Organization goes beyond looks; most people organize their wines by region. Consider those reds for higher up positions where they can age. More ready-to-drink wines can then be stored at waist-to-eye level for easy access. Also, allow shelving to show off those incredible dead soldiers (empty bottles). Some are certainly worthy of keeping and will have wonderful stories behind them. ORIGINAL CASES If you look at the auction market, prices for full, unopened cases holding a dozen bottles are greater than what they would be for 12 loose bottles. Think of a toy still in its original packaging from 50 years ago: It’s more valuable because it’s been handled less. So it makes sense to keep the most collectible bottles in their original cases until they are ready to drink, if possible. ACCESSORIZE Time to button things up — to dot the “i” and cross the “t.” The right accessories add to the wine lover’s experience. With everything from stemware and corkscrews to aerators and charms, add some style and spice of your own to the flavor found within the bottles you’re breaking open. Nearly as important as the wine itself, a good wine glass will help you fully appreciate the flavor, depth, and aroma of your wine. A glass partially filled and held by the stem allows for the full experience of wine consumption, making the right glass the best accessory. Pick the right one for the job. For the ultimate connoisseur, a wine decanter will help wine shed its sediment and grow in flavor. To document your tastings, consider a wine album and record your notes on each wine’s taste and the food consumed with it.
ORGANIZED PRESENTATION One of the cool things about a wine room or cellar is the many ways they can be designed. If you’re into home decorating, a wine room offers a unique opportunity to create a mood or vibe. You can go modern or you can go more European and Tuscan. There are looks that fit the modern apartment and looks that make you feel as if you’re on a wine tasting tour in the hills of the Piedmont region in northern Italy. Some of the options are so visually stimulating that they are artistic wall displays popping with color and pattern and texture and beautiful lighting. It is all about the symmetrical organization of different colored bottles and labels or the way it is lit and set off from the surrounding area. When it comes to a cellar, the entire room can envelope you with aroma, texture, and ambiance. Larger rooms may even have a place to sit and enjoy a glass with close friends. Things you might consider are: • Wine racks, shelving, or custom cabinets. Six-bottle rectangular wooden bins are very attractive. • A wine glass caddy • A bar table and stools or some armchairs for serving and lounging • Good lighting that serves as both task lighting and ambiance • Barware like corkscrews, glass decanters, and other accessories • A wine refrigerator for champagne or fragile aged wine There is something special about wine that makes you want to show it off. It doesn’t belong behind closed cabinet doors. That is why you see so many incredible commercial wine coolers with glass doors making their way into homes. They are sometimes the size of a refrigerator, stand on their own, and always incredibly lit.
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