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Archive for the 'Wine Cellars' Category

Meet Our Wine Storage Consultants: John Tucci

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 at 1:28:15 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

This week in the “Meet Our Wine Storage Consultants” series, we meet John Tucci. John has been with the Wine Enthusiast for 6 years. Perhaps his love of  home improvement projects and carpentry led him to start building magnificent wine cellars for our customers! In addition, he loves attending sporting events and spending time with his family.

What was your “Epiphany” wine?
1999 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley.  I had the chance to enjoy this fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon with family on a special occasion several years ago.  I immediately purchased a bottle to cellar for a future special occasion. Can’t wait!

What is the most memorable Wine Cellar you have built?
I had the unique opportunity to design a custom wine cellar for a former local professional hockey player.  I was very excited to not only meet, but exceed the customer’s high expectations in achieving a magnificent custom wine cellar. Needless to say, it came out unbelievably!

What is your favorite Wine Storage Product and why?
Eurocave Wine cellars, they are about as reliable as you can get!

How do you store your wine?
I store my wine in a Eurocave Compact version. Although I wish I had the space to design my own wine cellar, I do not. So, the next best thing is to keep my wine in a Eurocave that combines the perfect balance between temperature and humidity.

If you had to give 1 wine storage tip, what would it be?
Try to always store your wine in an environment that combines a constant temperature with humidity.Cellar Recently Built by John
A constant temperature is the most important factor when storing wine.  The ideal temperature to store wine is approximately 55 degrees. Humidity is also very important when storing your wine. The ideal relative humidity for storing wine is approximately 60-70 percent. Humidity is crucial to keeping your corks moist and preventing them from drying out.

What have you drank lately that wowed you?
Recently, I enjoyed a bottle of 2000 Chateau Haut Marbuzet, St. Estephe.  This full deep red Bordeaux was amazing and certainly worth a try, especially with a nice cut of beef!

Meet Our Wine Storage Consultants: Lou Ann Hesch

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 at 10:31:35 AM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Last week we introduced you to Marshall Tilden, one of our expert Wine Storage Consultants who doubles as a Sales Manager here at Wine Enthusiast. This week meet Lou Ann Hesch who has been building beautiful wine cellars and helping customers here for 15 years! Lou Ann grew up in a very Sicilian family and developed a love for “the fruit of the vine” by selling tomatoes by the pound as a kid. She also enjoyed visiting her Grandfather’s grapevines.

What was your “Epiphany” wine? 
Historically my frame of reference has been homemade Italian red wine. Shortly after joining the Wine Enthusiast, I had the pleasure of joining our team at a famous New York steakhouse for dinner and a bottle of PETRUS was opened and I was mesmerized!

What is the most memorable Wine Cellar you have built?
I built a 1,300-bottle wine cellar complete with racking, artwork, custom doors and cooling. I was elated when I heard these words from the happy owner: “It exceeded all of my expectations, and I can’t help but smile each time I enter the room.”

What is your favorite Wine Storage Product and why?
Of course I love custom racking! The building environment for wine excites me! I especially enjoy creating a cellar that reflects the homeowner’s style and taste.

How do you store your wine?
My Eurocave is 12 years old and in mint condition. I am so proud to sell our products and I am reminded of this each and every time I walk up to my unit.

If you had to give 1 wine storage tip, what would it be?
It will taste better if you store it right and storing it right will change your life and passion for wine.

What have you drank lately that wowed you?
I adore big reds, particularly from California, but I make it a priority to be wowed each time I drink wine !

Meet Our Wine Storage Consultants: Marshall Tilden

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 at 5:07:30 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

For over thirty years, we at Wine Enthusiast have been building beautiful wine cellars for our customers. From speaking with hundreds of wine lovers a day, our team has unparalleled insight into what makes customers happy. Whether you are building a 2,000 bottle custom wine cellar for your home, have a 100+ bottle collection and need a freestanding cabinet to put in your garage or have 20 bottles you are looking to properly store, our experts are here to help.  It’s time to meet our Wine Storage Consultants! Or, as our Facebook audience likes to call them, “Masters of Coolness”, “Wine Angels” and “Liquid Happiness Storage Facilitators”!

Announcing our new series: Meet our Wine Storage Consultants. First up, is Marshall Tilden. Marshall has been at Wine Enthusiast for over 6 years. You may recognize him as the star in many of our product videos. Marshall also has a great blog called Westchester Wine Guy, it’s worth a read!

