How to store your favourite wine at home without a cellar

A glass of wine filled with white wine against a scenic backdrop

For some of us, the idea of “wine storage” is akin to the idea of “flying to the moon”. Yes, it might happen one day, but likely not to us. But on a recent visit to The Wine Storage Room in Auckland, we got to see how the other half go about looking after their favourite tipples before they drink them.

The Wine Storage Room operates like any other storage facility: you have your lock-up and 24/7 access to it. Some lockers are wardrobe-sized, some you could throw a tiny dinner party in, and all are full of wine. Co-owner Robyn Pagonis says the difference with this form of storage is that the temperature is kept at a constant 13 ̊C, which is what all wine loves best, “whether it’s worth $2 or $2000. If you’re storing for a long time in the kitchen or under your bed at home, it’s too hot.” Actually, I hadn’t thought of storing wine under the bed, but now she’s put the idea in my head, I quite like it.

Although, store wine poorly at your peril if it’s prestigious – Robyn and her partner, Reece Warren, also hold wine auctions here and sometimes have to reject bottles because they haven’t been kept properly. But not everyone loves their wine enough to visit it at a different location, so Robyn has advice for those of us who like to keep it a little handier.

Naturally, there’s your purpose-built cellars, your shed set-up or your separate wine fridge, but if you can’t have any of that or manage a steady 13 ̊C, keeping it in a dark place with no temperature spikes is the next best thing. Oh, and white wine shouldn’t be kept in the fridge for more than a week or so.

But let’s not get too serious. The thing about wine is that it’s first and foremost a delicious liquid. “We have people asking us what a precious bottle of wine is worth,” says Robyn, “and what we always ask is if there’s someone they’d enjoy drinking it with, because that’s actually the most valuable thing of all.”

Cheers to that.


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