2015 ANNIV 19A. IRON GATE'S WINE WORLD - ANNIVERSARY Issue 2015 - As you grow JPG






As You Grow




While anything of value should be managed and tracked properly, wine is also a perishable asset that, if not kept track of, will eventually fade off and become undrinkable. In this article we’ll talk a little about optimal cellar management.


When you start to put your cellar together, create a grid system of numbers left to right and letters up and down. It might seem like overkill in the beginning but it’s analogous to setting up a proper accounting system when you start a business. Once it’s out of control it’s hard to rein in. Use a web-based program (CellarTracker is best) to catalogue the inventory and ensure you know exactly what you have, where it is and when you should drink it. When we initially catalogue a cellar it’s more frequent than not to find a wine, once fantastic, rare and expensive, lost in the back corner, now undrinkable.


Keep an eye on the angle of your display wine. These are the ones of the greatest value or significance that you want to showcase when you walk into the cellar. In an effort to proudly display the label of an iconic wine, inexperienced cellar builders often prop up the wine at an angle that separates the wine from the cork. Ensure a tilt of no more than 25 to 30 percent to ensure the cork is fully covered by the wine below. This is your best wine after all and the bottom of the cork should always be 100% covered by liquid or it will dry and allow air to seep in.


Segregate a very specific section of your cellar for your spouse or children. Every client I have has a story of that special bottle of Lafite-Rothschild that was mistakenly grabbed inadvertently for “girls night” or “poker night”. This segregation should be so clear that error is impossible for all but the completely inebriated.


Install a temperature alert in your cellar. I can give no greater a piece of advice. Many times we have seen clients return from travels abroad only to find that their cellar cooling system has malfunctioned and has generated heat for days. Cellars lost to high heat account for 70 percent of insurance claims and are the single easiest issue to prevent. Companies like TempertureAlert have simple systems that text or email you when a threshold is reached. Disaster can often be avoided simply by having a neighbor or house manager unplug the cooling system. Most wine won’t be affected for up to 20 days at room temperature but can be destroyed in 20 minutes at 30C.





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