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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The components that influence how a type of wine develops fall broadly into two categories. The more 'internal' factors are things such as the variety of grape, the amounts of sugar and the tannin that can be extracted. More external factors are the yeasts, growing conditions, barrels and so on. Whilst it cannot be argued that the principal influence is the combination of grapes these external factors cannot be ignored.

The difference between grape juice and wine is alcohol which is created by yeast fermentation. In many types of wine the yeast itself is actually a factor in the flavor and the strain of yeast certainly affects the amount of alcohol. Most yeast naturally dies off at certain levels of alcohol bringing a natural end to the fermentation, some like Tokay yeast, have a higher tolerance and so make stronger wines. When the yeast dies off and fermentation is complete the wine is still cloudy and full of dead cells. There are many different methods of removing these and they also have an effect on the flavor of the wine. Racking, where the clear wine is drawn off after the yeast has settled to the bottom is one. Some wines are deliberately left on the lees, the dead yeast cells, because this gives them a richness and depth of flavor - Champagne is a classic example of this and it is what gives the wine that delicious toasty aroma and taste. Muscadet Sur Lie is another example of this technique and you can taste the difference between the lighter wines that have been racked off and those that have not - it is quite astonishing. Most yeasts occur naturally and fermentation will start on its own, but sometimes if a wine maker is trying to create something quite specific a starter yeast may be used. However this can be fraught with dangers in terms of bringing in unnatural flavors such as the 'Banana Beaujolais' that was prevalent some years ago.

Botrytis or Noble Rot has a dramatic effect on the sugars in the grapes and consequently on the wines produced from grapes that have been affected by this benign fungus. It is prevalent in areas where there are large bodies of water that produce morning mists that are burnt off by afternoon sun. Day long mists produce gray rot which is altogether less pleasant. Sauternes, in Bordeaux is probably the best known area for botrytised wines. The grapes affected by botrytis are shriveled and look quite unpleasant but they produce the most fabulous sweet dessert wines. The fungus reduces the water content in the grapes making the sugars and the flavors far more highly concentrated. The grapes are generally hand picked at just the right stage which can involve as many as ten picking sessions to get the maximum amount of grapes at just the right point. The wines are generally aged for many years and have a rich, almost unctuous texture and flavor that is unique. The wines are highly prized and very expensive. They are not to everyone's taste but I have to confess to a personal passion for them.

Without alcohol wine would not exist, it would merely be the juice of grapes. The amount of alcohol is dictated by the sugars in the grapes and the yeast used to ferment the juice. Wines from cooler climates often have less than 10% abv (alcohol by volume). The types of wine produced in warmer climates can have much higher percentages of alcohol, often dictated by the yeast used. There is a tendency for wines to be made with an abv of 14% or more, however the alcohol can completely overpower the wine itself and all you can taste is the alcohol 'burn', they should certainly not be drunk without food. The control of fermentation is where many winemakers display their skill, hot, rapid fermentation produces a very different wine to a cooler, more controlled process. If a winemaker wishes to protect the delicate fruit flavors of a wine such as Viognier, then temperatures must be carefully controlled or all its subtleties will be lost.

Of the external factors that affect the flavor of many types of wine, Oak is probably the most widely debated. Some wines are fermented in oak, or just stored in oak for a few months but it will always have an effect. Additionally the type of oak will produce completely different flavours. The effect of French Oak is harsher when young, emphasizing the tannins, but becomes buttery with age. American Oak is far more redolent of Vanilla and spice. Russian Oak is not dissimilar to French but is not yet as widely used. As well as the origin of the oak, there is the question of 'old' or 'new'. Old oak barrels will impart some of the flavors of the previous wine and be mellower than new, some barrels are even 'toasted' to give yet a different set of flavors. Oak is not the only wood used for barrels, though it does have the most dramatic effect. One of my favorite wines, from Chateau Marie De Fou in the Vendee is aged in Acacia barrels and has truly unique and distinctive characteristics. The difference between oaked and unoaked wines is probably best demonstrated with Chardonnay - there are those that say it is dead without Oak and those who won't touch it with Oak. It is very much a matter of personal preference.

