I've only been involved in "collecting" wine for probably 8 months now, and I really don't have any great plans on aging anything for 10 years. Most of my wines are pinot noir and I figure to drink them within a year or two of purchasing. I have a rack with about 100 wines in my basement that's kept relatively cool and out of the light. For people who have purchased 200 bottle cellar/coolers, do you think it's really necessary that I buy one? Just curious before I plop down way too much money. Thanks!
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by jesingle:
I've only been involved in "collecting" wine for probably 8 months now, and I really don't have any great plans on aging anything for 10 years. Most of my wines are pinot noir and I figure to drink them within a year or two of purchasing. I have a rack with about 100 wines in my basement that's kept relatively cool and out of the light. For people who have purchased 200 bottle cellar/coolers, do you think it's really necessary that I buy one? Just curious before I plop down way too much money. Thanks!


what is the temperature? and whether its constant are critical...wine doesnt like waves in variant temperatures.
quote:
Originally posted by jesingle:
Good question... the temperature is around 62. Not cool enough for long term, but that's not my goal anyway.


Dont be fooled by 55...thats optimum...but at 62 degrees it would be fine if, and the BIGGEST of IFS the 62 was constant. Constant is the big key there at 62
quote:
Originally posted by jesingle:
okay... so what happens if it's not always consistent? I get that warmer temps speed up the aging process for wines. I suppose I'm just trying to talk myself out of buying an expensive wine fridge :-)


Third time on the constant idea, its not just the warming, its the cooling as well, constantly expanding the wine then back = air in and out = not gd (oxidization)...otherwise your tasting notes will suffer IMHO
jesingle - IMHO, 62 is a fine temperature, even for relatively long-term storage.

In addition, while consistency is important, don't worry if it fluctuates some. Probably more important is the rate of fluctuation - is it up and down several degrees over each day, or is it a slow change of a degree or two a week as the seasons change? If it's the latter, no worries.
quote:
Originally posted by Ampuis:
so holding wine in his cellar with no light at 62 constant for 1 1/2 years is no good from your POV?


Sorry if I was unclear. For a couple of years, 62° is fine. The problem usually is that not all the wine is gone in 2 years, and then you have to worry about the nice aged wine that you forgot about. When in doubt, 55° is a good thing.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by Ampuis:
so holding wine in his cellar with no light at 62 constant for 1 1/2 years is no good from your POV?


Sorry if I was unclear. For a couple of years, 62° is fine. The problem usually is that not all the wine is gone in 2 years, and then you have to worry about the nice aged wine that you forgot about. When in doubt, 55° is a good thing.

PH


Which I agree with, any longer than 2 years and you are probably a little more serious collector and need to protect your hard earnt treasures, therefore get a cellar...and if he doesnt get a cellar then he's a wanker...oops wrong thread Wink
quote:
Originally posted by jesingle:
okay... so what happens if it's not always consistent? I get that warmer temps speed up the aging process for wines. I suppose I'm just trying to talk myself out of buying an expensive wine fridge :-)


I assure you, like me in another 8-12 months you will really be into wine more (its a natural progression!) and once you start liking nicer wine, you will need a fridge. Start saving now.... Wink
quote:
Originally posted by jesingle:
Thanks for all the advice. I think I was just trying to avoid the inevitable. Now if I just tore out the downstairs bathroom, I'd have a nice little 5'7 cellar. I'm sure that would do wonders for the resale value.... bathroom or cellar??? hahaha.


You would be surprised if you either left the fridge upon resale and or did a proper cellar.. its becoming a hip thing to have a wine cellar...
quote:
Originally posted by jesingle:
unfortunately it's a townhouse, so I don't think ripping out a bathroom in the basement would be the best of ideas. But I can only dream for now of having a proper room built.


Your wine cooler will fit nicely in a corner or a garage somewhere. Don't buy a huge one off the bat, a 65-90 bottler should do it for now!
I built a rack which holds 120 bottles and I have approximatly 90 stored. I've been monitorring the temp and humidity. I've become a little concerned lately as the temp has approached 65 degrees. In the fall months it was a steady 55-57. Now as the warmer temps arrive its been 60 to now 65 degrees. This increase has evolved over a few weeks. Sorry to ramble but at what point then would you install a cooling system. Rack is in the basement closet, 3 foundation walls, insulated, vapor barrier
quote:
Originally posted by Squirreljam:
jesingle - IMHO, 62 is a fine temperature, even for relatively long-term storage.

In addition, while consistency is important, don't worry if it fluctuates some. Probably more important is the rate of fluctuation - is it up and down several degrees over each day, or is it a slow change of a degree or two a week as the seasons change? If it's the latter, no worries.
quote:
Originally posted by Squirreljam:
jesingle - IMHO, 62 is a fine temperature, even for relatively long-term storage.

In addition, while consistency is important, don't worry if it fluctuates some. Probably more important is the rate of fluctuation - is it up and down several degrees over each day, or is it a slow change of a degree or two a week as the seasons change? If it's the latter, no worries.
I agree wholeheartedly. Let me also add that, if you were to buy a wine fridge today, you would almost certainly buy one which you would quickly find to be too small.

