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Wine storage


#1

Hi all,

I have recently bought a 32 bottle wine fridge to store some of my wines in a house we have just bought, I used to live in a flat so didn’t have any stairs to put wine under! I do also have some En Primeur wines which I took delivery of some of them on this Tuesday.

Just wondering how other are storing their wines, I have decided to split mine thus:

En Primeur wines - kept in reserves at The Wine Society (temperature controlled warehouse at a very reasonable price) - I have 78 bottles in the pipeline at the moment!

32 bottle wine fridge - running both compartments at 14c, holds individual bottles of wines that are still developing

Wine rack(s) - Using this to store the everyday red and whites that won’t really improve and will probably be consumed very soon :smiley:

I figure I can leave my En Primeur wines in reserve until they are ready to drink, I can then transfer them to the wine fridge to keep them temperature controlled until they are ready/time to open one.

Ideally I would buy a larger wine fridge or build a dedicated cellar but I, like most people don’t have a huge amount of space or indeed piles of cash to buy and run a large wine fridge.

How does everyone else store their wine?


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#2

I’ve used about 6 different companies and sites to store wine over the years. I’m now down to just 2 for the majority - TWS and Lay and Wheeler; the one advantage that other places have over TWS is the presence of an active marketplace for resale - this is not because I see wines I’ve bought as investments but rather because as my tastes change over time it’s great to be able to shift some stock that feels like surplus to requirements.

Where I live a wine fridge is a necessity although I’ve never been able to get as many bottles into mine as they claim is possible.


#3

Interesting question - what do members here have as ‘storage’?

Let’s get a sense of what our experience is (you get up to 3 votes, use them wisely)

  • I store no wine at home - I drink it all “before it can go off”
  • I have a non temperature-controlled rack at home (inc. under the stairs)
  • I have a temperature-controlled ‘cellar’ at home
  • I pay to have wine stored ‘off site’
  • I make wine - I don’t keep it, I sell it

0 voters


#4

I have a rack in the kitchen, along with an 18 bottle wine fridge, which are for the everyday bottles. Then I have a rack in the garage for the bits and pieces I’m not looking to drink anytime soon. I’ve ticked the box for off site storage as well, but only because I’ve just done my first en primeur order which TWS will be keeping for me.


#5

The only wine in a fridge in my house is in the kitchen, ready to be enjoyed tonight.

The only wine in ‘storage’ off site is stuff I have not bought yet.

:slight_smile:


#6

Great subject! I have about 150 bottles in the cupboard under the stairs. I’ve arranged it so wines that need to be kept the longest are right at the back. It stays a reasonably consistent temperature all year. The rest are, like several of you on here, stored en primeur - mainly Bordeaux although I also have 2010 Beaucastel CNDP and 2011 Taylor’s Vintage Port currently sat in bond too. All either TWS or BI Wines (formerly Bordeaux Index).

Would love a wine fridge or a spiral cellar but space and cost are prohibitive!


#7

Hi everyone, this is my maiden post.

I have three-part wine storage system.

First, about 250 bottles at any one time in whole and half cases with the WS in Stevenage, with a spread of drinking windows from now up to around 2035. That’s about £150 a year (cheapest storage on the market). I also have a few with BBR (bit more expensive).

Second, a 150-bottle EuroCave cabinet at home, bought off eBay for £800. That’s a lot for me, but it would have been £2k new. Word to the wise: if you do buy a second-hand EC, it’s vital to transport it standing up. I hired a transit myself and went on a mission from Sussex round the M25 to Dartford.

My EuroCave is for better wines with longer drinking windows (say £12 and 3 years plus) that I pull in from my WS storage. After all, these can have 10-15 years of drinking ahead of them, so I want to maintain their condition. I store lesser whites and delicate reds in there too, believing that bigger reds with a bit of tannin are more robust in the short term.

I also use it for longer-term wines that I buy from other merchants, either in lesser quantities and/or from those who don’t offer storage. (On that note, I’d highly recommend southern French red fans to check out Leon Stolarski’s great range of Languedoc wines at all price points sub £40, many with a few years on the clock already. I hope mentioning WS competitors is not against the community rules!)

Finally, I have racking space under the stairs for about 40-odd bottles, which is for everyday, higher-turnover wines that won’t be sitting around for long. I’d like to have everything in the EuroCave, but read on as to why not.

My EuroCave does the job I need, but as other have said, the capacities they advertise for any cabinet are usually contingent upon:

a) Using only two or three shelves and stacking high, which can be a pain when you want to get to something a couple of layers down at the back – it can feel like a mini potholing expedition.

b) All your bottles being of the same shape, typically Bordeaux style. I have a fair few like that, but they are joined by a whole Noah’s Ark of shapes including Beaujolais (Thevenet makes lovely Morgon but I curse his bottles!), Burgundy, Provence, Alsace, Rhone and Northern Italy. That compounds the problems of stacking and I sometimes fear the whole lot coming a cropper when I open the door. I can sometimes hear the EuroCave’s tectonic plates shifting in the night, too.

I recon 120 bottles is my comfortable and practical maximum in a cabinet advertised at holding 150. And I’m pretty much at that max now. If and when the cabinet packs up, I might be tempted to bite the bullet and go for a 180-bottle version. It’s a lot of dough, even second hand (for a younger one), but I take the view that I invest a lot of money (for me) in my enjoyment of wine, so apportioning a segment of that budget is akin to a petrol head keeping a vintage car in a garage.

Like some of the others posting on this thread, my dream is to have a proper cellar. By that, I mean not a unit-conditioned wine room, but an old, subterranean space where mother nature maintains that consistent c.12c, 70% humidity that wine really wants. And an authentic sprinkle of dust on the labels would add some romance!