All types of wine are affected by many things other than these basic internal and external components, and each will have a different effect depending on the type of grapes that have been used in the first place. Most of us start from either the grape variety or the region from which it came, but why not try following a more subtle thread in your choice of wine such as the difference between French and American Oak. These minute differences in types of wine can lead to some stunning discoveries and increase your enjoyment of the wines you drink.

By Chloe Alster

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

I must admit, that for many of us, walking into a store to buy a bottle of wine can be a little like visiting a foreign country and not knowing the language. If you’re buying wine for yourself that’s probably not a big deal, although it might be nice to be somewhat knowledgeable so that you’re more likely to buy something you will enjoy. However, if you are buying a bottle of wine as a gift, then being able to interpret information on the label becomes a bit more important. But, first things, first.

Your first consideration should probably be where you will be shopping. If you live in a state where alcohol sales are controlled or restricted, your options may be limited. I happen to live in Pennsylvania where consumers are only permitted to purchase packaged wine and alcohol from state-operated Wine and Spirits Stores or a privately owned Pennsylvania Winery. You may, of course, travel out of state to purchase a limited amount of alcoholic beverages, but these purchases are subject to an 18% state tax. (However, I can’t say that I know anyone who has traveled out of state to buy wine and actually fessed-up, claimed their booty, and paid that outrageous tax.) To find the best selection of wine in a state where alcohol sales are controlled, check on the internet for information and locations of any retail outlets. For example, PA has premium wine stores and you can get a listing of their locations by checking out the PA Liquor Control Board web site.

If you live in a state with more liberal alcoholic beverage laws, you probably have more options available for buying wine: Large retail chains like Wal-Mart and Target, large drug store chains, supermarkets, independently owned liquor stores, specialty wine shops and wine warehouses. You can buy excellent wines at all these venues, but the independently owned stores have the potential to vary in the quality and quantity of their inventory. One of the best avenues for selection and price is a wine warehouse and if you’re really lucky, you live in a state where you can order wines online from a wine distributor.

Not all wine shops are created equal so there are some issues you should be concerned with when choosing where to purchase wine. One consideration is how the wine is stored. Exposure to excessive heat, wide temperature fluctuations, and bright spotlights may cause deterioration, so take note of any wine that may be stored next to radiators or heating vents. You should also observe the general aesthetics of the store. Are things well-organized, and neat or is the merchandise dusty and in disarray? A sign of a quality wine shop is when a store carries more than one vintage of a particular wine. This would indicate the shop owner is interested in the depth of their offerings as well as the breadth.

Every retail store has organization and a wine store is no exception. Even though all those bottles may look deceptively similar, a closer look will probably reveal some system of how the wine is displayed. They may be broken out in such wide categories as the type of wine i.e. red, white, or sparkling. They may also be categorized by region: Napa Valley, Sonoma, Loire, Finger Lakes, Italian, South African, etc. or by varietals: Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Zinfandel, Chenin Blanc, etc. Getting an idea of the layout of the store will at least help you find a particular section you may be interested in.

Now on to the label…

There are laws that mandate what information must be included on a wine label. These laws vary from country to country and are based on where the wine is marketed rather than where it is produced. Much to the dismay of the producer, this may mean that one wine will have several different labels. After the label is designed it must be approved by various governmental agencies.

Most wines bottles will have two labels affixed to it. In addition to these labels providing the legally mandated information, they are intended to help market the product. The front label is designed to attract the consumer’s attention by the use of marketing tactics such as logos, interesting graphics, color and lettering. The back label will often try to entice your senses. A Pinot Noir that I have in my inventory but have not yet tried states “…Rich in texture with a lingering finish and versatile enough to compliment just about any cuisine.” It caught my attention! These optional endorsements are not governed by law.

