Are you a wine aficionado? Do you have bottles tucked into cabinets and boxes all over your house? Would you love to see your collection organized and beautifully displayed? Then read on!
Wine is perishable, so wine storage is crucial in maintaining its delicate bouquet and flavors. If you have the luxury of building a wine cellar, by all means, do that! However, lots of people in the San Francisco Bay Area don’t have the space or ability to dig. If that’s you, create the perfect environment right in your home by following these pointers.
Ultraviolet light hurts wine, especially those in light-colored or clear glass bottles, so store your wine away from direct sunlight. Also avoid fluorescent lighting, which can give off ultraviolet light that our eyes can’t see. LED lights are preferable because they don’t heat up like traditional tungsten bulbs, plus you have many beautiful color options. Installing a timer will turn the lights off if you forget when you leave the space, and give you added sustainability points for saving energy.
Temperature and Humidity Control
Heat and humidity will change the notes of your wine. If you intend to store the wine for longer term, temperatures of 40° to 65°F (4° to 18°C) are recommended. White wines benefit from cool temperatures because the fruity character — known as esters — disappear more rapidly when warm. You can allow wines to rest at room temperature if you want to consume them right away, but if there’s any doubt, go for a refrigerated or cooled space, and make sure there’s a humidity meter also.
Clever Rack Storage
The angle at which a bottle of wine is stored is important. Fortified wines and sparkling wines should be stored upright. However, most bottles should be stored on their side, to keep the cork seal fresh.
Dampen small vibrations and sway from urban traffic with a wooden rack, anchored to the wall. Woods like mahogany, redwood, maple, and beech are good choices for wine racks because they respond well to a cool, moist environment. These woods also don’t off-gas negative odor that may be absorbed into the bottle as the wine ages.
Finding a place for your wine storage might be a challenge. Under the stairs is a clever solution! In the kitchen, undercounter space might also be suitable, or in a walk-in pantry. You could also modify a built-in bookshelf.
Beauty and Convenience
Above is a before-and-after wine storage solution we created in a San Francisco condo’s open plan dining area. The owners wanted something contemporary and sleek, while still welcoming and convenient. We sunk the wine storage into the wall for a clean look, with slide-out racks. Beside it, a built-in credenza makes it easy to serve a flight of wines for tasting, with hors d’oeuvres. Above that, custom artwork ties in colors from their beloved vacation destination of Guatemala, so our retired couple can enjoy a glass of wine and share happy memories for many years to come.
Kimball Starr Interior Design creates wine storage in homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Nevada, and she can for you, too. Contact her today for a consultation by phone, video chat or in-person with social distancing!