How is Wine Made? A Brief Overview of the Wine-Making Process

Wine is one of the most celebrated alcoholic beverages, drunk by people all across the world. However, many of us lack the understanding of what goes on behind the scenes and the extensive effort that goes into producing a bottle of wine.

If you are curious about how wine is made, continue reading as we outline the five core stages of wine production.

1. Grow and harvest grapes

When the grapes are ripe, they are harvested either by machines or by hand. Machines are the more time-efficient method for harvesting grapes, particularly in modern times. Grape harvesting machines work by shaking the grapes off from their stems and collecting them as they fall.

That being said, in steeper areas, or vineyards which are difficult to access, or where labour is cheaper than investing in a machine, winemakers often choose to harvest the grapes by hand.

It is important to note that the method of grape picking has little effect on the overall quality of the wine.

2. Crushing grapes

Wineries tend to check and discard unwanted leaves and bad grapes on long conveyor belts. The good grapes are selected and are usually destemmed to minimise the tannins.

Destemming the grapes can also help decrease temperatures during the fermentation process, and potentially reduce the alcohol levels. After the grapes have been destemmed, they are crushed and ready for fermentation.

It is, however, becoming more common for winemakers to ferment with whole clusters of grapes. Fermenting grapes with the stem can add more tannins and acidity, which can lead to the wine having a fresher and more vibrant character.

3. Fermentation

In winemaking, fermentation is the process in which grape juice is turned into alcohol. During fermentation, the yeast culture turns the sugar that’s present in the grape juice into ethanol and carbon dioxide. There are a variety of different yeast strains that either occur naturally or are added to control the flavour of the wines.

Typically, red wines are fermented at warmer temperatures of around 20 – 32 degrees, while white and rose wines are fermented at cooler temperatures of around 12 – 22 degrees. Moreover, red wines are generally fermented until the yeast culture has consumed all the sugar, which results in a drier wine.

In red wine production, the grapes are fermented in a large, open vessel with their skin attached, to produce a deep, red colour. As well as adding colour, the skin of grapes increases the tannin content and adds a distinct flavour to the red wine.

During white wine production, the grape’s skin is removed before fermentation. Most people think that white wines are only made from white grapes, but in fact, many quality white wines are made from skinless black grapes.

In rose wine production, winemakers need to have control over the colour of the wine. The grapes are initially fermented with their skin, but once the juice has created a slight red hue, it is pressed and transferred to another tank. Before the fermentation process can continue, the skin of the grapes must be removed, which gives the rose wine its pinkish colour.

4. Maturation

The next step in the winemaking process involves the maturation stage. For the wine to mature and develop complex flavours, it is placed into separate vessels.

Maturation periods vary depending on the winemaker’s motive. Some winemakers age their wine for at least five years or more, while others only age for several months, so they can be consumed straightaway.

Inexpensive wines are usually matured in stainless-steel tanks, but there are many premium wines which are matured in oak barrels, to enhance and create smoky flavours. The vessels of old oak barrels are porous so that oxidation can occur – this allows oxygen to dissolve into the wine and soften the tannins, which results in smoother tasting wine.

5. Fining, filtering and bottling

After the maturation stage, the wine undergoes a process called fining. Fining clarifies and removes any unwanted particles which are present in the wine – it is usually done with minerals like egg white, bentonite or gelatine.

Once the wine is purified, the fining minerals are then filtered out. The wine is poured into the disinfected wine bottle after determining its size and shape. Lastly, before the wine is bottled, a layer of gas is added to the top of the wine to preserve it.

If you’re a wine enthusiast who is looking to extend your wine collection, we have a wide range of high-quality wine racks solutions to suit any space. For further assistance regarding our bespoke wine rack services, contact us today.

How to Read a Wine Label

Wine lovers can tell whether the wine they have selected is suitable for their palette by soaking in the abundant information found within the wine label. Before you make a purchase, knowing how to read the wine label can be extremely useful to ensure that you’ve made the right choice and help you find what you want. It’s best to understand the label for many reasons; when you want to find the right bottle to pair with your meal, when you are looking to find your new favourite, or when you are deciding to splash out and invest in an expensive bottle to add to your collection.

If you want to learn how to read a wine label properly, continue on as we discuss several key components you should grasp before buying wine.

Origin

One of the first things you should understand from reading a label is where the wine was produced. Knowing where it originated from can help you distinguish the character and quality of the wine.

The country where it came from can be found at the top, bottom, or the back of the wine label. In some cases, the producer displays the wine region instead of the country — usually, wines produced in specific areas are often more expensive and better in quality.

Old World wines are the very first countries which produced the beverage. Wines produced in countries like France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland and Romania are considered as Old World. Generally, Old World wines tend to have lower alcohol content than New World wines because the climate is more suitable for growing grapes. The grapes grown in cooler temperatures can naturally ripen, causing the wine to taste lighter, fresher and more acidic.

On the other hand, New World wines are made in warmer climates, such as Australia, New Zealand, Chile, USA, Argentina and South Africa, which means they typically have a higher alcohol content as the grapes are grown in hotter temperatures. These wines are bolder, fruitier and fuller-bodied than Old World wines.

Quality designations

Old World wines are ranked from superior quality wines to table wines. Table wines are the lowest-rated wines that you can drink on a day-to-day basis. Every country has regulated and put in place its own wine rating system, so make sure you do your research on the quality of the wine.

