So, you are ready to find a contractor to build your climate controlled wine room. Here are some questions to ask the contractors that you are considering. If possible, find someone that specializes in wine rooms but still ask these questions. 1. How many climate controlled wine rooms have you built and can I talk to some of your clients? You want someone that has experience with the issues involved with a climate controlled room. It is one thing to build a deck or remodel a kitchen, but another to correctly build a climate controlled room.
Three decades ago, author and journalist George Taber turned the wine world on its head with his famous four paragraph Time magazine story on the Judgment of Paris . That story, often referred to as "the most significant news story ever written about wine" put California alongside the world's top wine regions and sparked a "who's better?" debate that rages to this day. Now Taber has turned his attention to the latest raging debate in the wine world: Corks.
In recent years there has been a lot of controversy about decanting. Do you decant everything or just older wines? Recently, seven wine experts weighed in on the subject and offered the current consensus, which is still very polarized.
The practice of opening a bottle of wine an hour before enjoying it to let it breathe amuses many wine experts. “How much air can get into the bottle?” asks Amy Reiley, author and wine expert. “Really you just give your arm a rest after before you drink it.” Letting a wine breathe in its own bottle won’t help improve the wine’s palatability. What the wine may need is more oxygen in order to age a big, young red. “To have contact with O2, more surface area has to be in contact with the wine. A decanter has the widest possible surface area. It is less vertical and spreads out horizontally. The O2 permeates the outer skin of the wine as thin as an inch, aiding it along, opening up the wine,” says Tyler Wesslund, wine director of Canoe in Atlanta.
So, it is time to think about the racks for the wine room. There are three ways to approach the racking: have a carpenter build them, buy kits or use a professional wine cellar company. Each approach has its own set of pro’s and cons’ so lets just look at idea of having a carpenter build the racks.
Any regular readers of this column know that my wife, Emily, is pregnant with our first child. Upon hearing this news in June, I promptly began preparing to lay down a case of wine to enjoy with my unborn son 25 years down the road. Two months ago , I wrote about the process of aging wine – how to select it, where to store it, when to drink it, and so forth. Last month I delved into the all-important question of which wines are worth aging by cataloguing five of the wine categories that made their way into the mixed case I put together. This column finishes that project by reporting on the four remaining categories of wine I’ve chosen for my son’s case. In so doing, hopefully I’ll lend some help to others who are searching for wines to put away for a special occasion.
Well-aged wine. The very thought of it stirs the spirit and whets the tongue. Older wine takes on a special character in our minds – not only has it been preserved over time, often lovingly tended by a patient caretaker, but it is a vestige of an era long past. It bears memories of the time when it was produced, the time when it was purchased, and all the time since when you’ve been waiting to enjoy it. There’s simply something special about old wine that captures our fancy in a way that new wine doesn’t.
There are many individual mistakes that people make when building their wine room but they all share a common gene: trying to do the job as cheaply as possible. It is not wise to build a climate controlled wine room on the cheap. Some of the mistakes or problem areas are: Incorrectly designed or poorly installed air & vapor barriers. If the two different climates – cold & humid and warm & dry – are allowed to meet, problems develop.
If you are seriously thinking about building a climate controlled area to store your wine collection, be sure to consider these ten essential features: Very good refrigeration equipment. There are many attributes to the refrigeration equipment that you need to thing about but the real important one is service. Be sure to get equipment that can be repaired locally – some well-known equipment has to be returned to the manufacturer for service.
So, you have decided to build a wine room in the house. Maybe climate controlled, maybe not, but definitely with enough wood racks to hold a few hundred bottles.