Yesterday’s 30 Second Wine Advisor e-letter from Robin Garr’s Wine Lover’s Page was of interest to me.
The topic was the worth, or rather, worthlessness of those mini-wine storage/coolers that now seem to be popping up all over the place. Specifically, he was addressing the small units, those that hold 12-16 bottles.
I guess I’m under the radar, LOL, as my little Emerson cooling units, the “Emerson Suites,” as I like to call them, manage only to hold 8 bottles. But since I have two of them I’ll consider them to be in the same genre as the subjects of the article.
Basically, the point of the article was that such small units are not worth having. They take up space, have inadequate storage capacity and also are lacking when it comes to sufficient cooling power. The advice is to wait and buy either a large-capacity unit or dedicate some portion of your dwelling to being a real wine cellar.
The little units might be handy mainly for display purposes or when you don’t feel like going down to your cellar to bring up the wine, says the article. The other advice is if you don’t plan on keeping your wines for more than a year, just store them in a cool, dark place in your house under the air conditioning. Or put the wines in the fridge.
There is also a link in the article to the topic on the Wine Lover’s Forum, where it seems most posters were in agreement with the article.
I can understand that, but then that’s easier said than done if you live in Southern California. How many of us have cellars? Or a cool spot in the house during our summers, which seem to get hotter and hotter each year? We have central air in our house but with electricity rates being what they are, we are not going to set the thermostat anywhere near a temp that is wine-storage friendly.
That said, Mr. Garr does have a point. He says that those small units are useless because if that is all you are depending on to store your wine, you will soon outgrow the capacity.
And isn’t that the case – with so many tempting wines out there, don’t you find that your collections keep growing and growing and growing? The forum posts were full of messages saying how the poster purchased a cooling unit only to have to purchase a larger one and then a larger one or find an alternate method of storage because their purchases soon exceeded their storage capacity.
I find this has happened to me. I started out with the best of intentions, telling myself if I have capacity for 16 then that is what it is and that’s the limit. Ha! I have had to resort to a small offsite storage space which, I am now telling myself, is the limit.
Ask yourself these questions:
(1) Is ANY capacity unit really large enough? Don’t we all wind up exceeding our capacity and having to secure MORE space?
(2) How many of you have already purchased more wine than is reasonable to assume will actually be consumed before either it goes bad or you do?
Haha, it never ends.. (by the way - that isn't my cellar in the picture - wishful thinking - it's just some picture I found on the net).