Why a Wine Cellar is the Best Place to Store Your Wine

Any wine connoisseur dreams of having a wine cellar in their own home. As wine cellars are becoming increasingly popular for many conventional homeowners, it’s never too late to get one installed in your home!

Read on to discover why upgrading from a wine rack or wine cabinet to a wine cellar is the best place to store your wine.

Arrange into categories

If your collection of wine is continuously growing, having a built-in wine cellar in your house is the perfect way to organise your wine. You can arrange your wine into categories, such as colour, age, region and even different occasions. Organising your wine makes it easier for you to choose and get access to the bottle you wish to drink for a special event or even just to sip leisurely.

Avoid direct sunlight

Wine cellars can prevent and protect your wine from coming in to contact with sunlight. The UV rays from sunlight can cause damage to your wine and speed up premature ageing. As every room in a house has windows, the wine on the wine racks or wine cabinets will inevitably be exposed to the natural light.

It is, therefore, best to keep wine cellars in darkness and away from sunlight, you’ll need to have some form of light to see and pick a bottle of wine when a guest comes around. It is recommended to use a LED light source for your wine cellar, as minimal heat is emitted from the bulb. An LED bulb also prevents temperature fluctuations, as well as eliminating wine degradation and the build-up of moisture.

Prevents temperature fluctuations

Changes in the temperature can have a negative impact on the wine’s ageing and chemical process. A wine cellar will be a great solution to keep the temperature mild, constant and controlled. Although you are able to control the temperature and store wine in wine fridges or coolers. They’re not ideal for storing wine in the long-term as they produce heat, whereas with wine cellars, considering they’re in an environment with a controlled temperature and other optimal cellar conditions, you can store your collection of wine for many years.

Optimise humidity levels

Humidity is another factor that affects the condition of the wine. Wine stored in a wine fridge can dehumidify the wine and cause the cork to dry out, but excess humidity offers the perfect condition for mould to grow and destroy wine labels. With a wine cellar, you can control the moisture in a room to the optimal level – it is recommended that the wine should be at 70% humidity.

Reduced vibrations

Vibrations can accelerate the ageing process of wine and speed the chemical reactions, which decreases the quality of the wine. No matter whether it is accidental, or if you have limited room to move around freely, you can create vibrations by bumping into the side of the table where the wine racks are placed or nudging wine cabinets. A wine cellar can minimise vibrations, and thus allowing you to store your wine for longer.

Increase the price of your home

You can increase the price of your home if you build your own wine cellar. All you need is a basement, small room, or garage – you can even consider extending your home if you do not have space. There are many wine enthusiasts who would love to live in a house with an area that’s dedicated to wine. With the in-built wine cellar, they could be willing to pay more for your property as this feature is rarely offered to the housing marketing.

A Beginner’s Guide to Wine Tasting

On special occasions, many people decide to go to a classy and elegant restaurant for a nice meal. As you sit down at the table, the waiter presents you with the wine list. Being surrounded by wine connoisseurs at other tables, you may feel intimidated and inclined to take on board what the waiter recommended in order to fit the crowd. Before you have time to think, the waiter enthusiastically pours you a little taster of the wine. Just like the rest of us who are not wine experts, you do a slight swirl, give a little sip and half-heartedly agree that the wine was a perfect match.

People often think wine tasting is a complicated and daunting exercise. As long as you understand the basic principles of wine tasting, you can convince any waiter you are a wine connoisseur. It may be your first wine tasting event, and you want to make it seem like you have experience appreciating fine wine. If you would like to become a wine connoisseur, continue reading this guide, and we will teach you the fundamental steps of how to taste wine.

Look at it

All your senses are involved with wine tasting. Our vision gives us the first impression of the wine. You need to hold the glass in front of your face and examine the colour. Tilt the glass and let the wine thin out to determine whether it is young or old. If the white wine appears to be more golden, or the red wine appears deeper and intense in colour, the older and more complex the flavour is. Also, pay attention to the clarity of the wine as a cloudy wine indicates it is unfiltered or faulty.