You're probably best off continuing the same way you have been, and then wait and see if your buying habits in the future seem to warrant the expenditure on a wine fridge (i.e. you start buying a lot of longer-aging wines and/or more expensive bottles which you want to store).

If you find that you're just keeping 100-200 bottles of wines which you mostly consume in their first few years after purchase, it's doubtful that a wine fridge will make any difference at all, other than to your bank account and electric bill.
What Squirreljam and Ampuis said. Up to 65F and you are fine for mid-term cellaring but the wine would age much quicker so substract at least a couple of years from the longevity range for that wine. Chateau Margaux cellars range from 50C to a high of 68F for a couple weeks in the summer and these have 100 year old bottles. Ok Pinot is slightly more sensitive as a grape but you are fine with what you have.
jesingle, you don't need a wine fridge.

For starters, there's no precise temperature that's been proven best for storing wine. So, 52 isn't necessarily better than 60 (though I wouldn't personally go much higher than that).

I have a wine fridge that holds 100 bottles (found it cheap on eBay and it was somewhat local too!). I used to keep it set at 55, but when the power goes out for the neighborhood its default is 57, so I just leave it there. No one could possibly tell the difference between the same wine aged at these two different temps.

I also have a natural storage area in my place that stays just at or below 60 year round (range of 54-64, but mostly 58-60) and keep many hundreds of bottles there. After over a dozen years of storage in there, I've never had a problem with spoilage or premature aging and have experimented vs the wine fridge. Guess what? No difference.
Thanks, I should be good for the next few years then. At which point the cooling system gets installed, as does more racking Cool
quote:
Originally posted by Healdsburg Gal:
You do not really need one with the conditions you have listed unless you occassionally have heat spikes. As long as that basement never hits 80+ degrees you should be OK for short term(under 5 year) storage.
Sounds like what I really need is another wooden wine rack since I'm out of space. I really don't have any desire to have wines around for 10 years, and I don't plan on buying ones for investments purposes. It's too good tasting to just sit there. haha
I'm in the same boat. My collection is getting bigger than my means of supporting it. Christmas gifts are all going to be wine this year. I'm just thankful I live in a house that's cold year-round and have enough family members and friends who are into wine to appreciate the gift.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by BCsBest:
Don't buy a huge one off the bat, a 65-90 bottler should do it for now!


I don't know anyone who has followed this advice who agreed with it a year later.

PH
I concur 100% with PH. Far better to wait until (1) you really know that you need a wine unit and (2) you know how big of one you need (and can afford it), rather than waste $300 or $500 or $700 on some unit that you're quickly going to realize is too small and/or too low quality.
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
quote:
Originally posted by jesingle:
Good question... the temperature is around 62. Not cool enough for long term, but that's not my goal anyway.


a steady 62 is more then enuf for 1-2 yr cellaring


If I had a steady 62 cellar it would not occur to me to spend $$$ for anything I wanted to hold on to for less than 8 years.
I've been drinking wine "seriously" for about 5 years now, but mostly in the last year have I been serious about "collecting".

I got so sick of waiting to make a decision on what to do, I just picked up 58 bottle Magic-Chef wine fridge for $250 at Home Depot. I let it run for a month and measured temperature and humidity at several times daily, and it seems to maintain a perfect atmosphere ... so I use it to store my best wines. I've got another 120 bottle rack that holds the rest of the collection, in a basement that hovers around 62 degrees.

My problem is that whereas 6 months ago 58 bottles seemed plenty for storing my "best wines", my "best wines" are now spilling over into the "drink soon" area. It's not a problem if I drink them in the next few years, but when you're starting to see bottles of Justin Isosceles and Bran Caia Il Blu sitting on the rack .... well, it's nice to not be "on the clock" to drink them.

Bottom line - if you think 50 bottle storage is more than enough, triple it and you'll be just about right. I wish I had just bought the 250 bottle storage unit from Costco. It was 3x the price, but probably would've saved money in the long run.
A fairly consistent 62 degrees is fine for several years. You might want to keep anything long term in the styrofoam shippers to insulate it from short term fluctuations. If you do that, I wouldn't hesitate to keep a wine for 10 years under those conditions. If you have that kind of environment for storing wine, you should only buy a wine fridge if you have money that you don't know what to do with, or you want something that you can show off to your friends.

I store my wine in basement here.The wine room in my basement is the appropriate temperature, but humidity appears to be an issue. The first gauge I bought registers a fluctuation from 24 to 94% humidity, the second shows it hovering around 25%. (I think I need better gauges.) Is there a cheap and efficient way to keep the humidity where it needs to be? I have a nice DEhumidifier that can be set to a certain % humidity, I have yet to find a humidifier that can do the same.

Part of my problem may be that the basement window isn't sealed properly; you can feel cold air rushing in.

I have a hard time believing the humidity in a basement could be 94% especially if the temperature is about 60F. They are generally damp but that high for any extended period of time would result in some visible mold. Conversely, 24% seems very dry for a basement.

In my opinion, unless you're cellaring wines to re-sell, don't worry about it. A little white mold and some peeling labels are the worst that can happen. I have a passive cellar and I'll put our dehumidifer in there once in a while during summer heatwaves to bring it back down.

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