Now I’m not super picky about things being tidy and I have been known to possess an expired coupon or two. But I am insistent on wine storage being neat as a pin.
It all started back in 1994 when we were moving out of our first house. Next to the washer and dryer that were housed in our garage was a carton that looked worse for wear.
“What’s in this box?” I asked my husband who gave me that I have no idea sort of look.
A case of Bordeaux – 1989 Chateau Gloria to be exact. And every bottle had turned/been ‘cooked’ so sadly we poured it down the drain.
So when I’m asked for a Great Cheap Gift idea for Father’s Day, I realize that there are probably a lot of people who like wine who have something buried in a closet, literally – or worse – in need of help to organize their wine.
So here are my 10 Tips to Organizing Wine Storage that will get immediate results – and many thanks – as even those with sophisticated storage areas can sometimes forget what wine they own.
1. Painful as it may be, everything needs to come out before it goes back in.
2. Anything that’s in an unbroken case should not be removed from the original box unless you’re not planning to move before you drink it.
3. Anything that you think is valuable probably is inflated (in your mind) and should be price checked. Yes, wine prices have gone up but it’s more likely that a wine has passed its prime than you’re sitting on a bottle of ’61 Margaux.
4. Look at the whites first, especially if this turns out to be a bigger project than you had originally planned. Whites tend to spoil faster than reds so it’s a good idea to see which ones you should plan to drink next.
5. Information about whether to hold or drink your wine is FREE and reliable on http://cellartracker.com. The site is user generated but solid as a rock when it comes to reliable information from seasoned drinkers. The biggest disappointment? There are bottles in the cellar that have never been reviewed – probably meaning that they weren’t worth keeping in the first place.
6. Cellartracker’s reviews link to http://winesearcher.com a site where you can find the average price for the bottles that you’re storing. We all love to know how much a wine costs now vs. when you bought it (which is one reason I leave the original price tag on the bottle) – but it’s also an excellent way to be able to value the collection. If the value is over $10,000 (lucky you!), you might want to talk to your homeowners’ insurance agent about adding it as a rider to your policy.
7. Don’t throw away the lovely white paper that’s wrapped around the bottles. Yes, they look prettier when the labels are showing but if you do decide to sell or gift these bottles it looks pretty cool when they have the original wrapping.
8. Even if you don’t have a lot of storage space, try to hold onto those gorgeous original wooden wine crates. And if you do have the room, store the wine in its original box.
9. You can create a spreadsheet of what you have or use http://cellartracker.com to keep track of the wine. The person who owns the wine can update their notes on each bottle in the future. Again, it’s free – although an annual donation to use the service is suggested (well worth it!). It will be great to have all of the wine information stored in one place.
10. Pull out some great older bottles and put them in an area that’s easy to access for great drinking ahead. You’ve worked hard at this job and you deserve to indulge – or be rewarded for your effort. There’s lots of information on the web about proper temperature and storage conditions but the basic rule is to keep the wine in a cool dry place where the temperature is consistent as big fluctuations in temperature will accelerate the aging process or ruin the wine altogether. And if you find some bottles that the corks are seeping don’t assume that they are bad. Put them on a ‘drink now’ list.
No bow. No big budget. No know how. Just a little sweat and you’ll get some plain old-fashioned love from a wine lover and a peak inside their passion – a chance to bond and create a new memory to share.
Happy Father’s Day!
We’d love to hear your stories about clever gifting ideas for wine lovers! email us at firstname.lastname@example.org