Swirl it

Begin swirling your glass by rotating your wrist and keep an eye out on how fast the wine travels in your glass. You will see droplets, referred to as “legs”, running down the side of the wine glass after swirling. The term legs are used to identify a white or red wine’s body. Thin legs are where a wine that moves like water is equivalent to a lighter body. A lighter body suggests the wines are more fresh, delicate and refined. Thick legs are where wine resembles syrup and has more droplets on the side of the glass, which is equivalent to a fuller body. A thick body implies the wine is extremely rich and mostly has a higher alcohol content.

Smell it

Your sense of smell contributes to 50% of what you taste. It is essential that a good swirl is required to release the aromas of the wine and increase its interaction with oxygen to give you a better tasting experience. Move your nose close to the edge of the wine glass, taking a deep sniff and identify any smell you find familiar. Swirl again and repeat the process several times to get a clearer understanding of your wine.

The aromas of the wine are broken down into 3 main categories:

Primary Aromas
The grape naturally has fruity, herbal and floral aromas – which are smells to distinguish the grape type and the terroir.

Secondary Aromas
These are the smell from the process of making wine. The aromas such as oak, sourdough, yoghurt and butter that are present depend on the type of condition and fermentation of the wine production.

Tertiary Aromas
Tertiary aromas are from the wine’s ageing process. Aromas of coffee, chocolate and toffee are prominent if the wine has been oxidised in oak barrels for a long time. Earthly flavours such as mushroom and vegetables are bold if the ageing process is reductive – which is when the wine is protected in a bottle, avoiding contact with oxygen.

From the wine’s aroma, you can also distinguish the wine’s condition and its faults. For example, if you smell rotten eggs, it is associated with high levels of reduction during wine production. Aromas of toffee, caramel and honey are present due to high oxidation levels, which decreases the wine’s fruity flavour. If there is an aroma of damp cardboard, there may be problems with the cork. The wine can be contaminated with Trichloroanisole (TCA) – a harmless airborne fungus that reduces the freshness and fruity flavour.

Taste it

Finally, you can take your first sip along with some air to release more of the wine’s aromas. Roll the wine over your tongue, and as you swallow the wine, you need to breathe out through your nose and “chew” the wine by coating your mouth like how you would do with mouthwash.

The wine’s sugar, body, tannin and acid components are the most important factors to consider when you taste wine as this changes how you pair it with food.

Sugar
After the fermentation process, the sugar that is left over determines the overall sweetness of the wine. The fruity flavours of the wine can give off an impression that the wine is sweeter. Red wines are generally dry, but some have a hint of sweetness, which is known as “off-dry”.

Body
The body is the general feeling of the wine. Does it feel heavy or light? Does your throat feel fiery after swallowing? With a higher alcohol content, the wine will taste stronger and suggests it has a thicker body.

Tannin
The skin and stem from grapes, mostly red and a few white, cause your lips to stick to your teeth, have a bitter flavour and a dry mouth. Generally, tannins are found in red wine, but a few white wines will taste bitter as they have been heavily oaked during wine production.

Acidity
The acidity of the wine creates a sensation of how fresh and crisp it is. The wine will tastes like a citrus fruit if the acidity is high, and tastes like milk if the acidity is lower. All red, rose and white wines are acidic, but white wines have the highest acidity levels.

The evaluation

Draw your thoughts and sensations after experiencing the wine. There needs to be a balance between the sugar levels, body, tannin and acidity. These components can help you choose which wine you prefer or experiment more with other wines before you find the best wine to suit your palate. You will soon become a wine fanatic after some practice! Eventually, you might want to own a wine collection – you can start off with buying a wine rack for your household.

