How to Know if a Wine Refrigerator is Right for You

How to Know if a Wine Refrigerator is Right for You

EuroCave wine cabinet

EuroCave Wine Cabinet (Photo: Rosehill Wine Cellars)

If you’ve been wondering whether you should get a wine refrigerator, below are some answers to help you figure it out. Most people who ask this question have recently begun collecting bottles of wine for future enjoyment with their meals. Simply placing wine on a decorative wine rack in your home could ultimately diminish the flavor, since undesirable chemical reactions occur in the wine from too much heat or exposure to UV rays. In the absence of a wine cellar, a wine refrigerator may be just what you need, but it depends.

Length of Storage

A wine fridge is excellent for storing wine for the short-term or medium-term. Long-term storage, on the other hand, may not be ideal for a free-standing wine refrigerator or an under-the-counter wine fridge. Quality wine that is stored for five years or more will do better with the unique conditions in a wine cellar. The temperature fluctuations in a wine cellar are typically minimized, as are vibrations and exposure to UV rays. EuroCave now offers wine cabinets that are made especially for long-term storage. They have significantly fewer vibrations than the nearest competitors.

Ideal Setting

Wine is a unique beverage that benefits from being stored in a very specific temperature range, that being between 55°F and 60°F. If wine is stored for very long, there should be at least 50% humidity, so that the corks don’t dry out, shrink, allow air inside the bottle, and spoil the wine because of oxidation. As mentioned above, other considerations include stability and protection from UV rays. If you have more than a few bottles of wine to drink, a wine fridge could be perfect for you.

Why a Standard Refrigerator Won’t Work

The atmosphere in a standard kitchen refrigerator is not favorable to wine storage. One problem is that refrigerators are designed to remove humidity from the cold air. Humidity is an essential element of proper wine storage. The temperature in a refrigerator average 40°, which is considerably colder than the ideal temp for wine. Another problem is that refrigerators don’t have wine racks.

Where to Buy a Wine Fridge

Is a wine fridge right for you? At Rosehill Wine Cellars, we offer a wide range of quality wine refrigerators. Among our selections are EuroCave Wine Cabinets that mimic a wine cellar better than any other wine cooler. You can find wine fridges of all sizes as well as under-the-counter and stand-alone wine coolers on the Rosehill Wine Cellars website. If you grow out of your wine fridge, Rosehill is also the place to call for a custom-built wine cellar.

New Year’s Eve: A Great Reason to have a Wine Cellar

New Year’s Eve: A Great Reason to have a Wine Cellar

Marvel Wine Cabinets

Pull the perfect bottle of wine from your custom wine cellar for the New Year.

For many wine lovers, each New Year’s Eve celebration is the best holiday. Toasting the arrival of a fresh start at the stroke of midnight is up there with wedding toasts. Anyone looking for a great reason to invest in a custom wine cellar can consider having the perfect wine or champagne for the event the answer they were looking for. The best wines for toasting are aged wines, and they need to be stored in the right environment. A custom wine cellar with a wine cooling unit by a top manufacturer like Breezaire, Koolspace, CellarCOOL, or Cellar Pro is ideal. Wine needs to be stored in a certain temperature range with the right amount of humidity, and wine cooling units sometimes serve the dual purpose of maintaining the right temperature and humidity level, as well. When it’s time to pull a special bottle of wine from the wine cellar for a New Year’s toast, you will be confident that you’re ready for the occasion.

Why mature wine is best

Not every wine lover agrees, but there are very good arguments to support the opinion that aged wine is best. The vast majority of wines produced today are for immediate enjoyment, which also makes a strong statement. Perhaps the best way to show the value of aged wine is to share the tasting notes for Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, Burgundy France, which has an average price of $16,784. From tasting notes for the 1965 vintage enjoyed when the wine was almost 50 years old:

  • The flavor creates a seamless symphony, and the core acid-tannin tension is consistent. The wine demonstrates that Romane-Conti is classy, refined, and majestic at its peak. And yet, if stored in ideal conditions, such as in a wine cellar with a quality wine cooling unit, the wine should drink exceptionally well for another 10 or 20 years.

