Father’s Day Gift Guide for Wine Lovers

Father’s day is quickly approaching and you want to show your Dad just how much he means to you. Besides the standard card and hug, you may be pondering on the perfect present to buy him.

If, like many others, your dad is a bit of a wine enthusiast, there are plenty of unique gift choices available that could keep him happy – from electric bottle openers, to custom-made wine racks and more.

We’ve put together a wine-related gift guide which may help you decide what to purchase for your wine-loving Dad this father’s day.

Wine Gifts for Father’s Day

Wine glasses

Wines glasses should be handled with care, but whenever there’s a special occasion taking place, accidents seem inevitable. If your household is low on glassware, then perhaps the perfect gift is a selection of high-quality glasses. Nothing irks a wine connoisseur more than drinking wine from a wrong glass, but thankfully, there are countless options available to suit any type of grape variety, which means you’ll almost certainly be able to find the ideal set to match your Dad’s tipple of choice!

Electric bottle openers

Technology has evolved over the years, so why not ‘wow’ your dad with an electronic wine bottle opener. Electric wine openers are powered by batteries and very easy to use – with a push of a button, the corkscrew is inserted into the cork, and the cork is removed in a matter of seconds.

As your old man ages, his arm mobility may be limited, which makes electric wine openers ideal as they don’t require any physical strength. This contraption will suit techie Dads in particular – just watch him bring it out at the next family gathering to impress the guests!

Wine tasting experience

 If your father is a person who prefers life experiences over material things, then a wine tasting experience might be a better suited gift. Plenty of UK wine bars, venues and wineries offer tasting sessions, allowing him to try some wines he may never have had before. Alternatively, head out to the countryside on a vineyard tour and learn about the art of wine-making from the pros.

No matter what experience you choose, you’ll get to spend some quality time together, which is by far the most important thing.

Wine racks

As time goes on, you may have noticed your Dad’s wine collection slowly getting bigger and bigger. Rather than having a growing collection of wine stacked on the kitchen counter, a wine rack can be an excellent solution to all his wine storage needs.

Wine must be treated with care, not to mention the many bottles that taste better with age, which is why most experts will tell you that proper storage is essential.

Wine racks come in a variety of different sizes and materials, making them suitable for any sort of room or interior style. Wooden racks generally give off a traditional, rustic feel, whereas metal wine racks offer a modernised look.

Smaller wine racks don’t take up too much space in the house and are ideal for a modest, personal collection of favourite bottles. On the other hand, large wine racks are excellent for avid collectors, or someone who is simply looking to expand their collection.

Alternatively, you can match your dad’s house interior with bespoke wine racks, which can be made-to-order and fitted in specific measurements to comfortably store several different bottle sizes.

Wine and food

Any real wine aficionado will understand the beauty of wine and food pairings. Either purchase your dad a wine and cheese or wine and chocolate hamper, or, alternatively, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, impress your dad by cooking his favourite meal and serving it with a bottle of complimentary wine.

For some guidance, here are several exquisite wine and food pairings you can easily try making at home this Father’s Day.


To stay on the safe side, most toppings that you put in your burger, except for spicy notes, would work well with Chardonnay. The acidity of this wine helps to cut any fattiness from the meat or any rich, creamy, and cheesy toppings. Also, the bubbles from the Chardonnay are excellent for lightening up salty toppings and are a great palate cleanser.

However, if you intend to create a burger packed full of sweeter toppings such as ketchup, caramelized onions and sweet relish, you’ll need a wine that’s tannin-rich. Wines like Malbec have high tannin levels, which works well to balance out the sweetness.

Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken is a perfect fit with light and zesty white wines. So look for wines like Grenache Blanc or Chardonnay, which helps to eliminate the fats. These wines are usually light-bodied and have notes of lemon, apple and white peach.

White Fish

Lean and flaky fish, like cod, seabass and haddock make an indulgent compliment with refreshing, fruity and zesty whites. White wines like Sauvignon Blanc harmonise well with many types of white fish, as well as bringing out the delicate fish flavour.

The general rule of thumb is that white wines are paired best with fish, rather than reds. Red wines consist of higher levels of tannins, which interact with fish oils and leave an unwanted taste in your mouth – in most cases, you’ll experience a metallic aftertaste. If your dad is more of a red wine drinker, opt for a red wine with low tannin levels, like Grenache.