How to Store your Wine Correctly

Have you ever sat at work and dreamt about your first gorgeous glass of wine that you will be indulging in as soon as you step through the door of your home? Has that dream ever been thwarted when later that evening the cork breaks as you’re trying to open the bottle? If so, the main reason your wine is becoming undrinkable is most likely the way you’re storing your wine bottles. Wine is a very fragile liquid and can often be spoiled when not cared for. Many bottles of wine sit for weeks, months or even years before being opened and enjoyed. If you have ever worried that you are not storing your wine correctly and want some top tips to prevent your wine from becoming spoiled, read on.

Purchase the right wine rack

It is very important that you purchase the right wine storage so that you can stock your wine correctly. You need to have enough space in order to store all of the wine bottles that are going to be stored on it, but also need to make sure you choose the right material and design of your wine rack so that it doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb alongside your interior design style.

Store wine on its side

If you decide to store wine standing up, it can (and will) result in the cork drying out and ruining the wine. The dried cork will shrink, resulting in air making its way in the bottle, which can spoil the wine rapidly! It does not matter whether all of the other conditions in which you store your wine are perfect, a dried out cork can turn all expensive wines into salad dressing. By placing the bottle on its side, it means you will keep the cork moist and prevent air from getting into the bottle and ruining your delicious investment.

Keep it chilled

If you didn’t know already, average room temperature is too warm to serve or store your wine. As with most foods, the warmer the temperature of the wine, the faster the wine will go bad and undrinkable. If you have ever accidentally left wine in the car during the summer and then tried having a swig, you will realise how bad it can taste. Leaving a bottle at room temperature can do the same over a long period of time. Room temperature wine tastes duller than a chilled wine, this is why it is better to keep it cool.

Keep it somewhere you can easily select a bottle

It is imperative that when you are trying to decide on what bottle you would like to divulge in that evening, that you know what wines are in your collection and where to find it. Although documenting your collection is helpful, it’s hard to beat a clear visual display of all of your bottles. It should always be as easy as possible to work out what bottles of wine you have available.

The Best Materials to Use for your Wine Rack

Finding the perfect storage solution for your wine collection can be an intimidating job with so many aspects to deliberate and choices to decide between. To make this job a tiny bit easier for you, we have put together our first ultimate guide to choosing the best materials for wine racks. Carry on reading to find out what type of material will best suit your wine rack needs.

Wood

There are only a select few types of wood that are suitable to be used for a wine rack, the most popular types of wood being Redwood and Mahogany. These two kinds of wood are extremely resistant to rotting, decay and infestation. They also have no characteristic odour associated with them, which is extremely important when it comes to wine racks as you do not want the smell to start affecting the wine.

Oak is also a popular option for making wine racks, especially oak from reclaimed oak barrels. These can look extremely pleasing and sometimes even give off the smell of an old wine cellar. Oak is used for kit and custom racks but can be hard to work with as it is extremely dense.

Metal

If you intend to store your treasured wine bottles in a smaller area, such as a closet or in a cupboard or small kitchen, metal wine racks may be the best solution for you. Metal racks are typically thinner than those made from wood, which normally ends up saving you some space – making metal wine racks appealing for those with less room in their home. Compared to wooden racks, metal racks are usually easier to build – which can make moving furniture about the house quicker and easier. As well as this, metal wine racks are commonly used for their aesthetic features and fit in well with more contemporary styled rooms.

Plastic

A modern addition to your kitchen, living room or restaurant, plastic wine racks offer functionality and elegance. Plastic is a safer and cheaper substitute for purchasing glass, as well as being lighter to move and reposition. If you’re an avid wine drinker, a plastic wine rack is a great way to store your wine and show off your collection when your friends come over for those popular parties you are famous for hosting. Or you may even just want to display the latest promotional offers and deals on wines of the week in your corner shop – the design of plastic wine racks makes it super easy to change up displays without any hassle. Plastic wine racks come in a selection of sizes and shapes, storing up to six bottles of wine comfortably.

