Anyone living in the NY area is thinking the same thing right about now …when did this place turn into Florida?! Not only does this heat and humidity take a toll on our bodies, our spirits and our Con Ed bills, but it also can take a big toll on our wine. Whether you have a few bottles or a few hundred, heat can destroy those bottles that you have stashed away somewhere in your home.
The ideal condition for storing wine (whether it’s red, white, champagne, port, etc.) is 55 degrees and between 55% and 75% relative humidity. This is why storing in a regular fridge (too cold) or just a wine rack in a normal room temperature area (too warm) can be detrimental to wine. The lesser of these evils is to put it in a regular fridge, as that will just dramatically slow down the aging process. But after longer periods of time, this will end up adversely affecting the wine too.
There are hundreds of different wine storage options to choose from for all different collections and all different budgets. The small wine refrigerators are perfect for those who have anywhere from a few bottles to a few cases. Most of them are thermoelectric units, so they are very quiet and can go anywhere in the house. There are also bigger wine refrigerator units that typically have a compressor and a front vent, like the ones in your kitchen. Those can be freestanding units, or you can build most of them into your kitchen cabinetry or bar area.
Then there are the real deal freestanding wine cellars. There are many different brands and styles to choose from. Some are just larger versions of the smaller wine refrigerators while others, like the Eurocave units, are true wine cellars. Eurocaves are made to mimic the conditions of the old French caves, so you can store your wines for decades in these units. Some prefer the furniture style cabinets that have wine cooling conditioners installed in them, so they not only serve as beautiful show pieces for your home, but will protect your collection as well.
Of course if you want to go all out you can take a room in your home and turn it into an actual wine cellar. This however is a pretty large, and potentially costly, undertaking. It involves building out a room with a vapor barrier, proper insulation and the moisture resistant sheet rock. Then there is the cooling unit and racking to select and install. However, once it is finished it certainly becomes one of the coolest, and most functional, rooms in the house. Just be ready for the all the neighbors to be spending a little more time in your basement 😉
Have you ever saved a bottle for that perfect occasion? Yet when the time comes, you open the wine and the first sip tastes like it’s something you should be putting on your salad? I have and it was such a disappointing experience that I went out and got my first 15 bottle wine fridge and I haven’t looked back since. So if your wines are battling the heat and losing the fight, help them out a bit and look into one of these refrigerated wine cabinets.
Wine Enthusiast by far has the greatest selection and best prices for all of these wine storage units. Below is the web link to them and as always if you are looking for more information just leave a comment and I will be happy to get back to you. Stay cool out there!