Column: Ways to store, showcase wine collection

Wine racks can now be built directly into cabinetry, causing many homeowners to designate a spot in their kitchen or bar to store wine. (Submitted photo)

Wine racks can now be built directly into cabinetry, causing many homeowners to designate a spot in their kitchen or bar to store wine. (Submitted photo)

In 2014, the U.S. officially became the No. 1 consumer of wine in the world. As wine drinking becomes more popular, homeowners are looking for new ways to store and display their tasty collections. From custom racks, to cubbies to chillers, there are a number of ways to keep your wine fresher, while adding a touch of style to the room.

Wine is a very delicate beverage when it comes to storage. It needs to be kept in a temperate, slightly humid location so that the taste and freshness is preserved. Store wine in a space that gets too warm or too cold, and the whole bottle may spoil. Also, if wine is stored in an area that’s too dry, the cork can get damaged and allow air to seep into the bottle. A little bit of humidity is key when storing wine, so that the cork remains intact. With such a sensitive product, it’s important to keep all of these factors in mind when selecting a storage solution for wine.

Once you’ve selected a space in your home with the right humidity and temperature, it’s time to figure out what kind of structure you want to use to physically store the wine. Wine racks can now be built directly into cabinetry, causing many homeowners to designate a spot in their kitchen or bar to store wine. You could also choose to install latticework racks or a series of cubbies underneath a counter or alongside the cabinets. Either way, these cubbies will store your wine vertically and protect the bottles. Wine can also be elegantly stored on custom wall shelves or racks. Many of these racks can be creatively designed and can act as a wall accent as well as a storage unit.

If you are an enthusiast who serves wine often, you may want to invest in a wine refrigerator or chiller. Wine refrigerators can even be placed underneath countertops or hidden behind a cabinet door to save space. If you are planning on hosting wine tastings or parties, you could even place miniature wine refrigerators or racks underneath a kitchen island and design your own custom wine-serving center.

For the most dedicated wine lovers, a refrigerator may not be large or technical enough to store their wine collection. If that is the case, you may consider constructing a wine closet. In a wine closet, the light, temperature and humidity can all be controlled to protect the wine stored inside. Convert an old kitchen pantry or storage closet and store wine like a real sommelier (that’s a fancy name for a wine expert in the restaurant business).

They say great wine (like great people) improve with age. Proper storage accommodations will help your wine stay fresh and tasting delicious, as the vintage matures. Happy tasting!

David Decker is president of The Affordable Companies in Carmel, which provide affordable luxury in kitchens, bathrooms and flooring. He may be reached at 575-9540 or david.decker@the-affordablecompanies.com.