Wine & Cheese Pairing – A Beginner’s Guide

The combination of wine and cheese is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but finding the perfect match may not be an easy task for beginners. With most food and wine pairings, the sweetness, acidity, body and tannins must be taken into consideration to avoid conflicting flavours. In order to prevent any unpleasant and unwanted taste experiences, this guide can help you understand the art of wine and cheese pairing.

Wine and cheese pairing guide

The possibilities are endless when it comes to wine and cheese pairing, so here are a few exquisite pairings you can experiment with.

Bloomy cheese

Bloomy cheese is generally soft, rich and creamy. Brie, a type of bloomy cheese, matches well with dry, light-bodied white wines, like Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Riesling. These white wines have citrus and grassy notes, which partners well with the buttery and creamy brie. Also, brie makes an indulgent compliment to dry, sparkling wine – the perfect excuse to pop a bottle of Champagne! What’s great about white wine or sparkling wines is that they’re high in acidity and carbonation, which allows the wine to act as a great palate cleanser after taking a creamy bite of cheese.

Semi-Soft cheese

Semi-soft cheese ranges from mild and buttery, to very pungent in flavour. They don’t crumble like hard cheeses, but aren’t soft enough to be spreadable. Some cheeses like Gouda are semi-soft when young, but their texture turns hard as they age. As Gouda is very nutty and intense in flavour, it requires a bold partner. A full-bodied wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, is tannin-rich, which can help to draw out its intense flavours. The tannins can bind with the fats in the cheese to unlock the herbs and dark fruits found in this wine.

Hard cheese

Hard cheeses are often firm but crumbly when they break, and described as nutty, pungent and salty. Hard cheeses like Vermont sharp cheddar has bold and strong flavours, so it holds well against a full-bodied wine, such as Pinot Noir. Vermont sharp cheddar helps compliment Pinot Noir’s drier tones and significantly enhances its interesting, red fruity elements.

Blue cheese

Either love it or hate it, blue cheese is packed with salty and unique flavours. Blue cheese, which contains veins of blue mould, can be soft and creamy, or semi-soft and crumbly. Due to its sharp character, Stilton should be paired with a low-tannin wine, such as a Chardonnay. Chardonnay has buttery, oaky flavours, which can balance out and bring out the intense notes of blue cheese.

Sweeter wines, including Port, Muscat and Late Harvest dessert wines, match wonderfully with stinky, blue-veined cheeses. Sweeter wines can balance the unique “funk” in the cheese and make it taste a lot creamier. Also, the “funk” in the cheese harmonises well and helps counteract the sweetness of the wine.

Goats’ cheese

Goats cheese is creamy and distinct in flavour. There’s a wide variety of goats cheese, which ranges from soft and spreadable fresh cheese, to salty, crumbly, aged cheese. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are fruity and zesty white wines, which can be served with aged goats cheeses, like Tomme. These white wines have features that help equalise the richness of the cheese and enhance the wine’s fruity flavours.

General pairing tips

As every one of us has our own individual palette, don’t be afraid to be adventurous and experiment with various wine and cheese pairings! Creating your own pairing can be daunting at first, but it can make you feel very content once you have found a magical combination that you love.
To successfully find the perfect wine and cheese match, you need to consider some general rules:

  • Both wines and cheese should have equal intensity, which means you should pair a strong wine with strong cheese, and a lighter wine with mild cheese. If you find that one of the flavours dominates the other, the taste experience will not be pleasant.
  • Soft, creamy cheeses are incredible with a sparkling wine or white wine that has a light hint of oak. White wines usually have low levels of tannins, so they complement gentler flavours without overpowering them.
  • Aged cheeses that are over six months are best served with a full-bodied wine, to compliment the bold flavours. The water content reduces, whilst the fat content increases over time as the cheese ages, which makes it richer in taste – the fat content in the cheese can counteract the high-tannins in the wine.
  • When in doubt, choosing a firm, nutty cheese is your safest bet, as they’re most suited to all types of wine. The cheese will have enough fat to balance out the tannin in red wine, as well as delicate enough to compliment white wines.

If you would like to discuss wine storage options, including bespoke wine racks, contact us today.