Labeling requirements for the United States are established by the Treasury Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. These requirements include:

Identifying brand name or brand identification- This may be the owner’s name, trademark name, winery name, growing area, appellation or grape variety. The brand name must not be misleading as to the quality, origin, age, or grape varietal. In the U.S., a wine cannot be labeled a particular varietal unless it contains at least 75% of that varietal. For example a wine may not be called zinfandel if it only contains 74% zinfandel grapes.

Class of wine, type or designation- The wine is labeled with the class number or with a description similar to those described here:

Class 1 - May be labeled "Light Wine", "Light White Wine", "Table Wine", "Sweet Table Wine" "Red Table Wine", or something similar. A Class 1 wine must have an alcohol content between 7% and 14% by volume.

Class 2 - May be labeled "Sparkling Wine" or something similar. A Class 2 wine has been made sparkling by a natural method only.

Class 3 - May be labeled "Carbonated Wine" or something similar. Class 3 wine has carbon dioxide injected into it.

Class 4 - May be labeled "Citrus Wine" or something similar. A Class 4 is wine that was produced primarily with citrus fruit.

Class 5 - May be labeled "Fruit Wine" or something similar. A Class 5 wine was produced primarily from fruits other than grapes or citrus.

Class 6 - Wine that has been made from agricultural products such as vegetables.

Class 7 - May be labeled "Aperitif Wine" or something similar. A Class 7 wine has an alcohol content of not less than 15% by volume; the grape wine has been compounded with added brandy, alcohol, and flavored with herbs and natural aromatic flavoring.

Class 8 - May be labeled "Imitation Wine" or something similar. A Class 8 wine contains man-made materials.

Class 9 - May be labeled "Retsina Wine" or something similar. A Class 9 wine is a grape table wine that has been fermented or flavored with resin.

Alcohol content by volume- The alcohol content must be listed on the label only if it contains more than 14% by volume. Wines that contain more than 14% alcohol are taxed at a rate four times higher than those containing less alcohol. These are considered “fortified wines” even if the high alcohol volume is attained by natural fermentation. For wines with an alcohol content of 14% or greater, a 1% variation is allowed. Wines that have less than 14% alcohol by volume are permitted a 1.5% variation. Wines containing less than 14% alcohol must state it on the label or be labeled by the appropriate class or description such as “light table wine”.

Net volume of contents- In 1977, the U.S. government mandated that metric measurements be used as the wine industry standard. The most common bottle volume is 750ml. If the volume does not appear on the label look for it molded into the glass bottle.

Name and address of the bottler, producer and country of origin- This information is required on all American wines and the words “bottled by” must immediately precede the name and address of the bottler. The term “produced and bottled by” may be used if the bottler also made no less than 75% of the wine by fermenting the must (juice) and clarifying the wine. “Made and bottled by” may be used if the named winery fermented and clarified at least 10% of the wine or if the winery changed the class of the wine by fortifying it, adding carbonization or making it a sparkling wine by adding a secondary fermentation process. When the words “cellared”, “vinted” or “prepared” are used it means that the named winery cellared, clarified or barrel aged the wine at that location. “Blended and bottled” indicates that the named winery mixed the wine with other wine of the same type and class at that location. The country of origin indicates where the wine was produced and not necessarily where the grapes were grown.

- This designation tells the country or region where the grapes were grown. The information provided may be broad and indicate the country or it may be very specific and name the particular vineyard. Some labels include both. In the U.S. it is mandatory to include the appellation of origin if any of the following apply:

1.A generic term is used

2.A varietal term is used

3.The name is qualified with the word “brand”

4.The vintage (year the grapes were harvested) is included on the label

In addition, for American wines to be labeled as California appellation, CA state law mandates that 100% of the grapes used must be grown in CA. Most other states have a 75% requirement. For a wine to be labeled a specific viticultural area (Sonoma), 85% of the grapes must be from the named area.