What was your “Epiphany” wine?
I actually have two of them…and both were from the same vintage. The first was a 1996 Gevrey Chambertin that I had at Spark’s Steakhouse in NYC. Never had I experienced a wine with such texture and intense flavor. The other was the 1996 Jordan Alexander Valley Cab which was one of the best California wines I can remember tasting to date.

What is the most memorable Wine Cellar you have built?
It is actually a Wine Cellar that is currently under construction. It is going to be a 10,000 bottle cellar for the new R’evolution Restaurant located in the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the heart of New Orleans. This is Rick Tramonto’s latest venture and the cellar should be nothing short of spectacular.

What is your favorite Wine Storage Product and why?
As I think you will find this same answer from most of our Wine Storage Consultants, it would have to be the EuroCave line of Wine Cellars. Quite simply they provide the best storage climate for properly aging your wines when considering all the enemies of wine (temperature fluctuation, humidity, light and vibration). They are also super quiet and last forever, plus the flexible shelving system allows you to store any size bottle…literally!

How do you store your wine?
EuroCave Performance 283…I have about 180-200 bottles including a 6 Liter of ’04 Chateau Tabolt and a 3 Liter of ’04 Oracle’s Miner.

If you had to give 1 wine storage tip, what would it be?
Not all wine is meant for aging. So make sure you do your research and drink your young wines early and give only those better bottles the time they need to fully evolve.

What have you drank lately that wowed you?
My latest obsession is the 2007 Donnachiara Taurasi DOCG. I am totally amazed by the complexity and versatility of the Aglianico grape. I also thought the 2008 Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Cab was possibly the best value of the vintage.

Follow Marshall on Twitter @WE_Marshall !

Top 10 Reasons You Need a EuroCave Wine Cellar

Monday, May 2nd, 2011 at 4:49:20 PM
by Marshall T., Wine Enthusiast Companies

With all the different wine storage options on the market today, what is it that makes EuroCave the King of Cabinets, the Sultan of Storage, the Czar of Cellars, the… well I think you get the picture. As sales manager of our wine storage consulting team at Wine Enthusiast, I am often asked: “Why do I need a EuroCave?” To help shed some light on what makes these units so darn special, I have composed a Lettermanesque Top 10 List of why I recommend Eurocave wine cellars:EuroCavePerformance283

10. They offer a wide selection of sizes, options and price points to suit everyone’s needs.

9. All units are manufactured in Europe with both cooling and heating equipment that is built to last and have been for 30+ years.

8. You have outgrown your smaller wine refrigerator and need to step up to something that can really age some of your finer wines.

7. They look fabulous and will be the focal point of your dining room or bar area.

6. With their protective doors and super absorbent rubber compressor shock absorbers, they provide the most protective storage environment from harmful light and vibration.

5. Your neighbor just got one and you need to show him that you can hang!

4. The adjustable shelving system allows you to store ANY size bottle and gives you the option to bulk store for increased capacity, or to use only rolling shelves if you decide stacking bottles is just not for you.

3. It will be going in your garage and it is the only unit that can withstand those extreme hot and/or cold temperatures.

2.  You have lost enough bottles due to improper storage climate and you need a unit that can maintain the best temperature and humidity for ideal long term storage conditions.

1. Because EuroCave is simply the best !

As always, you can contact any of our experienced Wine Storage Consultants at 800-377-3330 for a full wine cellar consultation.

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.

A Dual Zone Wine Cooler: The Right Choice For You?

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 at 4:21:31 PM
by Marshall T., Wine Enthusiast Companies

If you have ever considered purchasing a wine refrigerator or cellar for your collection, there is probably a good chance you have asked yourself that exact question. The most basic of instincts leads us to assume that if one is good then two is better, seemingly making the decision easy to go for the Dual Zone option.  However wine storage is not quite that basic, and there are some things to consider before making your final decision.
Dual Zone Wine Cellar
First things first…ALL wine is stored at the same temperature for aging which is ideally 55 degrees including red and white wines, champagne and even port. So the main purpose of any dual zone unit is to have a section designated for service temperature. Most times they are made for white wine service (41-50 degrees), but certain units can have a section for red wine service (57-65 degrees).  So if your main goal is purely for storage, you can rule out the two temp option from the get go.

