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Archive for April, 2011

Choosing Your Wine Cellar: Bottle Count, Built-In or Under-Counter

Thursday, April 28th, 2011 at 9:13:28 AM
by Marshall T., Wine Enthusiast Companies

The world of wine storage has seen significant advances over the past few years. One of those advances has been a dramatic increase in the number of smaller Wine Coolers. While variety is the spice of life, it can be tough to navigate through the maze of wine refrigerators and wine cellars, especially for the novice collector.


Selecting a Bottle Count

The most popular question  I come across from people just starting their wine collection is “How much capacity do I need?” Deciding what size unit, or what bottle count, is dependent on many factors, including:

  • the amount of space you have
  • where in your house you plan to keep it i.e. under-counter or on top of a counter
  • how large your collection is and how much you anticipate it growing

If you are planning on keeping it on a counter top, then one of the 12 Bottle Silent Units is the way to go. There are 1 temp and 2 temp options (the 2 temp allows you to serve white wines from the unit), and like all Silent Wine Refrigerators they need around 2-3” clearance in the back, top and sides. You can use a 16 Bottle as a Countertop Unit as well, but standard cabinet height usually makes that a little difficult when taking the clearance into consideration.

If you are going to put your wine cooler under the counter, the silent units can work as well as long as it is set up in a “recessed” fashion and given the same clearance as mentioned above, but a true built-in unit may function a little better. Typically you want to get a unit with at least 25-50% more capacity than the amount of bottles you already have. If I have learned anything over the years helping customers with their wine storage needs it’s that it’s always better to have more capacity available and not need it, than to need more capacity and not have it! Plus if you entertain often or have certain family members that dig into your wine collection at will, it’s advantageous to keep a few extra bottles on hand to oblige.

Long or Short-Term Storage

Another thing to keep in mind is that all of these thermoelectric Silent units are meant for shorter term storage, and to a degree the same goes for the N’Finity units.  So if your goal from the start is to age your wine for the long-term, than you probably want to look at an actual wine cellar, such as a Vinotheque or EuroCave. Because they are created to provide the optimal storage climate for proper long term aging, going with even an entry level, smaller wine cellar unit will be a much smarter investment for your future wine collection.

The bottom line is this; you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a unit that will store your wine properly. But you should be considering how much you are spending on wine to help decide what quality level of unit you should use to store it. If you tend to just keep a couple of cases of $20-50 wine and none of it lasts more than a year or so, then one of the Silent Refrigerators or N’Finity Wine Cellars are perfect. However, if you have even a few top quality wines that you are expecting to last for the long haul, you may want to consider going with a wine cellar worthy of your collection.

As always, if you need any guidance or advice I urge you to contact one of our experienced Wine Storage Consultants at 800-377-3330 for a full consultation.

In The Aerator Age, Do You Need a Decanter?

Monday, April 25th, 2011 at 12:37:55 PM
by Marshall T., Wine Enthusiast Companies

With all of these new wine aerator options do I still need my trusty old decanter?

Like it or not, The Aerator Age is upon us and it looks like it is here to stay. While the traditionalists may be inclined toNuancePour fight this trend, there are some valid reasons why this new technology has become all the rage.

Aerators tend to open up wine faster than decanting, and if you are only going to have a glass or two you don’t have to decant the entire bottle. So it brings about the question, do I even need my decanter any longer?

The answer is… it depends. Products such as the Vinturi Wine Aerator, Nuance Wine Finer and the Rabbit Wine Aerator have revolutionized wine service. These devices create so much aeration for wine in such a small amount of time that it allows all the bouquet and flavors to come to life within seconds. Because they are either hand-held or fit in right in the neck of the bottle, they are extremely easy to use especially for single glass service. For this reason, you will now find one of these aerators in most tasting rooms. Wineries want you to get the full sensory experience of their top tier offerings, especially since young wines that are big and tannic benefit most from this method.

Fusion Decanter PouringThat being said, not everyone wants to speed up this process. There is certainly something almost sacred about slowly pouring a bottle into a beautifully crafted crystal wine decanter while holding a candle to it in order to check for sediment, particularly in those older wines that may be a bit more delicate. Better quality wines will also constantly change while in the decanter, an effect you lose when utilizing the ultra fast aerators. It can be quite revealing to smell and taste the wine at different points while it is opening up, as the aromas and flavors can grow deeper and more complex.

So if you are a bit impatient and find the prolonged wait time of decanting just a nuisance, or you like to enjoy your wine one glass at a time, then you are ready for all that The Aerator Age has to offer. But if you are from the school of thought that good things come to those who wait, and believe the process of decanting enhances the entire wine experience, then keep on decanting!

But don’t forget, there is no reason you can’t utilize both options and pour the wine through the aerator into the decanter. This can result in optimal pleasure for those really young, or older, wines that need an enormous exposure to air to exhibit all they have to offer.