How to store wine – 5 ways to preserve wine and ensure it retains its flavor
The best solutions to keep your bottles in optimal condition
Connoisseur looking for ways to store wine to keep bottles in optimum condition? If you have the space, a dedicated wine room, custom-built to accommodate a vast stock is definitely worth investing in.
In older properties, kitchens traditionally included underground wine cellars – dark, closed stone-built spaces with no noise or smells- well-ventilated to avoid damp and musty odors contaminating the wine.
But a new generation of wine room ideas and wine storage based above ground and below is now available and these ideas on how to store wine are sure to inspire.
How to store wine
There is a multitude of beautiful ways to store wine to either show off an impressive collection or preserve the finest ones in your wine collection. High-quality wine storage means a collection can be preserved properly for years to come.
Here are five of our favorite ways to store wine, as chosen by the experts in their field.
1. Find the ideal arrangement
Traditionally, wine is stored in underground cellars, which naturally provide excellent conditions thanks to their constant temperature and humidity, and lack of natural light. Today, however, many of us want to display our wine with bottles ready for drinking near the dining table or kitchen island, so there are a variety of solutions, including temperature-controlled wine rooms and conditioning cabinets, to suit different needs.
A dark, cool, humid, and vibration-free environment is the starting point, advises Mark Dickens, creative director and co-owner of cellar specialist Spiral Cellars. ‘Provided wine is kept at a steady temperature within a window of around 10C to 18C, it will be absolutely fine,’ he explains. ‘The key is to avoid significant and repeated fluctuations in temperature.’ Bottles are best stored on their sides so that the corks don’t dry out, and you may need to remove them from their storage setting to ready them for drinking. Serving temperatures vary according to individual preference and type of wine; for more details consult wine expert Jancis Robinson.
2. Set up a wine tasting room
Wine lovers may enjoy a dedicated room or home bar for storing, serving and tasting. While insulation to control humidity, temperature, noise and vibration needs to be considered, interior designer Pippa Paton also recommends planning careful lighting and designing joinery according to the amount and size of bottles you wish to store, and the style of table or bar you wish to use for tasting.
‘Be inspired by the great cellars of the world, be they French or New World,’ she suggests, noting her recent project, an atmospheric, dark tasting room inspired by a cellar in the Napa Valley, complete with illuminated shelving to cast a subtle glow.
3. Create a temperature-controlled wine showcase
‘Useful for storing a wine collection, a bespoke showcase can also be used to create a striking feature in your home,’ says interior designer Debra Kacher of dk Interiors. Glazed wine walls and rooms can be positioned in a hallway, under the stairs or as part of a dining area or entertaining space. Consult a specialist, such as Wine by Design, for a temperature control system.
4. Invest in a cooling wall
‘Incorporating a framed wine cooler within a wall of cabinetry provides the wow- factor in a kitchen and adds a touch of opulence which can be further enhanced with internal LED lighting options,’ says Keith Myers of The Myers Touch kitchen design studio. Often positioned alongside an integrated fridge and freezer, the glazed wine cooler adds interest and breaks up a tall run of solid door-fronted cabinetry.
5. Set up a dedicated wine zone
‘If you enjoy wine and have sufficient space in your kitchen, a dedicated bar zone can be an attractive addition to the room, so that drinks can be served away from the main cooking area,’ says Charlie Smallbone, founder of Ledbury Studio.
‘A wine cabinet for cooling white wine and a wine rack for storing room temperature reds are useful, as is storage for glassware.’ If you don’t have space for a separate bar, a wine cabinet built under an island, preferably close to bar stools or the dining table so that bottles are in easy reach, makes a practical addition to a sociable kitchen design.
Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens since 1990, working her way around the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-nineties. She was Associate Editor on Ideal Home, and Launch Editor of 4Homes magazine, before moving into digital in 2007, launching Channel 4's flagship website, Channel4.com/4homes. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for Realhomes.com, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she has also taken on the editorship of the magazine.
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