Beginner’s Guide to Pairing Wine with Chocolate

Chocolate is a treat that almost everyone can admit they enjoy, and believe it or not, it often matches very well with our beloved wine! However, as with most food and wine pairings, it is easy to get that match wrong, especially since different types of chocolate have a rather distinct tastes, and vice versa.

For instance, choosing a slab of dark chocolate to go with your dry red will leave you with a bitter and unpleasant taste in your mouth. This is because both have rather high levels of tannins and therefore create an imbalance and clash of flavours on the tongue.

To avoid a nasty surprise, read on to understand the basics of pairing wine with chocolate.

Dark chocolate

With its deep, rich flavour, dark chocolate should be paired with a full-bodied wine that is able to match its stronger character. A wine with hints of darker fruits, like blackberry, cranberry and blueberry, can work wonders with a nice bar of dark chocolate.

For semi-sweet dark chocolate, Muscats and Syrahs work well and help in bringing out the flavours within the chocolate to provide a fantastic taste in the mouth. Ports are also a strong choice, especially the traditional Portuguese Port that has spicy cinnamon undertones and pairs excellently with high-cacao chocolate.

With regards to bittersweet chocolate, powerful wines like Merlots and Barbera help compliment the drier tones. Italian dessert wines make for a particularly strong combination with dark chocolate, especially a quality Vin Santo del Chianti, which brings out the sweet taste of cinnamon, cherries and nuts. These help in balancing the bitterness of the dark chocolate and the tannins.

Milk chocolate

Due to its creamier texture and sweet taste, milk chocolate can be paired with many different types of wine. In particular, dessert wines, such as Muscat, Riesling and PX Sherry pair well with milk chocolate. As a rule of thumb, the wine you are drinking should be sweeter than the chocolate, in order to avoid a bitter taste in the mouth.

Late-harvest red wines, like Syrah, Petite Syrah and Pinot Noir, often bring out nice, interesting flavours. Likewise, Ruby Port from Portugal brings out some berry flavours when consuming milk chocolate. If peach and strawberry appeal to you, then pairing your milk chocolate with Brachetto d’Acqui or a sparkling Lambrusco di Sorbara is recommended.

While the Racioto della Valpolicella is a somewhat rare Italian wine, produced in the same region as Amarones, no list of milk chocolate pairings would be complete without it. This sweet red is produced using dried grapes, which concentrate the sugar levels and make this wine type a gorgeous pairing for smooth, milk chocolate truffles.

White chocolate

White chocolate doesn’t technically contain cocoa, instead being made with cocoa fat, which gives it its buttery texture. One wine which pairs excellently with white chocolate is a good pinot noir, since the sweetness of the chocolate brings out the wine’s cherry, strawberry and raspberry elements, lifting the bitter taste and tannins.

Sweet wines like Moscato d’Asti, sherry and ice wines also bring out interesting fruity or sweet flavours.

General observations

The specific wines and tips given above are a great place for novices to start their chocolate and wine journey, but, as each person has their own unique palette, experimenting with our own choices is not always a bad thing.

Bear in mind though, that there are several general rules to follow if you would like to experiment with your own matches:

  • Lighter wines go with lighter foods, which means the richer the chocolate is, the more full-bodied your wine selection should be.
  • Cold desserts are best with wine. Although many of us will be able to enjoy a glass of wine with a warm chocolate-based dessert, the flavours will not come out as well, making them difficult to detect.
  • Think beyond the chocolate. For instance, if you are dipping some strawberries in melted chocolate, or have a fruity flavoured sauce, try to find the right wines to suit the different elements on your plate.

To discuss wine storage options, including oak wine racking and custom wine cellars, contact us today.

Why Oak is the Best Material for a Wine Rack

The most popular wine racks are generally made of wood, which come in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles. Every wine enthusiast should remember to wisely choose a wine rack to store their bottles properly. A wine lover will need to invest in the perfect wine rack in order to grow their collection.

As finding the right wine rack for yourself can become a little tricky, this blog can be used as a guidance as to why oak might be the most suitable material for you.

