Wine Cellar Innovations Blog

Should You Keep Your Wine Cellar or Wine Closet Organized?

October 17th, 2010

This is a Guest Post from Gary Peterson:

A Wine To Die ForOk, I am one of the “Wine Guys” that finally figured out that he needed a wine cellar. I had a modest collection, which I was continuing to re-locate to cooler sections of my home, depending on the current weather. One day, a few years ago when I decided to get into the wine business, I realized it was time, and I built my wine cellar. It’s nothing spectacular, but it does have the insulation and cooling / humidity control needed to keep my collection properly. I have a capacity of about 1200 bottles, and presently, it contains roughly 500. I say “roughly” because I really don’t know exactly! That brings me to the point of this blog.

A couple of weeks ago, while entertaining a few friends, my lovely wife brought up the subject of what an excellent job I had done constructing our wine cellar, and how I had used a “free” program on the internet to categorize, and keep track of all our wines. She asked me to explain my system, and tell them about this program. So I, being the “willing partner”, explained to everyone how I had discovered “Cellar Tracker” and how it worked, keeping track of my wines, when I added them to my cellar, and subtracted them when I consumed them. It also kept track of the age of the wine, and suggested “drink by” dates. A very excellent system, very much like the one offered by Wine Spectator. She went on to tell them about the plastic tags that I used to identify each bottle, including specially marking the ones that were the “expensive” ones, which were over $100 per bottle and she told them she was “not allowed to touch”! Actually, I clarified that those were specially marked, so they wouldn’t end up out on the deck, being consumed by “The Ladies” on a Friday afternoon “Happy Hour”.

Now, let’s get to the point of this. I was afraid, very afraid, that she would invite them all into the wine cellar. Why you ask? Because over the last few months, I had let it go, opening many bottles, leaving multiple stacks of ID tabs in the wooden racks, and not canceling them in the computer program. I also had many new bottles of wine in the racks, and had not entered them in the program. My wine cellar was a mess!

I know that it is important to have a wine cellar, with controlled conditions, if you are keeping good quality wines for any length of time. If you have a good size collection of “drink now” and “drink later” it is a necessity. If you have bottles in closets, garages, under your bed and worse? You are being unfair to your wines, your wallet, and your palate. But, just as bad is the one who has the wine cellar, and the means to control it and its inventory, and doesn’t. I know I have some nice wines in there that I should have already consumed, and are probably past their time, shame on me. So, what am I doing this weekend? You guessed it: inventory control. Cheers,

Gary Peterson,  A Wine To Die For


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