To provide a more direct answer to why mature wine is best, it has to do with tannins, which are present in all grapes. Tannins are the molecules that come from grape seeds, stems, and seeds. They taste bitter and unpleasant until a process has occurred in a properly stored wine bottle. The complex process going on inside a wine vessle is fascinating. Miniscule amounts of air that enters through a cork contribute to the overall process.

The best result of a long wine maturation process is a perfect bottle for celebrating special occasions.

A Toast!

The patience involved with waiting for a wine to mature makes a good wine worthy of a heartfelt New Year’s Eve toast. While you’re ringing in the new year, why not consider having a custom wine cellar installed so that you have something special in the way of a fine wine for every occasion?

Tips for Storing Madeira Wine for 221 Years

vintage wine

In the right conditions, it can be incredible how long Madeira wine might keep.

Multiple cases of 221-year-old Madeira wine were discovered last year behind a Prohibition-era walled-up section of Liberty Hall Museum, a former residence built in New Jersey in 1773. Although the Portugal press took great interest, since that’s where Madeira wine is from, the U.S. media was a bit slower to adequately cover the story. The news finally went viral in America in July of 2017. What kind of wine cellar conditions would have to exist for wine to be preserved well enough to drink after more than two centuries? Wine needs to be stored in particular conditions, which demands, for starters, a quality wine cooling unit from a reliable brand, such as WhisperKool, Cellar Pro, Breezaire, KoolR, Koolspace, or Wine Guardian.

Wine to Celebrate the 2nd U.S. President!

The stash of wine in the basement of the 50-room residence-turned-museum was a surprising find. The museum staff members guess that the cases of wine had been nailed shut for at least a century. The wine labels are still very discernible. One note reads that it was imported via Philadelphia in 1796 by the late Robert Lenox, Esq. Lenox was a financier and banker who frequently imported Madeira in large bottles called demijohns or in barrels and would then bottle and label it, when it arrived from Portugal.

Research found that the Kean family bought some of the bottles for the purpose of celebrating the election of the 2nd President of the United States, John Adams.

While most types of wine would have turned to vinegar after such a lengthy period of time in storage, Madeira lasts an exceptionally long time. It is a fortified wine, and its longevity is one of the reasons it became so popular in the 18th century.

The value of the Madeira collection has yet to be revealed. It could be substantial, considering that in 2016, two bottles of 1795 Madeira wine sold for almost $10,000 each.

No details were provided about the wine cellar conditions, but they had to be good. Many of the wine bottles have remained perfectly corked and wax-sealed. It was reported that a descendant of the Kean family tasted a 147-year-old Madeira a few years back. He reported that it tasted like sherry.

Ideal Wine Cellar Conditions

You can now visit the Liberty Hall Museum and see historically significant bottles from the newly discovered collection. If you were able to also tour the wine cellar, you should be able to expect the following conditions:

  • Cool temperatures between 55° and 60°.
  • An appropriate humidity level of somewhere between 50% and 80%.
  • An absence of sunlight.
  • An absence of sudden temperature fluctuations.
  • A stable environment that prevents the bottles from vibrations.

Contact Rosehill Wine Cellars

If you’re interested in making sure that even your long-forgotten cases of wine remain in good condition, contact Rosehill Wine Cellars. We provide custom wine cellars with the perfect atmosphere. Wine cooling units from companies such as WhisperKool, Cellar Pro, Breezaire, KoolR, Koolspace, or Wine Guardian do an excellent job of maintaining the correct environment in a wine cellar.

Wine Appearance: Clarity and Viscosity

Bordeaux Glasses

Accurately judging wine clarity, color, and viscosity requires a clear, smooth wine glass.

As covered in “From Wine Cooler to Wine Color,” looking at wine is one of the ways to fully experience it. Knowing the expected color based on the type of wine, measuring opacity, and describing the particular hue of a wine are steps in visual assessment previously covered. What remains in evaluating appearance involves clarity and viscosity.

Wine Clarity

Clarity is a function of how well light is transmitted or reflected through the body of liquid. There should be a sharp clarity to every wine, since absence of clarity means a presence of cloudiness, film, or muddiness, all of which are conditions which mean that the wine has spoiled.

If light passes through without a source of obstruction, the wine is extremely clear. It’s more challenging to see clarity in a red wine, as compared to a white wine. Either way, a back light is needed.