Benefits of Oak Wine Racks


For those who appreciate the more traditional look and rustic theme, the oak wine rack will be the material you will sway towards, as opposed to a metal wine rack. Metal wine racks, generally, are either black or silver and tend to give a more modernised feel. Depending on your preference, you are able to customize your ideal wine rack, ranging from light to dark oak colour. With a variety of oak colours to choose from, it is easy to compliment any room design by matching the décor and colours.

Most people keep the oak wood unfinished and prefer the natural look of the material, which is completely fine as it does not affect the wine. Oak wood that is not stained or finished tends to darken and gain richness as the years progress. However, you may like to opt for staining the oak to match the furniture in your home, which is also acceptable. It is recommended that the stain you use is water-based, as the smell from the oil-based finishes can escape into the cork of the wine, affecting the wine’s overall taste.

Space & Cost efficient

Oak can also be designed to provide the maximum storage to fit your home or commercial space. Picking an oak material is the most flexible way to meet your space requirements, particularly if you are someone who has limited space or are on a budget.

As the festive Christmas season is arriving, it is the time for family celebrations and consuming alcoholic drinks. A small oak wine rack can be placed over a counter, or, alternatively, installing a bigger rack in the dining room is a great investment to keep the spirit high and the party going!


Oak is extremely durable, provides a lot of strength, and is mostly straight- grained hardwood that has high shock resistance. There is very low maintenance required when it comes to cleaning your wine storage, with the need for rare dusting and ensuring the rack is secure, safe and tightly intact. An oak wine rack is a solution for those who would rather sit back and admire their wine collection, without feeling frustrated that the wine storage requires a good scrub.


In comparison to cabinets or wine cellars, you are able to move oak wine racks into a different room, around the house or to a new area without much fuss.

Reminds you of an old wine cellar

The reason why other wine experts tend to favour an oak wine rack is that they are produced from reclaimed oak barrels. The fact that oak wine racks remind them of an old wine cellar is an attractive characteristic and why people think this material is a great fit for their home wine collection.

Reasons to Buy a Wine Rack for Christmas

With Christmas only a number of weeks away, the savvy shoppers among us will have already started making preparations for gifts and entertainment. Custom-made wine racks not only provide the perfect present for wine lovers, but they also offer great storage options for the various bottles of wine that will undoubtedly be consumed during the festive period.

Whether you are have just started collecting, are a seasoned pro with a vast collection, or simply want an attractive and reliable place to hold your bottles over the holidays, we at wine racks believe there are several reasons why you should buy a wine rack for Christmas!

The perfect gift for wine fanatics

They already have the high-end corkscrew, a fancy set of wine glasses and endless prestige bottles from all over the globe, which you couldn’t possibly attempt to match. So what else is there to purchase the wine fanatic in your life? The answer is a beautiful, high-quality, bespoke wine rack!

With bespoke racks, you can determine the size, specifications and type of material you wish your gift to be made in. The choice is yours – whether it be traditional wooden, oak wine racks or even metal wine racks – we can help match your preferred material to your loved ones’ interior style, room size and bottle range.

By purchasing a made-to-measure rack from a proper wine rack manufacturer, as opposed to the pieces you might be pick up in a furniture shop, you are guaranteeing a better quality gift and are showing that you have put love and thought into choosing a unique present, just for them.

A place to store your festive bottles

No doubt, during the Christmas holiday period and New Year soon after, the average British family will typically consume more quantities of alcohol than at other times of year. Likewise, bottles of wine are a gift that many people tend to give to one another during the festivities.

This, coupled with the fact that you might have 20+ family members over at any given time, means you could certainly benefit from having somewhere to store all those extra bottles, freeing up space for your guests. As such, investing in a custom-built wine rack ensures a sturdy, affordable and space-efficient way to hold numerous bottles of wine.

Entertain guests over Christmas

Wine is to be shared and enjoyed, which is why wine racks and, better yet, entire bespoke wine cellars, offer a remarkable way to entertain guests over Christmas. Having a dedicated space to show off your precious bottles allows you to perfectly demonstrate your in-depth knowledge and passion of wine in an organised, attractive way.

Really, who wouldn’t be impressed (and slightly jealous) upon seeing a custom-built wine cellar in a friend or family member’s own home?

To order a unique gift for a loved one, or just to treat yourself, contact us today with your requirements and we can arrange for your custom-made wine rack or cellar to be built in time for Christmas.

