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Thread: Ideas for economical wine storage

  1. #1

    Ideas for economical wine storage


    Im buying more and more good californian wine and need to start some form of cellaring to keep it in good conidtion.

    Ive looked at the wine coolers but a 170 bottle one runs like $2000 and i just dont have that sort of money at the moment, appearance is absolutly not a factor, I was wondering if some form of commercial wine cooler would be available ? failing that can you use just a normal fridge ?

    Any other ideas welcome

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    mr drinky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    St. Paul, MN
    Without trying to sound sarcastic, I manage my wine so that I drink it as I buy it with a small area in the cooler basement for some storage that gives me flexibility for a year to two of longer term storage. Storing can be expensive -- so I store it in my belly.

    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  3. #3
    Ive done that upto now, the problem is that im starting to buy better wine direct that needs a couple of years. My basement is just to warm to corrtectly store te wine for any length of time

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    bprescot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Edgewater, NJ
    I've looked into, but not yet attempted, a DIY conversion of a standard refrigerator into one meant for wine. Temp control modification seems pretty straightforward (there are even devices for exactly this conversion) though the humidity control solutions I've seen have essentially been "Stick bowl of water in refrigerator. Fill every few days."

    Maybe someone else has gone beyond researching and actually taken the plunge!

  5. #5
    Not that I know anything about wine, but I don't see why you couldn't use a regular fridge, as long as the thermostat can operate at the 60degF'ish range.

    I saw a pretty cool episode of the PBS series Hometime where they converted a closet to a wine cellar.

    Here's an article by a guy who did a DIY closet conversion. He didn't install a chiller, but it sounds like it works reasonably well.


  6. #6

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    If you use the fridge JUST to store your wines and nothing else, it might JUST work. If there are other things in there, I don't think it's a good idea. What I did was to beg my chef to store it in his restaurant's cellar haha. Might work if your close friends with a restaurant chef/owner etc.

  8. #8
    Storing in a refrigerator removes the humidity and may dry the cork. The cold temperature slows the aging of age worthy wines too much. Wine coolers are expensive because they keep the right humidity and temp.

    Depending on where you live, storing in the basement that maintains close to a 65F and about 65% humidity should do fine. I have a very small wine cooler for my most expensive bottles but all the others have been in the basement for years with no problem. A member of my wine group with a 12,000+ cellar did fine with no special cooling system for over 10 years until he put in a few units just to be sure.

    If you really need a system, I'd recommend converting a closet and putting in a free standing unit.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Hamilton, Ontario
    The best value wine cabinets by far are the Vintage Keeper units. I bought a great used 220-bottle unit for $400 off Craigslist. You just have to make sure the unit was well-maintained and the compressor is good. It has performed admirably for the past 6 years.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Victoria BC Canada
    now, please correct me if I am wrong. But if your only concern is about the cork becoming dry why not just wax the top of the bottle beforehand? Does the wine need to be able to breathe through the cork?

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