Storing Your Wine: Rack, Cooler or Kitchen Counter?
Do not be intimidated by the traditional mystique of the wine culture.
Good wine is no longer the exclusive province of the elite. And only extraordinary vintages and the few wines that improve with age warrant an investment in a custom cellar.
The average spend on a bottle of wine today is less than $20.
If you are a typical wine enthusiast, you will spend between $9 and $20 for a bottle of good table wine, and maybe as much as $100 for a special occasion. You will probably keep a few bottles on hand, and are younger than the traditional oenophile (wine connoisseur).
So, for wine that will be consumed within a few weeks, storage requirements are simple. Keep it at a stable temperature between 50° and 70° to prevent cooking the flavor out or popping a cork. Don’t worry about humidity. Protect it from intense UV light (this explains why many wine bottles are colored). Avoid major vibration, which could prevent the sediment from settling. There is no need to store the bottle on its side.
As a result, aside from storing wine on the washing machine or in a sunny window, you can relax and choose a solution that is convenient and attractive.
Many kitchen designs integrate a wine rack in the cabinetry to provide a place to display the stock at hand and off the counter.
Ready to up the ante from there? An under-counter or free-standing wine cooler will hold wine at 50° or 55°, from where it is easy to bring a red up a few degrees or chill a white down a bit before serving.
If space allows, you might want to have both wine rack and cooler. The combination will allow you to display a few of those beautiful bottles and provide a space to warm reds up a little an hour before your guests arrive.
America, as a nation, now leads the world in wine consumption. (USA Becomes World’s Biggest Wine Market) Per capita, however, the number one spot is held by Vatican City, with USA trailing behind in about 60th position. (Per Capita Consumption by Country (pdf).
Do you have some suggestions on good table wines? How much do you spend on a bottle for a company dinner or gift? Share your thoughts below.