I am a resident of Manhattan. Therefore, I live in a shoebox studio apartment, where foot of my bed is also my dining chair and my living room side table doubles as a nightstand. The wonderful (and loud) steam heater turns on and off at the whim of the superintendant, and the windows are most definitely not doing any insulating whatsoever. Needless to say, proper wine storage is a quandary.
In order to store wine properly, one must regulate light, humidity, and temperature. UV light has the ability to breakdown certain organic compounds in wine and causes premature aging. Humidity can affect the seal that the cork has with the bottle. A constant moderate temperature will help keep the seal on the wine tight, and more importantly allow the wine to age properly and keep its structure.
I enjoy having a wine collection. However, how can it be possible in a small New York City apartment to keep these three essential variables all in check when at least two of them aren’t controllable? Sadly, I have lost many a wine bottle to NYC steam heat - one that caused me the most distress was a 1998 Chateauneuf-du-pape Valentine’s Day gift. It was totally undrinkable and it made me cry.
My solution: If you have space (which I have recently made room for, after disposing of completely unnecessary items like “tables” and “chairs”), buy a small wine fridge/cooler. I now am no longer worried about the health of my most recent Valentine’s gift - an 1999 Opus One . Keep whites in the refrigerator if at all possible, and never put a wine rack on top of the refrigerator - even loaves of bread go bad up there with all of that heat! Steam heat can be evil for wine, so I’d also try to avoid putting a wine rack near your radiator. Maybe an air humidifier could help the wine a bit, as well as your throat and skin.
How have you other spatially-challenged wine lovers overcome this issue?
The Holy Trinity of Wine Storage
- Reply by Mark Angelillo, Dec 20, 2007.
I have a small wine fridge myself and find it comes in handy. Even out in Brooklyn where we have just enough space to swing a cat without hitting something.
- Blog comment by Clint, Dec 21, 2007.
I've actually been shopping around for a good wine fridge - ideally one with two regions so I can store my reds and whites together. Does anyone have any good tips on the subject? Right now there's quite a few bottles on top of the fridge dying a slow painful death... heaven knows I'd hate to (gasp) have to drink them early just to save their lives! :: wink wink ::
- Blog comment by Jeff, Jan 9, 2008.
I found some good info on this site: http://www.cellaryourwine.com/winec... and ended up with a 42 bottle Haier wine fridge. It's great - less that 2 feet wide and only about 3 feet tall so it fits in the closet of my tiny SF apartment - and yes, the Opus One is safe. Thanks for your wine fridge storage and location tips.