Declaration of sulfites or “Organic” wine-Winemakers will sometimes add small amounts of sulfur dioxide to the wine to preserve the fruity flavor and retard oxidation. Other winemakers will spray their grapes with sulfites to prevent disease and reduce pests. Because sulfites may cause allergic reactions or severe headaches in some individuals, when the sulfite content is higher than 10ppm, the label must say “sulfites added”. If a wine is labeled simply “organic” it means it contains only naturally occurring sulfites. “Made with organically grown grapes” simply means that the grapes were organically grown (not sprayed with sulfites) but the sulfite content might be higher than wine labeled “organic”.

Health warning- In 1989, the United States mandated that any alcoholic beverage bottled or imported for sale or distribution in the U.S. must include a health warning statement on the label. These warnings many include any of the following specific messages:

1.“According to the surgeon general, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects”

2.“Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery”

3.“May cause health problems”

In addition to all the information listed above, many wine producers may include optional information...but I’ll leave that for another time.

Now that you know how to read a wine label run, don’t walk, to the nearest wine store and try your new skills!


By Nicole Adams

Do you want to know more resources about "How to buy a Wine", of yes so you can visit our article on "How to Buy Wine - A Guide to Buying Wine"


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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

If wines are stored incorrectly, the subtle flavours and aromas that characterise them may be spoiled. Knowing the correct way to cellar wine will help you preserve it in optimum condition and allow the wine to develop to its full potential.

Store bottles on their side

Store wines horizontally on their side so the wine is in contact with the cork. This will keep the cork wet. If the cork dries out it will shrink and air will get to your wine. Air is the greatest enemy of a good wine and will turn it into vinegar. Store it with the label up so that you can easily see what the wine is. The sediment that forms in a good wine will form on the opposite side to the label. You can see how heavy it is when the time comes to open the bottle and decide to decant it or serve it from the bottle, and the label is less likely to be damaged. Sparkling wines can be stored upright. The carbon dioxide naturally produced in the wine will form a layer in the neck and protect the wine from contact with the air. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and will sit on top of the wine.

Store wine where the temperature is cool and constant

Wines is best stored at temperatures of 12-16 degrees Centigrade. However, any temperature between 5-18C is acceptable so long as the temperature stays constant. A gradual change of a few degrees between summer and winter won't matter, but the same change each day will age your wines more rapidly and harm them. The most important rule when storing wine is to avoid large temperature changes or fluctuations. Over time the continual expansion and contraction of the wine will damage the integrity'of the cork. Air can seep in and begin the irreversible process of oxidation which will ruin your wine. White wines are affected far more by temperature than red wines. You can generally recognize a heat damaged wine by its colour. A brick red brown colour, especially in a young wine can be an indicator of oxidation damage due to heat. Since Sherry is an oxidised wine, another indicator of heat damage in wines is a sherry-like taste.

Store wine where relative humidity is between 50-80%

Low humidity will cause a cork to dry out and lose its elasticity and allow air to get into the bottle. This will happen even if the bottle is stored on its side. A very easy way to increase the humidity in a confined space is to leave out a bucket of water. This will naturally evaporate and raise the humidity. Excessive humidity will not harm the wine but may cause the labels to rot. Moderate humidity is important to keep the cork in good resilient condition and prevent it shrinking. A relative humidity of 50-80% is an acceptable range with about 70% recommended.

Light will prematurely age a bottle of wine. Ultraviolet light will damage wine by causing the degradation of the otherwise stable organic compounds that contribute to the aroma, flavour and structure of the wine. Without them your wine would be flat and thin. Sparkling wines are more sensitive to light than other wines. Incandescent or sodium vapour lights are better for a cellar than fluorescent lighting, as fluorescent lights give off significant amounts of UV light.

In general

Pick a location for you wine cellar very carefully and try and keep it away from an outside wall such as a cupboard or a spot under a staircase in the centre of the house. This will give you the greatest chance of keeping your wines at a stable temperature. The temperature is the single most important thing you can control to help age your wines properly. There are dozens of temperature controlled wine cabinets on the market and they all do a great job, so if you are serious about your wine you should aim to get one - it is a worthwhile long-term investment.