Despite being lightweight, plastic wine racks are incredibly durable and can withstand impact and weight easily without risking damage to the rack itself or the bottles. What’s more, plastic is easy to clean with just a wipe of a damp cloth, so any spillages can be removed efficiently without the need for chemical cleaners.

How to Care for your Quality Oak Wine Rack

Oak furniture is a very good investment, and proper care of this wood will help it last for many years. Oak has become one of the most popular types of wood type because of its natural durability. This heavy hardwood can endure a lot of wear and tear. The gorgeous grain patterns and intricate shapes make this wood desirable for all types of furniture. The most popular pieces are tables and chairs, but oak wine racks are also extremely desirable and will last a lifetime. If you have a wine rack and are wondering how to get the most out of it, read our top tips on how to care for your oak wine racks.

Cleaning

Your standard household cleaning equipment is quite likely to damage the finish of your oak wine rack over time. Every time you clean your wine rack, you should really be wiping the surface down with a clean, damp cloth. For more serious cleaning jobs (which might lead to staining), blot the rack with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth. If there is ever a stain on your wine rack that you think looks like it will be too hard to clean yourself, it’s best to contact a professional furniture restorer who will use time-served techniques to get your wine rack back into tip top condition.

Airing out

If your new oak wine rack has been recently oiled, it might have a strong odour. To minimize this, leave it in an open space to help the smell dissipate. You might want to keep windows open or run an air purifier. Oak wine racks will often be oiled before they are packed and shipped. If the smell is strong, consider placing a bowl with baking soda, white vinegar, and activated charcoal near it as this can absorb odours.

Waxing

While everyday wear and tear might take its toll on MDF or wood veneer (both are prone to chipping or peeling), solid hardwood is much more robust. Waxing your oak wine rack regularly conditions the timber and creates a hardwearing, protective seal that better repels water and retains the wood’s optimum moisture levels.

Dusting

Dusting your wine rack should be done regularly and carefully, rubbing in the direction of the wood grain with a soft cloth, so that you don’t accidentally leave scratch marks behind. Be sure to rotate the cloth frequently to remove any of the previous dirt coming back into contact with the wine rack. This should become part of your regular cleaning routine and can be applied to other wooden pieces of furniture.

Quality oak wine racks or wine cabinets will always be a great choice when it comes to wine storage spaces, the finishes available really allow the wine rack to fit in with the mood of your home whilst storing your wine safely and securely.

Why you should use a Wine Rack in your Home

 

Wine is the crème de la crème of the party beverage. Going to a party? Buy a bottle of wine. Fancy a night in and a microwave meal? Bottle of wine, please. Meeting your partner’s family for dinner around their house? You got it, wine me up. But if a wine bottle is not stored properly, it can lose a lot of its colour and taste. This is why you need a wine rack to store all of your bottles and make sure that you do not dish out dodgy wine when you start hitting those summer garden parties, whether it be a solid pine wine rack or a gleaming metal wine rack. Not convinced about whether you should use a wine rack or not? Here is why you definitely should use a wine rack and what is the best type wine rack to get.

There are, of course, many ways that you can store wine, but the general consensus is that the best and easiest way to store your wine is through a wine rack. Wine racks make sure that your wine is safe when stored, even if that is only for a short amount of time. You must also worry about the condition that wine is stored in to make sure it matures properly such as temperature, light condition, humidity and movement. So make sure you keep these conditions in mind when picking out the size and shape of your wine rack too!

The most important factor when choosing a wine rack is, of course, finding one that will store your wine properly. The style of wine racks available to the casual wine drinker is increasing dramatically. There are now styles such as wall mounts, side mounts and stack systems, all coming in various different shapes and sizes and holding as little as three bottles or as many as a hundred.

