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I'm drinking more wine (Typically full-bodied reds, no whites) and have about 12 bottles around. Right now I'm buying for the 0-6 mos range, but could easily see myself storing wine as I get more into it.

I'm currently living in an apartment and can't justify spending $1000+ on a nice wine cellar. So, I'm trying to decide which is better...Getting a $100 - $300 wine cellar or storing the wine in rubbermaid crates in a closet.

I guess it really comes down to whether the temp/humidity is more important than light/vibration with regards to storing wine.


Secondly, are there any good software programs out there to help rate wines that you drink? I created a spreadsheet several years ago, but didn't keep it up and I think having a dedicated system would be a great benefit. The software could be based on a PDA, on my computer, or on the Internet...I'd be curious to know what people typically do to help them keep track of what they like or don't like.

Thanks!!!
Mike
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Get out of the wine thing while you can, turn around and run before it is too late. Just joking.

Seriously, regarding storage of wine, your collection will only grow in time. Invest in 40 bottle digital wine cellar (no air compressor, no vibrations) with smoked glass on the door to filter out sun. Use cellar for longer storage of wine. Use the Rubbermaid for shortage storage or drink em now wines.
IF you have MS access there is a download for wine template, lets you keep track of inventory, drink dates, sections for tasting notes, etc. Free and works for me!
I have a black book (kid you not) which I use for the stay away wines, which is all that I am truly concerned with while buying wine.
No compressor, eh? I take it the cheap ones will always have a compressor...Like this Igloo one from Lowes for $177: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&pro...24-FRW655&lpage=none

Any idea what the MSACCESS template is called or where to find it?

I'm really hoping someone will tell me there's an awesome handheld device or PDA plug-in that I should get, honestly. It'd be nice to have something to use when I eat out and can look to see ratings, etc. Maybe I'd look like too much of a geek if I did that, though!!!
Wow...Signed up for Cellartracker. Didn't imagine that it would be FREE. I figured I'd have to pay to use it and ultimately I may depending on how much use I get out of it going forward.

So, I'll continue on with my questions. Thanks to all who have replied.

1) What is the cheapest brand of a wine cellar that doesn't use an air compressor?

2) What is considered to be the best site for reviews of wine, scores, and also will tell you when you should drink a wine? When something is drinkable may be something I learn at some point, but right now it is definitely a mystery to me. (Pay sites would be acceptable if they are worth while...)

Thanks again.
Mike
Myself, for drinkability, I use a combination of CT, winodepot, and WS, with more emphasis on CT/WD. For reviews, it is best to try some things and find a few people that you have similar palattes to. There are a couple people (WIML especially) that I can easily calibrate myself to.

Additionally, keep your eyes out on the boards for random 'wow' wines. Many people have raved about the 2003 Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay, so I knew that it was an easy must-buy.

If you're only planning on keeping wine for about 6 months at a time, I'd personally suggest just putting it in a cooler closet and use that extra money for more wine.
Ok...I've decided to just go ahead and buy a thermoelectric cooler.

I've basically found three models that I'm considering:
Avanti 28-bottle ~$230
Edgestar 28-bottle ~$250
Urbina Design 28-bottle ~$230

Anyone have any experience or preferences? The Edgestar and Urbina Design have tinted glass. The Avanti has a better warranty. Urbina Design looks to be a tiny manufacturer...
You found value in sprnplr's first suggestion of using CellarTracker; I hope you can find similar value in his suggestion to just keep your wines in a cool(er) interior closet for the time being. Your 0-6 month drinking window for storing wines makes that fine.

Even if you were to find the absolute best available 28-bottle cooler on the market, you will quickly find it extremely limiting. Even if you were using it to store wines that could use just two-to-three years of bottle aging to settle down, you'd be limited to no more than a case a year.

Buying a small cooler might be a good investment if you're fairly certain that relying on off-site storage will be your best option down the road (and you'd just keep your ready-to-drink bottles on hand in the cooler). But it sounds like you're in a great situation right now to rely on a passive cellar (closet) for your needs right now and decide later about longer term storage solutions.
Well...As always, situations change and sometimes rapidly...I've already bought some wine that I'll be keeping for a few if not several years and therefore decided to go with the 28-bottle Thermoelectric EdgeStar.