How to Organise your Wine Collection

For those passionate about wine, finding a dedicated space for their collection by investing in high-quality wine racks, or better yet, entire wine cellars is essential. However, there is no point forking out on gorgeous wine storage without first deciding upon the best way to organise the bottles themselves.

How you choose to do so is entirely up to you and will certainly depend upon your collection size; but organising by type, grape variety, region and age are generally the most common ways to categorise.


Organising wines by type is great for people with smaller collections and those who are not too picky regarding grape variety or pairings. Amateur collectors can’t go wrong when organising straightforwardly by reds, whites, roses, sparkling and dessert wines.

Grape Variety

The next step up is to arrange by grape variety, allowing collectors to organise more precisely. This ensures your Rieslings are not mixed in with your chardonnays, or your Shiraz bottles with your Sauvignons. Moreover, organising by variety makes food pairings easier and will ensure maximum efficiency when it comes to selecting your perfect bottle for any occasion.


For many wine collectors, there is a tendency to sway towards certain preferred wine regions. If this is you, it might make more sense to organise your collection by grape location, allowing you to group together your favourite bottles based on the country or particular region of origin.


For anyone serious about wine collecting, the age of your wines is a very important factor, particularly since many are supposed to be stored for years in order to reach their peak.

As such, you can also organise large collections based on ideal drinking dates, by keeping ready-to-drink bottles closer to the top, and the ones you do not wish to touch for quite some time at the bottom of the wine rack, or the harder-to-reach areas of the cellar.

This will ensure you are serving wine at their perfect peaks, preventing any undesirable premature openings!


It is more than likely that you will have at least a couple of very expensive bottles within your collection, which you might be saving for a special occasion. We recommend storing your priciest bottles or most superior vintages at the bottom levels of your wine racks or cellar so that you do not find yourself drinking them on an impulse.

Nobody wants to spend a significant amount of time searching for the perfect bottle, particularly when you have guests to host, which is why organising your wine collection is vital for both efficiency and decorative purposes.

At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way to categorise your bottles – it is simply about finding what works for you.

The Benefits of Having a Wine Cellar Installed

While they were previously considered a luxury interior feature for the mega-rich, bespoke wine cellars are now becoming increasingly popular among ordinary homeowners, particularly those who have a penchant for collecting many bottles over several years. We outline the top benefits of having a wine cellar fitted in your home.

Keeps wine unspoiled

Any wine connoisseur worth their title knows that there are very specific conditions in which wine should be stored to prevent it from going bad, which is why having a cellar fitted by a professional is highly beneficial.

An expert wine cellar fitter knows the optimal temperature and humidity controlled environment needed to properly store wine and will advise you to include cellar conditioners, whilst ensuring the materials used and product dimensions within the cellar are all fit for purpose.

While wine fridges or coolers may be used by those with a hobby who want to store a few bottles for drinking sooner rather than later, they are not ideal for storing wine long-term since they have been known to produce heat. Instead, serious wine collectors will want to have a wine cellar fitted, which is ideal for storing and preserving bottles for years to come.


Built-in home wine cellars are a great way to organise your inventory in one place and means you are aware of exactly which wines you have acquired over time. This means you have easy and direct access to any given bottle and can plan when to drink them based on peak ageing and quality.

For those amongst us who are lucky enough to have a very large collection and a big wine cellar, there is also technology available to help with coordinating and categorising bottles, making life easier.

Adds value to your home

Having a home wine cellar will undoubtedly add extra value to your property, whether it be extending an existing area of the home, such as the basement, or planning a wine cellar for a new build. Any person serious about wine would be thrilled at the chance to live in a home with a built-in area for their passion, meaning someone could be willing to pay far more for your property with that extra feature.

Moreover, hiring an expert to fit a bespoke wine cellar means you are able to choose the materials and features you would like and which perfectly suits the style and interior of your home.

Increases your knowledge

Taking your wine collection seriously by having a cellar installed can only serve to enhance your knowledge and fascination with the world of wine. This may also affect your travel choices as you seek to visit international wine regions and local vineyards in order to update and add to your collection.

Moreover, wine cellars look seriously impressive and are a great way to show off both your cellar and your skillset to dinner guests. Why not even go one step further and think about installing a tasting table?

