grade who will stand behind the wine racks' integrity, making these good, low-cost options, mainly because they’re easier to work with, and lighter to ship than hardwoods.
Distinctive wine racks also come in Maple and Red Oak. However, the best are produced from more expensive rainforest woods, such as Californian Redwood. Redwood wine racks absorb moisture with little warping.
The wine rack should be in a cool, dark area of the house, such as the basement, cold storage room or closet. The basement is often the best place in the house for your wine since concrete heats up and cools down slowly. But, be aware that by the end of each season, accumulated heat or cold in the concrete can still make the conditions less than ideal for long-term wine storage.
It's important to ensure that the room is dark, properly insulated to control the temperature and free from sources of vibration such as furnaces or fridges. Avoid leaving food, cardboard boxes or paint in the cellar. The chemicals in these materials break down over time and it's possible their odors can seep into the wine through the cork.
Don’t have a full-sized room available to devote to a wine cellar? You can transform a closet or pantry into a customized mini wine cellar – complete with cooling unit and cellar door should you choose.
Buying a wine fridge suits anyone who has limited space.
A wine fridge is temperature and humidity controlled. The kitchen fridge is too cold and isn’t humid enough for wine long term. Wine fridges come in half, full and double sizes, as well as large walk-in style vaults.
Enjoying wine is about celebrating, relaxing, enjoying conviviality and all that it encompasses — taste, history, science, culture, friendship and intimacy. So reach for that special bottle from the wine rack and enjoy!
By: Stuart Jay
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