The reason you should be investing in a horizontal wine rack in order to store your wine properly is that a horizontal wine rack will prevent the cork from drying out and start to shrink which brings air into the bottle of wine and will ruin it. Vertical racks are fine for storing wines for short periods of time., but if you are looking to lay down a bottle of wine for a month or more then you will be in danger of ruining that bottle. It is, therefore, commonly argued that horizontal racks are the best racks for storing wine as it is better to be safe than sorry if you don’t know when you are going to be cracking open the next bottle, it is better to leave it in a horizontal position. Horizontal racks are also easily added to if you feel you need more bottle spaces.

Not only do you have to pick the shape of your wine rack, but it is also important to think about what materials you would like your wine rack to be made out of. Wine racks can be finished in a range of materials. You can normally select the materials, style, design and colour of your rack when going to the right supplier. This can include a large variety of woods and stains, recyclable materials or metal. If you want to hang racks on the walls, especially smaller ones as decoration, you should consider racks made of lighter materials to avoid causing to damage the walls.

No matter what size your wine collection is, you can find the right rack for your lovely home. A little bit of time and effort into making sure you know what you want can go a long way to give you the collection of your dreams.

Wine Pairing 101: What Food Goes With Your Wine?

You’re sat down to dinner at a fancy restaurant that you have had reserved for months. Desperately, you start scanning the food and wine menu and wondering what bottle would go best with what dish. The waiter sympathetically looks down at you as a drop of sweat falls from your brow on to the tablecloth. You expectantly look at your partner in the hope that they will be able to get you out of this uncomfortable mess of an evening. You stutter through ordering your starters and then it comes to ordering the dreaded bottle of wine. Throat tightening, palms sweating, you lean forward and whisper ‘white zinfandel’.

Does this situation ring a bell? Maybe yours wasn’t so dramatic, but we’ve all felt the dread when it comes to ordering wine at a restaurant. We all feel underqualified when trying to pair what food would best go with what wine. Especially if we like are fancy enough to be thinking about looking at wine cellars UK in order to start acquiring a collection of wine. If you find it hard to find that perfect pairing, here are our six top tips when it comes to pairing wine.

Match flavours

Always try to match flavours in the wine with flavours in the food. If the wine has a smoky or oaky aroma, then pair it with a smoky dish. If the wine has a hint of dark berries, then make a sauce that contains similar berries. Pairing wine and food is all about making tastes that match.

Opposites attract

As you may have been able to work out on your own, sweet and sour complement each other very well. You will be able to create a beautiful meal by pouring yourself a large glass of beautifully sweet and fruity wine alongside a salty dish for dinner.  This Chinese realised this a long time ago, hence sweet and sour chicken… yum.

High tannin

If you decide that you would like to pull a bottle of wine from your cabinet that has high tannin, then a nice pairing is to serve foods which fatty proteins, like duck, to counterbalance it. Keep all of the sauces condensed and well-cooked as too much alcohol highlights the tannin. Low tannin wines work well with light white proteins.

High acidity

If you have decided to serve a wine with a rather high acidity. You may want to make a meal with an equal amount of acidity to compliment the dish. This means not using too much salt so you can highlight the wine and compliment it nicely.

Heavy wine

A good pairing to heavy wine might unsurprisingly be heavy food. The rule is that the heavier the wine is, the heavier the food can be. Heavy wines are perfect pairings for meat, roasted or in stews. Meats like wild boar will stand up to a heavy wine.

Delicate Wine

As the same with heavy wine, delicate wine, that you may serve on a wine tasting display rack, needs delicate food and cooking. All food that needs to be eaten with a delicate wine has to be simple. Deep fried meals can ruin a delicate wines flavour. Make sure you know what delicate foods pair well with delicate wines as you can make a mistake quite easily.

Hopefully, now you feel a bit more comfortable with choosing wine in a restaurant. Always remember to try and match flavours that will work well together or are similar. I assume you would know what flavours go together when cooking a meal, so keep the same type of idea in mind when choosing a wine pairing for your food. If you are still struggling, there are lots of sources out there to go and learn about specific flavours that work well with specific foods.