Estate bottled

Looking for the words “estate bottled” on a wine label shows that all the grapes were grown, processed, fermented and bottled at the same location. These words are often found under the vintage year at the front of the wine label.

Type of grape

New World wines reveal their character by showcasing the type of grape used to produce the wine. If the wine label doesn’t show the grape, there’s a high possibility that the wine was made from a variety of grapes.

Knowing which types of grape or varietal you enjoy makes it easier for you to select a bottle that you may like and saves you time in remembering the wine’s region.

Vintage or non-vintage wines

Identifying the year when the wine was produced can tell you whether the wine is vintage or non-vintage. If you can’t find the year on the front label, check the back of the label or the neck of the bottle.

Vintage wines are designed for ageing and are made from grapes that have been harvested within the same year. Tannins act as a natural preservative and determine how the wine tastes. Both white and red wines contain tannins, which can be bitter and unpleasant to drink when young.

As such, young wines should be left to age within bespoke wine cellars to develop the flavours and aromas. Typically, red wines contain more tannins than white wines, making them taste better with age.

Non-vintage wines are made from a mixture of grapes that were harvested from different years. These particular wines can be consumed immediately, as their flavours and aromas don’t generally improve with age.

Alcohol level

It is good to know the alcohol content of the wine, by looking for the alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage at the bottom of the front or the back of the wine label. You might want to find the perfect wine to enhance your meal, such as opting for a light white wine with seafood or a heavier red wine with steak.

The percentage of ABV varies depending on the producer, whereby some wines’ alcohol content can range from as low as 7% ABV to as high as 23% ABV. Many New World wines are stronger as they have higher alcohol content than Old World wines. Usually, most red wines have more alcohol content than white wines, and sweeter wines have a higher ABV than drier wines.

 

The Evolution of the Wine Cellar

In ancient times, having a wine cellar was not necessary as wine was produced for immediate consumption. However, when winemakers began approaching merchants who aim to export their produce to other areas, people discovered that environmental changes could affect the quality of their wine.

Environmental changes like fluctuations in temperature and humidity can speed up the wine’s ageing process. While excessive exposure to oxygen can make the wine taste bitter, the lack of oxygen can prevent the wine from maturing. Also, UV exposure and vibrations can increase the rate of premature ageing and chemical reaction, which spoils the taste of the wine. Thus, wine should be stored in certain conditions to gain and retain its rich flavour.

If you’re curious about knowing how wine cellars have evolved through the years, read on to discover how winemakers and merchants used to store their wine.

How have wine cellars evolved over time?

Greek ancestry

During these times, many people did not understand that incorrectly storing wine could significantly affect the taste of it. Ancient Greeks used an amphora – the first wine containers made of terracotta with two handles, to store wine. Amphora was favourable as it could easily be stacked on a ship’s hold for trading between the Mediterranean cities.

Roman ancestry

To compete with the Greeks, the Romans stored their wine in fumantorires and traded it beyond the Mediterranean area, such as France, Spain, Portugal and Germany. Fumantorires are smoke-filled rooms, placed next to or above the kitchens. The smoke preserves the wine, but the high-temperature levels can increase the oxidation process and affect the overall flavour of the wine.

The more prosperous Romans used their wealth and dedicated an entire room – a cella vinaria – to conserve their wine. The cella vinaria was located on the ground floor, slightly resembling the modern wine cellars we have today. However, storing wine in a cella vinaria could expose it to extreme climate changes, which caused the wine to taste very unpleasant.

As time passed, people were able to gain a better understanding of how environmental conditions affected the quality of the wine. As such, the Romans resulted in using catacombs to store their wine. Catacombs were subterranean cemeteries that spanned miles below the Roman cities. Only wealthier wine producers and merchants could afford the underground rooms for wine storage.

French ancestry

Moving forward, the French were able to introduce wine caves for storing wine. As well as conforming to architectural laws, the construction of wine caves became popular when stone material was available. Each house had to be built on an arch to reduce the impact of shifts in the ground. These requirements created the ideal environment for conserving wine that was placed 10 metres below the earth’s surface. Digging 10 metres underground enables the wine to stay at a constant temperature of 12 degrees, even during seasonal changes.

Wine cellars today

The wine cellars we have today are increasingly a must-have for many wine connoisseurs. Modern wine cellars come in two variations:

Passive wine cellar

A passive wine cellar is built underground, without the need for controlling the environmental conditions. Generally, when you want to maintain the quality of your wine bottles, storing wine underground is the best solution – it prevents vibrations, exposure of UV light and temperature and humidity fluctuations.

Active wine cellar

An active wine cellar allows you to regulate and optimise a room’s environmental conditions and as a result, your wine bottles experience minimal climate changes, exposure of UV light and vibrations. This type of wine cellar is usually installed overground, whereby individuals use a spare room for storage, display and wine tasting.

If you’re planning to customise your own wine cellar and showcase your wine collection, we can tailor the wine storage to meet your requirements. For further questions regarding our bespoke wine cellar services, contact us today.

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.

Burgers

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

Aesthetics

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!

Maintenance

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.

Mobility

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.

Type

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.

Region

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.

Age

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!

Price

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.

Organisation

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.