When you think of wine and alcohol, it evokes an image of celebration and excitement. Alcoholic beverages are best shared with friends and families, at social occasions to create a relaxed and uplifting mood. We often associate the popping of champagne with festive occasions, the gentle chink of wine glasses to herald a lovely meal, and the heady perfume of cognac with unwinding by the fireplace.
However, storing your precious alcoholic liquids can indeed be very serious! In fact, it’s big business and for some, it’s not just as straightforward as taking a dusty bottle of red out of your kitchen cupboard. Wine is treated most seriously, with the aging and conservation of wines, as of highest importance. Depending on the space you have in your home, your requirements, and your level of enthusiasm, there is a plethora of options you can explore for wine storage. Humidity regulation and temperature control are high on the list of must haves for serious wine collectors and these issues must be addressed when considering the type of storage required. Ideally the lower the humidity level, the higher the risk is of lowering your bottles level of liquid inside, while the internal temperature of your cellar should be as static at possible and it is widely thought that the ideal temperature is between 12 and 15 degrees ( depending on the wine)
Basement wine cellars
Perhaps the premier style of wine storage is a wine room. These rooms have a large amount of shelving for wine display and storage, with a seating area and associated drinking paraphernalia, where you can while away the hours with fellow wine aficionados. Often these rooms are situated in a basement deep in the depths of a home, adding to the experience. The lack of natural light in a basement is another obvious bonus, as UV rays are often seen as the enemy of rare vintages.
Walk in wine cellars
A walk-in wine cellar is another luxurious way to store your wine. Often these are designed to be features within a home, often with glass doors to see through to your valuable collection. They tend to be design achievements in themselves. Again, these can be either temperature controlled or not, depending on how serious you are about your wine! More often than not, if you are dedicating a space of this size to your wine collection, people will consider temperature and humidity control, though it’s certainly not mandatory.
If storing your wine at peak conditions is a priority but space in your home is lacking, then purchasing a wine fridge will be a good investment. There is an increasingly good range of fridges currently on the market, specifically for housing your treasured drops. When selecting a wine fridge there are several points to consider. Firstly you will need to think about how many wine bottles you wish to store now and in the future. Secondly, look at the in-built features of your fridge such as temperature and humidity control, shelving configuration and of course, how attractive the fridge is! Depending on the location of your fridge, how your wine fridge actually looks will play a major role in your selection. If for instance your wine fridge is on display in your kitchen, it will pay to consider finishes and an overall aesthetic that works in harmony with the rest of your space.
Under stair storage
There are also those less serious wine drinkers, who will just be content to store their drops as is, without all the features that serious collectors covet. Wine storage under the stairs is popular not only for the space saving advantage, but also as stairs tend to be a central element of your home, where natural temperatures are unlikely to fluctuate. Storage here can be designed in several ways, with open display shelves, or behind closed doors.
It’s not just wine however that people wish to drink, so display options for spirits must also be considered. Most commonly and traditionally we see spirits either displayed in a bar or kept in a liquor cabinet. If displaying your spirits in your home bar, think about interesting ways to do this. Recessed shelves in a niche for example are not only a space saver, but look neat and tidy. Some people like to light up their display shelves with LED lights, however bear in mind that this look is a little tired and has the tendency to look a little gaudy if not done well.
Liquor cabinets can be attractive additions to your living, dining or sitting room. A good liquor cabinet can also house your glasses, cocktail shaker and even ice buckets. A beautiful liquor cabinet can look great as well as be functional when entertaining. It’s a lovely idea to try and source an antique or unusually designed liquor cabinet to create a point of difference in your room, and increase the whole ritual and experience around making your guests your signature tipple!
Built-in display storage
Built-in displays work equally well to show-off both wine and liquor. Again, for those less serious wine drinkers, your storage options are really opened up. You could talk to your designer about incorporating a display into your kitchen island or kitchen overheads for example. Recessing a specially designed display into a wall in your dining or living area is also an attractive way to showcase your coveted alcoholic beverages.
For those more adventurous in your design aesthetic, why not have a little fun and incorporate interesting shapes and materials into quirky ways to display your favourite thirst quenchers?
So whatever your poison, your luscious libation or your favourite firewater may be, display and store it with thought. Surely this will put you in good spirits!