If you’re a student like me, chances are that you don’t normally purchase bottles of wine to cellar. Most of the bottles of wine you purchase are probably meant for immediate or short-term consumption. Indeed, most of the bottles are probably not meant for aging, anyway, and even if they are the lack of a proper climate-controlled environment makes it downright dangerous to try storing wine for extended periods of time.
Thus, I store my wine in cardboard boxes that have been turned sideways. It’s not the prettiest sight, but they’re stacked in one of my hallway closets where they are kept from light and heat. It’s also an approach that the wine writer Karen MacNeil uses for her own cellar, apparently.
However, wine storage does not have to be purely practical. Indeed, wine bottles can be stored in a way that is not only aesthetically pleasing but can actually be considered art.
Take, for instance, Delia Wine Racks, which are handmade in Portland, Oregon. When one thinks of wine racks, one usually thinks of straight lines and bottles arranged in precise rows—which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, Delia wine racks are not like this at all. They are non-linear and curvy. They flow—they are like blossoming flowers, and vertebral columns. Wine bottles and rack become part of an art display, something one doesn’t have to hide away in a closet but can proudly keep in the living room or dining room (provided, of course, that those rooms are kept at a cool temperature!).
Then again, the Delia racks are smaller in scale. When I become a high-powered attorney I would like to expand my wine collection and perhaps even have a cellar. If this happens I’ll have to up the ante by installing some serious wine racks. Some wooden racks, probably in mahogany or redwood, would be a pretty classy affair. I would probably have to have a few of the shelves devoted to magnums, and some wooden shelves I could use to store whole cases of wine. I’m a fan of having individual spaces for individual bottles of wine (that way I can pull a bottle without having to rearrange a whole bunch), so a rack like this diamond wine rack would probably be a good idea.
Of course, that’s for my personal cellar. My post-retirement dreams include opening a coffee shop or restaurant. If I were to open a restaurant, I would want something both practical and beautiful. Perhaps I could install something like these sideways wine racks that would allow the labels of the wine bottles I serve to show. It would be nice to have a hallway, perhaps leading from the main dining room to a separate lounge, to be covered in wine. People are visual creatures, and I would believe that marching people past rows and rows of bottles would whet their appetite for wine—and open their wallets, correspondingly. (It’s sort of like those seafood restaurants where you can see the catch of the day in big aquariums!)
Do you see the progression here? From cardboard box to full-hallway displays. This, my friends, is why getting into wine is an expensive—but rewarding—proposition!