If you’re still considering the dual temp option, let’s take it one step further. How much of you’re unit do you need dedicated for service? Some dual temps are split in half, so you can use half for storage of all wines and the other half for service of (usually) whites. If you and your wine drinking contingency are big white wine drinkers, this probably makes sense. But if white wine consumption plays a smaller role in your house, then you may want to look for one that has just a small compartment for service, and not half of an entire unit.Dual Zone Temperature Control

So if you are someone who entertains frequently or finds that wines just don’t last more than a year or so in your wine cabinet, then a dual zone unit with service temp capabilities is right up your alley. However, if you are laying wines down for the long haul and aren’t really looking to utilize a service option, then sticking with a one temp unit may be a better choice. Remember, you can always stash a few bottles of white wine in your fridge to get them to drinking temperature. As for reds, by the time you open up a bottle, use a decanter and swirl it around a few times in the glass, it will come up to service temperature quicker than you may think.

The Heat is On! Keep Your Wine Cool

Thursday, July 8th, 2010 at 3:03:08 PM
by Marshall T., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Many people across the country are thinking the same thing right about now …when did it get so hot?! Not only does this heat and humidity take a toll on our bodies, our spirits and our Con Ed bills, but it also can take a big toll on our wine. Whether you have a few bottles or a few hundred, heat can destroy those bottles that you have stashed away somewhere in your home.WineinHeat
The ideal condition for storing wine (whether red, white, Champagne, Port, etc.) is 55 degrees and between 55% and 75% relative humidity. This is why storing in a regular fridge (too cold) or just a wine rack in a room temperature area (too warm) can be detrimental to wine. The lesser of these evils is to put it in a regular fridge, as that will just dramatically slow down the aging process. But after longer periods of time, this will adversely affect the wine too.
There are hundreds of different wine storage options to choose from for different collections and budgets. The small wine refrigerators are perfect for those who have a few bottles to a few cases. Most of them are thermoelectric units, so they are very quiet and can go anywhere in the house. There are also bigger wine refrigerator units that typically have a compressor and a front vent, like the ones in your kitchen. Those can be freestanding units, or you can build most of them into your kitchen cabinetry or bar area.
Then there are the real deal, freestanding wine cellars. There are many different brands and styles to choose from. Some are just larger versions of the smaller wine refrigerators while others, like the Eurocave units, are true wine cellars. Eurocaves are made to mimic the conditions of the old French caves, so you can store your wines for decades in these units. Some prefer the furniture-style cabinets that have wine cooling conditioners installed in them, so they not only serve as beautiful show pieces for your home, but will protect your collection as well.
Of course if you want to go all-out, you can take a room in your home and turn it into a true wine cellar. This is a pretty large, and potentially costly, undertaking.  It involves building out a room with a vapor barrier, proper insulation and the moisture resistant sheet rock. Then there is the cooling unit and racking to select and install. However, once it is finished it certainly becomes one of the coolest, and most functional, rooms in the house. Just be ready for the all the neighbors to be spending a little more time in your basement ;)
Have you ever saved a bottle for that perfect occasion, yet when the time comes, you open the wine and the first sip tastes like something you should be putting on your salad? I have and it was such a disappointing experience that I went out and got my first 15-bottle wine fridge and I haven’t looked back since. If your wines are battling the heat and losing the fight, help them out a bit and look into one of these refrigerated wine cabinets.
We have the greatest selection and best prices for all of these wine storage units! If you are looking for more information, just leave a comment and I will be happy to get back to you. Stay cool out there!

Choosing a Wine Cellar Contractor: 10 Questions to Ask

Monday, April 19th, 2010 at 4:09:51 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Wine Enthusiast Wine Cellar Design

After you’ve spent time working with one of our Wine Storage Consultants to design the perfect wine cellar for your space, the next step is to choose a suitable contractor to handle the job. It is important to find someone who has ample expertise in building wine cellars. Here is a list of questions, courtesy of John Seitz, our Master Cellar Builder, which serves as a great road map on your journey:

1. How many climate controlled wine rooms have you built and can I talk to some of your clients?
You want someone that has experience with the issues involved with a climate controlled room. It is one thing to build a deck or remodel a kitchen, but another to correctly build a climate-controlled room.

2. What materials will you use for the vapor & moisture barriers? How will you install this material?
The product used to create these very important barriers is just as important as the installation. The right products installed incorrectly are just as bad for you as the wrong products.

