Allegretto Wines, the source for some of the best single vineyard wines in Paso Robles, has released the report ‘Storage Tips for Wine Collectors.’ “One of the conversation topics in our tasting room is the best storage methods for wine,” said Quin Cody, Director of Hospitality, “the tips in this report are going to help answer some of those questions.”
The report provides information for estimating the storage space, storage methods, the best temperatures for storing and serving, and some creative ideas for building a wine cellar on a budget.
The storage space needed depends on how many bottles you would like to have on hand, or already have but don’t have adequate space. Buying a wine refrigerator is a common solution to storing wine, but sometimes the wine refrigerator you would like costs more than the family budget allows.
There are options for adding or increasing wine cellar space that include re-purposing a closet or cabinet or even adding a “wine room” in the garage. But before getting into remodeling ideas, you still need to know how many bottles you want to have available.
Here is a quick estimate (based on ceilings that are nine feet high):
• 500 bottles or less needs about 25 square feet of space
• 1,000 bottles would use 50 square feet
You might think that 500 bottles is a lot of wine, but if you are single and drink a bottle with dinner three or four nights a week, that could come to more than 200 bottles a year plus what you share with company and gift to friends and family. If you entertain frequently you can reach 500 bottles a year easily.
You want the space to include wines that you are allowing to age, those you are keeping for special occasions and those you will be drinking soon.
Once you calculate how many bottles of wine you want to keep, you can decide on the best affordable storage method that is going to meet the temperature and humidity needs of your special wines.
Temperature, UV light, and humidity.
Wine is typically stored at one temperature and served at a different temperature. The ideal storage temperature for most reds and whites is 55 degrees. Serving temperatures vary by the wine:
• Traditionally, red wines were served at room temperature, but the modern-day thermostat means homes are kept at a variety of temperatures for personal comfort. The ideal serving temperature for red wine is from 60 - 65 degrees F.
• White wines are best served slightly chilled between 50 - 60 degrees.
• Sparkling wines and champagne usually taste best chilled to around 40 degrees.
The kitchen refrigerator temperature is usually at around 40 degrees F. Too cold to store wine but a good temperature to chill a sparkling wine. If you are not sure when the wine has reached the appropriate serving temperature you can use an inexpensive wine bottle thermometer to know when the bottle is ready to pour.
UV rays cause chemical reactions that can change a wine’s flavor and color in unfavorable ways. Keep your wine collection out of the sunlight.
Corked wines need sufficient humidity at around 70-percent to keep the corks moist and expanded so some kind of humidity control is important. Store corked wines on their sides to help keep the cork moist.
Screw top bottles don’t require the same kind of humidity control, but since most people collect both corked and screw topped wines these days, humidity control is the best way to go.
Most of us don’t have the space or finances for a high-tech wine cellar with sophisticated humidity and temperature controls and there are affordable options.
Wine coolers, or refrigerators, start at around $200 for 20 or so bottles of wine and price upwards from there. When space is an option, some wine refrigerators can be stored in closets or in the garage and this works perfectly for many people.
Some collectors want a more formal “cellar.” Remodeling closets, under stair spaces, kitchens, and garages are becoming popular ways to create dedicated wine storage. There are several good do-it-yourself sources on the Internet, or give your local construction company a call for an estimate.
If you are collecting as an investment, leasing commercial wine storage is a safe way to protect your investment.
About the Allegretto Wines
Good conversation is part of the wine experience, especially at the Allegretto Wines tasting room. Drop in for a unique tasting experience, good conversation and a staff that enjoys answering questions and keeping the conversation going. The tasting room is located at 2700 Buena Vista Drive in Paso Robles. Hours are Sunday and Monday 1 - 7 p.m.; Wed - Sat noon - 7 p.m. Tuesdays are by reservation only.
2700 Buena Vista Drive
Paso Robles CA 93446
The Allegretto Tasting Room offers a unique opportunity to sample some of the region’s best award-winning wines. Both estate and single vineyard wines are available from the Allegretto vineyards that surround the tasting room and the nearby Willow Creek District Wine tasting at Allegreto Tasting room gets you a fresh glass after each tasting and explanations about the wine. Purchase at least two bottles and the tasting fee is waived. Food and wine by the bottle are available in the family-friendly courtyard. The wine tasting list includes the gold medal winning 2013 and the 2014 single vineyard cabernet sauvignon, both from the Willow Creek Vineyard. The tasting room is also the place to experience a unique “flavor balancing” experience that adds a completely new view to wine and food pairings. The flavor balancing seminar was brought to Allegretto by John Stallcup, the Director of Wine Hospitality. John, the former Marketing VP for the wine group also co-founded the Napa Seasoning Company with Tim Hanni, MW, one of the originators of Flavor Balancing as well as being the first American to pass the Master of Wine Exam and the inventor of the Progressive Wine List. Flavor balancing has been adopted by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust not to mention a growing group of chefs, including Allegretto’s Chef Eric Olson, Jeremiah Tower, Michel Trama in Bordeaux, France, and Sarah Scott in the Napa Valley. Flavor balancing is a technique to learning to drink the wines one prefers with the food one likes to eat. Yes! White wine with steak! And here is how it’s done!
Because humans adapt to any sensation of sound, sight, hearing, touch, aroma or taste we can experience negative adaptations. The easiest way to understand a negative adaptation for tasting food is to brush your teeth and then drink orange juice. You experience only the bitterness of the orange juice because your taste adapted to the sweetness and it disappears to your sense of taste. When you “flavor balance” you avoid negative adaptations and accentuate positive ones. By adjusting the acid, salt, savory (umami) and bitterness levels, while avoiding sugar in entrees and sides, chefs create a balance that allows wine to work perfectly with a dish, regardless of the wine selection. Flavor balancing is the basis of many foods in wine cultures like Italy, which serves lemon with its famed Steak Florentine. It also works with cuisines that are popularly considered more difficult to pair with wines, like Thai, Chinese, and Indian. To experience flavor balancing at the Allegretto Tasting Room, first call ahead to schedule the time. You and your guests will have personal attention while engaging in the hands-on exercise of balancing the five primary tastes of sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. By balancing the primary tastes in the food you avoid negative adaptations, enhance positive adaptations and thereby enhance the experience of food and wine. Guests will also learn about negative and positive adaptations, how to avoid them as well as the difference between flavor and taste. You will learn how to pair wine with the diner, not the dinner.
and be automatically entered to win two nights at the Allegretto Vineyard Resort. Your stay will include complimentary wine tasting and discounts on your purchase.