#8

I split my wines into three:

  1. Very short term monthly ‘drinking’ wine - Goes in the rack under the stairs and will be drunk within 2 months
  2. More ‘fine’ wine that is in its window for drinking and earmarked for drinking within the year - Goes in the bottom of the cupboard in our bedroom - a bit cooler and darker and more space.
  3. Long term wine storage - I have a Liebherr wine cabinet that holds approx 60/70 bottles at 11 degrees in a humid controlled environment. The problem with this is the fridge is it is now full so I need to either get another fridge, store at TWS cellars or get drinking!

#9

There is, of course, a forgotten storage category. That’s the dozen or so holes in the rack at the bottom and the back that no other member of the family is allowed to go near for tv dinner / friends round / “I just fancied a glass” drinking. I’m considering using electrified barbed wire to cordon it off! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#10

That’s a very good point

In fact there is one other which just occurred to me, which are the wines in OTHER people’s racks who ask your advice on their wines (such as your parents or children) and you categorise as:

  • “Drink”
  • “Keep”
  • “Only Open When I am Visiting”

#11

My wife doesn’t really go near the wine rack as she is worried she might open an expensive wine as a “I just fancied a glass”, tempted to put on some neck labels for the drink dates on the nicer wines so I know the drink window and also an indication of the fact its a more expensive wine.


#12

I have a wine area under the stairs. There is a part for special wine and one for everyday drink when you want wine. Our chilly Victorian terrace has done well and I recently enjoyed a 1999 Barolo bought in 2005 and kept in the stairwell! Still a bit of space left.


#13

I have two places:

  • An actual cellar under the house which is literally perfect - I have about 50 bottles, most of which will be there for 3-5 years with several rhone, bordeaux, musar and german rieslings there for 10+. (Soon to be added to with the announcement of the new wine plan wines)
  • Underneath my desk in a just a standard room I have 7-8 decent half bottles ready to drink where temperature etc isn’t an issue.

#14

Great to see how you guys are storing your precious collections

We hit a “crisis point” last year in our cottage. I crammed a 50 odd bottle Caple storage fridge in the kitchen that did us ok for quite a while but in the end about half our collection was in cupboards and wardrobes

So, in December last year we bit the bullet and replaced the shed with an insulated workshop to move the Caple and add a bigger (150ish) Liebherr unit. It’s been great to be able to add to the collection but I’m still unsure how long you should realistically store in these units?

Still yet to plug the Caple back in but collecting hard so won’t be too much longer before I’m worrying about space again!


#15

If you wine cabinet is at “storage” temperature (rather than “serving” temp) then in theory your wine will mature there for as along as any other respectable place such as the Members Reserves.


#16

This subject came up before, but in this age the likely hood of getting a property with a cellar is getting ever more remote.
I have moved a lot and the last two properties had a cellar and then an outbuilding built into a slope, a semi cellar.
When I moved to this house I had already run down my wine at ome for the reasons given earlier, but when we actually moved in I discovered the garage had an inspection pit that had not been seen when viewing, it is dry keeps a fairly constant temperature and with the help of using Cellotex to insulate the top covering all is well, racked out with space for cartons/cases it holds around 300 bottles, far to much as my wife constantly tells me.
I had purchased a 30 bottle wine cooler in anticipation of nowhere to store but it has never been used.
The rest is in various storage units, but as I said in another thread I am going to unload most of that as there is no point in having so many cases of fine wine I am never going to drink.


#17

It’s currently at 11 C. While I know 12 or 13 would be better, the unit seems to hold 11 more consistently

My main concern is regular temperature fluctuations in a unit like this. They must be built to a tolerance and just a degree or so regularly enough over time could cause issues long term?

It was interesting to perform some tests when I first set it up. The internal temperature is very variable but it is of course the wine temperature that counts and it seems to keep this within a degree or so of the temperature displayed. Of course in a tall unit there is a temperature difference between top and bottom as well

As with most things, I fear I may be overthinking this :slight_smile:


#18

From Jancis again…

https://www.jancisrobinson.com/learn/drinking-wine/how-to-store-wine

Basically it is a case of being sensible, the extremes at both ends of the temperature scale are to be avoided and anywhere that sudden extreme variables could occur, and as most people if they a case of Lafite will have it in temperature controlled storage it really isn’t a problem.

Also re low temperatures, I have frozen half empty bottles of wine and consumed them after thawing with no obvious deterioration in drinking quality, I know that many would consider this to be some sort of hineous crime but it works for everyday wines that are unfinished, and I am not alone in thinking this is OK, this is a reply to the same question in the Wine Spectator…

"I think they will be probably be OK. But I’m surprised you said your wine froze because, while it depends on the alcohol content, a wine needs to get down to about 15° to 20° F and before it will freeze. If you’re setting your cooler to the ideal 55° F temperature, that’s quite a malfunction! The biggest concern with freezing wine in a bottle is that as the water content in the wine freezes, it expands, which can either put pressure on the cork or crack the bottle itself. If your bottles are still intact and it looks like your corks haven’t been pushed out (which could mean some air got inside the bottles, prematurely aging the wine), I say drink up.

Some people actually freeze their wine on purpose; either to preserve an open bottle that they can’t consume right away, or to save leftover vino for cooking later down the road. In any case where a wine has been exposed to an extreme temperature, while I think the wine should be fine to drink up after it defrosts, I would feel less confident about the aging potential of that same bottle down the road."


#19

I have a pretty basic 2 temp wine fridge - I believe you can set it to be at serving temp but I have set both top and bottom of the fridge at 12c which its keeping consistently - most of the wine I have for laying down will be in my reserves at The Wine Society though.


#20

@cerberus - Interesting reading, thanks!