By Ian Love

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chardonnay is the world's most popular white wine grape. Chardonnay wine's homeland is the Burgundy region of France, where it produces sublime, complex Chardonnay table wines (in Champagne and elsewhere it provides the base for many of the world’s best sparkling wines), but it also flourishes in California, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and South Africa.

Chardonnay is one of the few grapes in the world that does not require blending. It is a highly complex, aromatic grape, complete and balanced enough in flavor to stand beautifully on its own. The artistry of the winemaker's fermentation and aging process brings forth an intriguing variety of delicate aromas and flavors in Chardonnay wines.

Chardonnay made as a pure white wine conjures up visions of green apple, lemon or citrus, all pointing to fruity flavor and acidity. Wines made from extremely ripe grapes bear the distinctly softer Chardonnay flavors of figs, pineapples, ripe apples, melons and honey.

Chardonnay is a good-yielding variety that buds early in the season and also ripens relatively early, with its thin skin making it susceptible to rot from early rains. Chardonnay ripens easily and produces medium-to-full-bodied Chardonnay wines with rich apple, citrus, and tropical fruit aromas and flavors. When Chardonnay wines are made with care, they are bold, rich and complex and taste of ripe figs and peach, honey and butter, hazelnuts and spice. The best are medium-bodied, medium dry and high in acidity. Chardonnays, more than any other white wine, love to be aged in oak.

Chardonnay Wine Tip:

Chardonnay wine is not an especially versatile food wine and is best paired with simply prepared seafood and poultry dishes.



By Steve Austin


Check Out the Related Article : Wine Club - Reasons Why You Should Join a Wine Club

When you go to buy wine, deciding which bottle to purchase can be a daunting task. This is particularly true if you aren't familiar with wine, or don't have much experience with the beverage.

If this describes you, the best thing you can do is take a cue from the experts. They've done all of the research for you, and you can leech off of their knowledge. The most efficient way to do this is to look at the ratings scale.

Wine enthusiasts and experts generally use a scale that ranges from 65-100. Broken down, this is how the ratings mean:

Less than 84: Not worth drinking. Giving this bottle as a gift will make you look bad.

84-86: A pretty weak wine. If it's the only thing at a party, you'll drink it, but it isn't something you'll buy on your own.

87-89: If the wine is less than $15, it's pretty good. Don't spend any more than $15 on it, though.

90-91: Overall a good experience. An enjoyable wine.

92-93: Very good. Not exceptionally good, but it's something that is definitely worth buying.

94-96: An exceptional wine. This is a wine that people will talk about a week after drinking it, and will remember fondly for months.

97-100: Incredible. One of the best experiences you have ever had, one that is truly unforgettable.

When you go to buy wine, go to the store prepared with a list of several wines and their corresponding ratings. If saving money is something that you're interested in, choose the lowest priced with the highest acceptable rating. Also, talk to the people who work at the store. They're around the stuff all day, and most times can give you some good insight as to which wines to try.


By Jennifer Waite


Check Out the Related Article : Wine Club - Reasons Why You Should Join a Wine Club

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Once again, we are breaking into the series tasting wines from each of Italy’s twenty wine regions. This article examines a noble red wine from the island of Sicily in southern Italy. It is very far from a bargain wine. We were about a dozen to taste it. I’ll be presenting my opinions and those of others.

So far, the wines that I purchased for this series have cost a maximum of about $20. I thought that I should try one at about double the price. I felt that by going to a relatively unknown region such as Sicily I might get a bargain. A lot of wines from the Tuscany or Piedmont regions of Italy cost $40 or much, much more. Such is not the case for Sicily.

Italy’s top of the line wine designation is DOCG, which stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata Garantita (Denomination of Controlled, Guaranteed Origin.) There are no DOCG wines in Sicily. But the formal designation is not very important, many Super Tuscans costing at least twice my budget carry “inferior” designations. The wine I chose carries the Contea di Sclafania DOC designation, having been promoted from the Sicilia IGT designation. The wine reviewed here is produced by the same company as the white Sicilian wine reviewed in my article I Love Italian Wine and Food – The Sicily Region. This was no accident. First I bought the relatively expensive red. Then I bought the white wine for about one third the price. This white wine carries the Sicilia IGT designation, but I found it to be pretty good. Let’s take a look at its much more expensive red cousin.