Lowers costs

People with ample room to store their prized wines normally find that they save money in the long run, by purchasing vintages when they are reasonably priced and keeping them stored in their cellar for future investment when they reach peak ageing. Having a bigger space also allows collectors to buy wine in bulk cases rather than in single bottles, also lowering purchase costs.

Get in touch with us on +44 (0)115 944 1434 for advice on wine cellars or discuss your needs.

Five Facts You Never Knew About Wine

  1. The Romans came up with the notion of toasting wine

That’s right, not only did the Romans invent concrete, sewers, roads, the calendar, the newspaper and underfloor heating, but they even invented the toast! And who would have guessed that it actually involved real toasted bread! It apparently originated when the Senate made it a requirement that emperor Augusts be honoured with a toast at every meal. They would drop a piece of burnt toast (known as the tostus) into a glass of wine to disguise the wine’s disagreeable flavours and then raise a glass to the guest of honour.

  1. The world’s oldest bottle is… really old

The Speyer wine bottle was uncovered in Germany in 1867 and is believed to be from 325 AD! If this is correct, it is the oldest known unopened bottle of wine in the world. The bottle was discovered during an excavation within a 4th-century AD Roman nobleman’s tomb. One source says the man was a Roman legionary and the wine was a provision for his celestial journey. We know wine is meant to improve with age but we think you might be better off missing this one out if someone starts handing out glasses of this wine!

  1. But it’s not as old as the world’s oldest wine…

The world’s oldest bottle of wine might be almost 1,700 years old, but scientists have recently revealed that they have found pottery fragments which show the earliest evidence of grape wine-making. The fragments are believed to be 8,000 years old and were discovered in two Neolithic villages, called Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora. The world’s earliest non-grape based wine is understood to be a fermented alcoholic mixture of rice, honey and fruit dating back to 7,000 BC in China.


  1. Tutankhamun loved his wine

Egypt dominated the wine trade between 1550 and 1070 BC, and the Egyptians went about improving it as much as they could. They first created amphorae to make the transportation of wine easier and then they created the wine label. It seems that the 19-year-old King Tut was a fan of the alcoholic grape-based beverage as there were 26 amphorae found in his tomb alongside a wide array of other artefacts. The amphorae were all labelled with extremely specific details regarding the year the wine was made, where it was made, who made it and even the style of wine. They had a rating system of good, great or excellent wine (does this mean they never made a bad bottle?). We wonder if they could have done with some wooden oak wine racks, as the amphorae don’t seem to be very neatly placed!

  1. Some people have a wine phobia

This uncommon fear is called Oenophobia and is the irrational fear of wine. People with Oenophobia have a paralysing fear of seeing the consumption of wine, wine bottles and spilt wine. The disease is related with methyphobia (fear of alcoholic beverages). In both of these cases, the person with the phobia often dislikes these alcoholic drinks as they are afraid that they may suffer severe poisoning when consuming them. Even the idea of this can cause extreme anxiety, tremors, respiratory problems, abdominal pain and nausea.

How to keep your wine cellar at the correct temperature.

Although climate control is recommended, in many environments it is by all means not essential. There are many old basements in the UK that offer a passive environment (one where the temperature sits in the ideal wine range and that fluctuates very slowly), perfect for wine, predominantly in Victorian and Georgian houses. Many wine experts actually believe that a passive wine cellar environment helps the wine develop complexity that artificial environments just cannot match.

You would have to monitor the temperature and humidity of the cellar over a decent amount of time to decide whether it is fit for wine storage so if you wanted it as a cellar in the short term then you may need to install a wine cellar cooling unit. These units are not the same as air conditioning systems and are built to maintain the temperature of the wine cellar in a range of 10-14% generally and a humidity of 50-80%.

There are two main types of wine cellar units that you can choose from Monobloc systems and Split systems.

The Monobloc systems are predominantly the cheaper option but do need specific room conditions to be in place before you use them. They for instance have requirements on floor, ceiling and wall insulation as well as certain venting, wall placement needs etc.

Split systems may be slightly more expensive but have the advantage of normally being quieter and also they are less intrusive as they don’t have such high room requirements.

The two main suppliers are Koolspace and Fondis and both can be found on our website, so for any advice or if you have any queries please give us a call or email.