THE QUESTION: As my enthusiasm for wine grows, so does the number of bottles I store and so does my anxiousness over proper storage. All I have now is a wine rack in a closet – sub-optimal, I know. Short of building a wine cellar, are things like wine refrigerators or high-end products like Eurocave the way to go? If so, any recommendations?
THE ANSWER: It's time for all good wine to come out of the closet.
It's a timely question, at least in some parts of the country. Room temperature cripples wine, not only over the long term but even for short periods during the summer. July and August can be brutal. Fluid expands more quickly than glass. A hot room will sometimes cause the liquid to push up through the neck where the glass meets the cork, a sure sign your wine was overheated to the point of damage. (Feel for sticky residue on the outside of the bottle below the plastic or metal capsule that wraps over the neck.) Those fancy wine fridges are a good way to go, assuming you can afford one. Eurocave and Sub-Zero are respected brands. But your first plan of action should be to lug that wine down to a basement if you have one. Heat rises, so the lower you go, the better. But keep the bottles at least half a metre away from an exposed-brick wall or you may soon find snow-like mould growing on the labels and corks because of the high relative humidity.
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