Wine Reviewed
Tasca d’Almerita Regaleali ‘Rosso del Conte’ Contea di Sclafania DOC 2002 15% alcohol about $38

About 35 years ago, Count Tasca d’Almerita decided to make a flagship Sicilian red wine from two local grapes, Nero d’avola and Perricone. Nero d’avola is a thin-skinned grape that ripens extremely late, perhaps three weeks after Cabernet Sauvignon. Consequently this variety is virtually limited to Sicily. Some think that it is a relative of Syrah. Nero d’avola wines are usually dark and tarry, with lots of black fruit aroma and taste. They are rich and well structured, with firm and silky tannins. Many of the grapes in this bottle came from vines over forty years old. The plants are grown as shrubs, a somewhat unusual practice. This wine was aged for twelve months in French oak barrels, about 60% of which are new. It can be cellared for years. I only wish that I could taste a ten or twenty year old Rosso del Conte.

I’ll spare you the marketing materials and reviews that tend to be very laudatory. Here are the comments from my tasting group.

A bit of black fruit. Highly oaked. Toasted grains, toast, grilled barley. Nervous and wild. Garriga (a mixture of spices found in areas near the Mediterranean Sea). Leather, dried meat, musk, and underbrush. A strong presence. Acidic and tannic, but not very long. Moderately long, fairly tannic. Round. More fruit than oak.

When asked to guess the price, the general consensus was considerably lower than what I actually paid. It’s fair to assume that most of these people would not purchase this wine, even if they do buy wines in this price range. On the other hand, it’s not hard to find reviews on the Internet that draw the opposite conclusion. In fact, every review that I read was more laudatory than my tasting group was. And my thoughts?

Personally, I would rather drink wine with food than without food. There were only a few sips left in the bottle but I was able to squeeze out two pairings. First I tried slow-cooked beef ribs with potatoes and a side of green beans in tomato sauce. This wine was the essence of mouth-filling, a tiny sip enveloped my mouth with pleasure. The wine’s acidity and tannins handled the meat’s fat. If only I had more.

Isola is a Sicilian fresh cheese made from sheep’s milk. The Isola cheese was powerful, strong smelling and strong tasting, especially when you crunched into a peppercorn. The Rosso del Conte’s richness and complexity was quite noticeable in the presence of this cheese. I am glad that I didn’t waste the last precious sips of this wine on a weak cheese.

Final verdict. It’ll probably be quite some time before I buy another bottle of Rosso del Conte. I do think that it’s worth the price, but I can’t say that I got a $100 wine for less than $40. Have you ever done so?

By Levi Reiss


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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Italian Wine

Italian wines are usually ranked among the best wines in the world. The demand for Italian wines is so high that this small country produces around 8 billion bottles of wine each year. But the growing number has not resulted in deterioration in quality, as most Italian wine producers are known for their strict quality control.

The history of Italian wine dates back around four thousand years. Perhaps, what has helped Italian wine stay ahead of its competitors is the fact that Italy has more local grape varieties than any other country on earth.

Italian wine is considered unique due to rich blend of diverse wine cultures that exist in various wine regions in the country. There are certain general qualities of Italian wine which make it stand out in the crowded wine market.

It is better to take Italian wines with food, as they have relatively high acidity levels. Italian wine bottles are full of earthy aromas and regional flavor. This is also known as ""earthiness"". It helps make an Italian wine complement the food, not compete with it. Most Italian wines are not heavy. They are moderate in nature, though there are some heavy wines, too.

A number of grape varieties that do not grow in other parts of the world are grown in Italy. These varieties are used for producing wines which have unmatched taste.