Given that I already have 15 bottles, this isn't going to hold everything I have. I'm going to fill it and then just keep the "good" stuff in there. The rest I'll keep in the shipping styrofoam in a closet.

Ultimately I'll use the 28-bottle in conjunction with larger storage either on-site or off-site. Or I'll just sell it. Smile

My biggest challenge right now is to make myself stop buying wines. The combination of a new local wine shop that will have frequent tastings (local as in a short walking distance) and being tempted by wine.woot.com (I've bought their last three offerings) is dangerous!

Thanks for the comments!

Mike
quote:
My biggest challenge right now is to make myself stop buying wines.
Mike


Hint: this is not possible.

My wine habit began several years ago with styrofoam wine-shipping inserts in the basement. Today, I have an Avanti 100-bottle fridge in the dining room, and with the 3 bottles I bought on Woot yesterday, I will have officially run out of room. Make no mistake - it's not like I don't DRINK the stuff. A lot. It's just that I can't stop buying it.

I have my eye on a part of the basement for a future wine cellar. Mrs. Routerhead has her eye on the front lawn, where I suspect she's planning to throw my crap.
quote:
Originally posted by vaaccess:

My biggest challenge right now is to make myself stop buying wines. The combination of a new local wine shop that will have frequent tastings (local as in a short walking distance) and being tempted by wine.woot.com (I've bought their last three offerings) is dangerous!

Mike


Mike, welcome to the board and the world of wine. What part of Richmond do you live in? Maybe we could get together and open a bottle sometime.
quote:
Originally posted by Routerhead:
quote:
My biggest challenge right now is to make myself stop buying wines.
Mike


Hint: this is not possible.

My wine habit began several years ago with styrofoam wine-shipping inserts in the basement. Today, I have an Avanti 100-bottle fridge in the dining room, and with the 3 bottles I bought on Woot yesterday, I will have officially run out of room. Make no mistake - it's not like I don't DRINK the stuff. A lot. It's just that I can't stop buying it.

I have my eye on a part of the basement for a future wine cellar. Mrs. Routerhead has her eye on the front lawn, where I suspect she's planning to throw my crap.


Woot is evil...Every night if I'm up anywhere close to 1AM I'll hold out just to see what they are offering...The only thing I've bought so far is wine, but I'm sure at some point I'll jump on a regular Woot.

Having the Winemaker, etc, participate in the disucssion was really awesome, I hope it continues. Of course, I've spent a lot more than I antipicated ALREADY...When I look for a new house I'm definitely going to keep a cellar in mind!!!!
quote:
Originally posted by Longboarder:
quote:
Originally posted by vaaccess:

My biggest challenge right now is to make myself stop buying wines. The combination of a new local wine shop that will have frequent tastings (local as in a short walking distance) and being tempted by wine.woot.com (I've bought their last three offerings) is dangerous!

Mike


Mike, welcome to the board and the world of wine. What part of Richmond do you live in? Maybe we could get together and open a bottle sometime.


I'm up near Twin Hickory (west end)...Yeah, I'm always up for trying new wines...Of course right now I don't think my stash is anything stellar. Wink
quote:
Originally posted by Longboarder:
VA - What wines are you drinking? If you like Italian wines, then I can help.


You can see what I have on cellartracker.com, if you want...

But, I really enjoy a full wine that is spicy and peppery. Though, so far if it's a good wine that I've had I liked it. Now, what that specifically means???? I'm still working on it. Wink
To answer your question on when to drink wines here is my system which may work for you. First I buy a wine of age worthy quality (I reference several different sources like Sotheby's Enclopedia of Wine, Hugh Johnson Guides, Oz Clark & Steven Spurrier Guides, Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson). I taste the one bottle before the recommeded opening date over several days to see how the wine opens up over numerous days.

If it seems as though it is a wine I would enjoy in the future then I buy 4 or 6 more bottles to open in the future. I get such a thrill when I open a bottle of the wine every year or two years after and taste a difference in the wine as well as see a difference with my tasting notes. I know you mentioned a lack of space but, once you taste the difference for yourself you will begin to understand a whole new dimension to wine appreciation.

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