The Pseudo-Cellar

When snow hits Seattle, the whole city just shuts down. The city is at a standstill. As we are hunkered down in our home (because you really don’t want to drive in Seattle when it snows, because Seattleites cannot drive in snow. Even if you know what you are doing, chances are those next to you, don’t), I figured it was a good day organize my “pseudo-cellar.” I didn’t get far, because it dawned on me, I should blog about my makeshift cellar. To share my ideas in hopes to help out my fellow novices. So here I go…

What I mean by “pseudo-cellar” is just that, I have a pseudo wine cellar. In my dream home, I would have a beautiful, temperature controlled tile room with wine racks lining all the walls – of course all full of wine. But reality hits.. and I have my small little home in North Seattle with barely enough room to fit a family of four, let a lot a room devoted entirely to wine. So, we make do.

We have a lot of wine. Mostly to be consumed within the next 5 years, but we do have a few collector bottles that need to be aged a good 10-15 years. But where does one put wine in a small home, especially wine that needs to age? For us, we just had to be creative. With that, my pseudo-cellar was born.

It started with a wine fridge, which is a great way to keep your wine at a constant temperature – which is extremely important. Wine thrives in a cool place with consistent temperatures. A wine fridge can help you with that. You can even find them at Target for around $50. They don’t take up much room either. However, our wine outgrew that option. I still have the fridge, and use it to keep white wines and bubbles chilled.

If you are going to consume your wines right away, small counter wine holders work well. They are convenient, cheap and can look really cool in your kitchen. But, I wouldn’t recommend using them to store wines for long periods of time. The kitchen is the worse place to store wines because of the constant changes in temperature.

Since we graduated from the wine fridge, we purchased a nice leaning shelve from Crate and Barrel, which had slots for wine and then wedges to store more wine. However, it looked cluttered to me, especially since it was in our downstairs family room. So, we kept a few bottles on the shelf, and decided to use our dark storage room as the wine storage room. We were lucky to have wine rack given to us from an auction last year and it has been the greatest gift ever. It fits perfectly in the dark, even temp, storage room –  between boxes of clothes and old toys. Which works perfectly. It’s not in the way, the wines that need to age will be safe and it’s still very easy to get too (once in a while you have to crawl over a box or two).

For wine racks, they don’t have to be expensive. The company below donated the rack I inherited (of course from someone who has my dream cellar in their home and didn’t need the rack), but you can also purchase racks at Ikea which do the same job at half the price.

No matter your home space or financial situation, you can still keep your wines safe. Some day I will have my dream home and dream cellar, but until then, I am pretty proud of my pseudo-cellar.

Happy Cellaring!!

Tonight’s Tasting:

There is no tasting tonight – however I have a Winery for you to find at your local wine shop. Last night, with a wonderful halibut and salmon dinner, we cracked open a bottle of 2009 Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc (Napa, CA). Their Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorites. Its fresh, light, touch of citrus, melon, granny smith apple and mineral. You would think this wine would be perfect on a warm summer night, but last night it tasted just as great with the snow falling outside.  Cakebread Cellars has an amazing wine selection, beyond their Sauvignon Blanc – although they are pricey. The Sauv Blanc is around $24, but worth the price. You can find Cakebread in many local wine shops, as well as QFC and Safeway (if they have a large wine selection). Splurge on their wine and let me know. And if you find yourself in Napa Valley, make sure to stop by the winery!!