A good source of light is important for evaluating color and clarity. The sun is the best full-spectrum light source to use for assessing wine clarity, but standard incandescent light bulbs work well, too.

With sparkling wine or champagne, clarity is easy to assess because it has a bright glow. It is also easy to see right through white wine, which has a shiny quality.

The dark colors of red wine make clarity more difficult to evaluate. Tip the glass away from you against the white background. There should be a deep shine, as though light were being reflected from within.

Wine Viscosity

The viscosity of wine is often described as a wine having “legs,” but this is arguably one of the areas of wine tasting that is most misconceived. The “legs” are the stripes a wine makes as the liquid slowly rolls down the side of your glass after you have swirled the wine. This is a basic misconception because several things contribute to a “wine’s legs.” What causes the liquid to move more slowly down the glass is a matter to be sorted out between seeing and tasting the wine.

In general, the wine’s legs is indicative of its viscosity. But take this description into context and it doesn’t entirely hold up. Honey, for instance, is highly viscous because of the high sugar content. In other words, sugar concentration is one of several traits that can determine the wine legs. Dessert wines tend to be more viscous because they are sweeter.

Alcohol content also affects viscosity. It gives wine more legs because alcohol is more viscous than water. Port and Madeira are both high in sugar and alcohol, which is why they have legs more profound than other wines.

The concentration of compounds dissolved into wine also influences viscosity. Dark, heavily extracted red wines with big taste have more legs than lighter wines.

What are you looking for in a wine?

Between part one, “From Wine Cooler to Wine Color,” and this information about clarity and viscosity, you now have everything you need to make an assessment about wine according to its appearance. There are many more elements to taking full tasting notes, but it’s good to know how to begin with the eyes.

Food and Wine Pairings for St. Patrick’s Day

Wine tasting

Pair wine with your St. Patrick’s Day meal for a scrumptious celebration.

St. Patrick’s Day is on the anniversary of the day the “Apostle of Ireland” died, March 17. St. Patrick was a 5th Century missionary who is believed to have introduced Christianity to Ireland. He taught about the Holy Trinity using a common clover, which has three leaves. And, of course, drinking green beer is one of the most prominent of St. Patrick’s Day traditions. Another way to celebrate is to pair wine with popular Irish dishes. The type of wine you pull from your wine cellar or wine fridge can be a perfect match for Irish Stew or Corned Beef and Cabbage. As long as your wine has been properly stored, your taste buds are in for a lucky pairing.

Irish Stew Wine Pairings

Traditional Irish Stew contains a healthy amount of beer, such as Guinness Stout. It also has ingredients such as boneless roast beef and Worcestershire sauce. The rich flavors in Irish Stew are enhanced when paired with certain types of wine. Recommendations of wine pairings with Irish Stew include the following.

Tanis Cabernet Franc is a high priced wine for the region, and it is an ideal pairing with Irish Stew. Tasting notes have mentions of tobacco, dark spice, and herbaceous accents as well as vegetal characteristics.

Cuda Ridge Merlot is an “easy drinking” wine. Merlot grapes are somewhat large in relation to the thickness of skins and their pips, which is where tannins come from.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Wine Pairings

Corned Beef and Cabbage has obvious ingredients and is an absolute Irish classic. Pair an ideal wine with this dish, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style. A Pinot Noir or a Chardonnay will do perfectly.

Pinot Noir has medium low tannin and medium high acidity. You can store Pinot Noir in your wine cellar or wine cabinet for 2 to 8 years, depending on which style you have chosen. Tasting notes show that fruits in this wine include cranberry, cherry, and raspberry. Other flavors include vanilla, clove, licorice, mushroom, wet leaves, and caramel. The taste of corned beef and cabbage is even better when enjoyed with a glass of Pinot Noir.

Chardonnay that is very ripe has tropical flavors, with fruits such as pineapple, mango, and guava. The flavors of lemon and green apple can be detected in a barely ripe Chardonnay. Select Chardonnay to go with corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day; of course, serve all to a group of close friends.

On St. Patrick’s Day and year around, the delights of pairing wine with the right foods is something to celebrate. For wine that can age to perfection, storage in your wine cellar or wine cabinet will ultimately make you feel as lucky as if you found an 4-leaf Irish clover.