Italian wines are available in a wide range of prices. Some of them are very expensive, but many of them are easily affordable. A number of Italian wine stores sell these wines online. Most popular department stores also sell Italian wine bottles from different parts of the world. It is better to buy Italian wine from an authorized store, as many ordinary wines are also sold as "Italian wine" in the market.


By Eddie Tobey


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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I am a lover of wine. Going on a trip to Napa is one of my favorite things in the world, and I love to bring home a couple of bottles from the wineries I visit. But once you get back to your home how should you store these precious bottles of wine? There are so many types of home wine racks out there. How do you go about finding the right one for you? Here is a simple guide to get you started.

Does Size Matter?

The first thing you should consider is how big of a wine rack are you looking for? How much wine are you looking to store, and how much space are you wanting to utilize for your wine rack? If you have a large home you may want to invest in larger wine rack furniture such as a buffet style rack, or a larger console style rack. However if you are staying in a smaller place there is nothing wrong with a hanging wine rack, or one that rests on your counter.

Style or Functionality

Home wine racks come in many different styles as well and careful consideration should be used in picking the one that is right for you. Do you want something with old world charm and class such as a nice metal wine rack with loops and curves, or perhaps you were wanting to go with something a little more functional like a sturdy wooden console with a built in refrigerating unit.

Whichever home wine rack you decide to go with make sure it is the right one for you and fits your personality perfectly. Good luck and drink responsibly.


By Eli Wagar-Kustermann


Check Out the Related Article : Wine Glasses, Does It Matter To The Wine What Glass You Drink It Out Of?

Monday, December 1, 2008

The word " wine cellars" often bring up imagination of splendor and pleasure. After all, the finest European villas take pride in their wide collections of wine cellars. Even the finest restaurants in the locality brag about the meticulous way they have kept their expensive wines in a very good condition.

The more focus on wine cellars tend to leave an average person to wonder what a wine cellar is for, and more so, when he or she begin to question whether their love for wine is posh enough to want them to actually buy or build a wine cellar at home.

I know for a fact that most wine enthusiast would not need a fancy storage for their wines. Instead they will focus on carefully chosen bottles they will be drinking on a regular basis but in a small quantities. This kind of wine consumer, building a wine cellar at home would be needless.

For wine lovers who enjoys having collection of varieties of wines, or enjoy stocking wines, a cellars solely for wines will be indispensable. A wine cellar can placed in any suitable location in your home.

Before you buy a wine cellar, there are certain thing you need to put into consideration, for example, the size, humidity, light, vibration, and the temperature. In other words, how large the wine cellar will be, how many bottles capacity does it have. This can also be in relation to the availability of the amount of room you have available for your wine.

Temperature, light, vibration, and humidity controls are important to keep your wine in high quality condition. Too much light (especially sunlight or fluorescent light) is known to damage wines. Your wine cellar should offer a darkened storage space.

One of the enemy of wine is vibration; too much of disruption to the sediments in wine, will cause it to have color and taste change. The more delicate a wine has, the exposure it will have to vibration and light.

Another factor you should consider is humidity, as it known that too much of humidity may cause the wine to mold and too little humidity may also affect the cork to shrink, which in turn lead to wine spoilage and and spillage. The recommended optimal humidity for wine is about 70%.

And finally, temperature is another factor that need consideration, because higher temperature will reduce the flavor of the wine and lower temperature will cause the wine to freeze.

So when deciding to buy a wine cellar, you should first of all consider some factors for instance:

- How many bottles holding capacity does it has.

- How many bottle of wines you would like to store

- The sensitivity factors in terms of how much sensitivity you need to control the temperature, light, humidity, and vibration.

- Whether the wine cellar will be placed in the open or somewhere in the room.

Essentially, buying the right wine cellar comes down to the features, the price, and space. So, you know your drinking habits hence, buy the best wine cellar you can afford which meets your current needs, and have room to expansion.

By Victor Emmanuel


Check Out the Related Article : Wine Glasses, Does It Matter To The Wine What Glass You Drink It Out Of?

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