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Drink This, Store That

A Guide to Home Wine Storage

Article by Greg Neruda

Photography by Tara Bruner

Originally published in Meridian Lifestyle

I’m sure most people would prefer to store their wine in cellars or wine fridges instead of an overcrowded garage or inside a spidery crawl space.  Yuck, and ouch! 

Fortunately, kitchen culture has changed our storage habits. Charismatic chefs on cooking shows are mere steps away from a beautiful wine fridge where they pull a bottle, splash some wine in pan, then pour a little for themselves and a lot more for their guests.  Here’s why I also decided to install a wine fridge in my own kitchen.

Simply put, it’s the perfect environment to be kinder and gentler to your wine.  The temperature control and dark space are optimal both short and long term.  Light, fluctuations in temperature, dry humidity, and general banging around are not good for your delicate Pinots. Proper storage gives the wines you’re saving for special moments a better chance of surviving the elements that would render them “out of condition”…and prematurely lost if not handled properly.

Furthermore, it’s not fun running out of wine while entertaining - especially sparkling wines, white wines, red wines and dessert wines, just to name a few. Also, I like white wine very close to a sauté pan, and to sip a bit while cooking. It’s the scenario that turns cooking from a chore into a pleasure. With my favorite music playing in the background and delicious aromatics arising from the stovetop, having wine close by just makes everything easier and more enjoyable.

While most of us dream of elaborate wine cellars in our home, many decide on a more realistic approach - wine fridges! They come in all shapes and sizes - from under the counter to full walls of storage. So, which one is best?

Our research took us to one of the region’s most beautiful showrooms for the modern kitchen, Mountainland Design. If you’re a kitchen lover, this showroom is the ideal place to drool over state-of-the-art kitchen design in general, and wine fridges in particular.  I was able to speak with the experts to see all my options. If you’re just an occasional wine sipper then under-the-counter storage may be best. If you’re a serious collector then indulge in a full wall refrigerator with built-in storage for wine glasses and accessories. With so many brands to choose from - Thermadore, Wolf Sub Zero, Jenn-air, True, there is definitely a fridge for everyone.

My perfect solution was an under-the-counter, dual-zone control, modestly-priced unit that holds thirty bottles of wine. This makes entertaining much more versatile and fun. Now I can put some down to cellar. Maybe I'm not particularly improving with age, but I'm certainly enjoying a red wine that does.  Cheers!