3. Do you know why the barriers are required and what happens if they are not installed correctly?
This question may be a stretch for your average contractor but one never knows. If he/she does know the reasons behind the barriers, then they probably know how to do the work correctly.

4. Does the refrigeration equipment that you are installing make noise and does it exhaust hot air?
Most of the self-contained units are noisy and exhaust hot air. It is not a good sign if your person does not know this or tries to convince you that they do not.

5. What is the process for repairing the refrigeration equipment if it fails?
You do not want equipment that has to be returned to the manufacturer for service. This is a huge hassle and could leave you with no refrigeration in your wine room for weeks.

6. Does your refrigeration equipment increase the humidity in the room without any additional equipment?
This is a tricky question and will really show if your guy knows anything about the equipment and climate-controlled rooms. Most refrigeration does not increase humidity unless you add a humidifier.

7. Does your insurance cover the repairs if mold develops?
Mold will develop if the wine room is not constructed correctly. Your contractor should have insurance that will cover the cost of the repair if the room develops mold.

8. Are you building the racks yourself or buying kits?
How the racks are built is up to you. The idea behind the question is to make sure that there are no surprises.

9. What kind of door are you installing?
The door needs to be exterior grade with weather stripping and a threshold. If your guy does not know this, beware.

10. How much does a bottle of wine weigh?
This might be another trick question but think about it. You are asking them to build a room designed specifically to hold one thing – wine bottles. Is it too much to ask that they know some basic details? Additionally, they might not build the racks correctly if they do not know the weight of the bottles.

The specific answers to these questions are important but so is the contractors’ response. If they get defensive and shifty with their answers, beware. On the other hand, it is not necessarily a bad thing if they admit to some lack of knowledge.

For more advice on building your cellar, complete this form or call one of our wine storage consultants at 800.377.3330


N’Finity Wine Cellars: Benefits for the Service Industry

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 at 11:31:59 AM
by Dino S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

After listening to the needs of some of our trade customers, we are excited to announce the launch of a dream wine service unit: N’Finity Wine Cellars.

What are the special benefits of an N’Finity unit?N' Finity Shelf from Wine Enthusiast

As a restaurateur, wine retailer or wine maker you will be able to provide proper and convenient wine service for your customers with a unit designed to fit your needs.

•    The N’finity cellars allow easy access to wines by simply sliding out one of the many included rolling shelves to find a customer’s selection
•    The front vented technology enables you to place the unit in a corner of the restaurant, on your selling floor or in any storage room without occupying important floor space.
•    Smooth, elegant, blue interior lighting will add to the ambiance of your space, rather than taking away from it.
•    Reversible doors mean you’ll find an N’Finity unit that is perfect for your space
•    Two-zone digital temperature control gives you flexibility with storage and service temperatures for both reds and whites.

About 2 weeks ago, a client of mine in the NY metropolitan area was handling a major corporate event party. Unfortunately, they ran out of Chardonnay within the first hour of the event! Because of the dual temperature zones, the sommelier was able to re-stock the N’Finity’s top (cooler) compartment and chill the whites down to 44 degrees, making them ready-to-serve by the time the main course was out. A major fiasco avoided! The flexibility this unit has brought to that establishment has been huge.

Myself and the team are so happy to have this custom-built, dream wine service unit to offer, with many happy customers already putting them to great use. Any questions? Give us a call at 800.377.3330

Wine Enthusiast Wine Cellar Design: A Transformed Basement with Designer Kit Racking

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 at 8:21:19 AM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Continuing with our Wine Enthusiast Wine Cellar Design Series, in which we feature real photos of our custom cellars, we travel to a transformed basement in Newton Square, PA.

Our customer, Neal, took advantage of our Designer Series Kits, giving his cellar a personal touch with the efficiency of kit racking.

Wine Enthusiast Wine Cellar Design

Neal had this to say about his new cellar:

“My basement has changed since installing the wine cellar.  It has gone from a place of storage to an oasis of tranquility you enter to get away from the crap stored in a basement.  The terra cotta colors matching the tiles of the floor give a clean yet rustic look.  the racking makes it fun to work on filling it with frequent runs to the wine store or vineyards.  Organizing it is a joy also,  with its various compartments for cases or single slots for more individual bottle purchases.”

If you are interested in building a cellar like this or of a different style, simply call us at 800.377.3330 and one of our wine storage consultants will be happy to help!