5 Tips to ensure your wine cellar is stocked and ready.
With the holiday season approaching it’s the perfect time to get into your wine cellar and ensure you are prepared for holiday entertaining. Whether you are hosting a holiday dinner, having a cocktail party with friends, or putting on the soiree of the season, ensuring you have an adequate selection of wines on hand is key to any celebration.
Take an inventory of your collection. Open up your wine cellar or take a look at your wine storage racks and see what wines you have on-hand. Here are some things to consider:
- Do you have bottles of wine that you want to share?
- Are there some bottles that you’ve been saving for a special occasion?
- Do you have a variety of selections to suit a myriad of taste preferences of your guests?
- Once you know what’s on-hand it’s time to shop. Head out to your local wine store or shop online with your favorite winery.
- Ask what’s new and interesting.
- Ensure you have enough bottles for each of your planned celebrations. A good rule of thumb is to have one bottle of wine per two people for every two hours.
- Don’t forget to have a good selection of varietals that pair with your menu. Check out our blog about holiday entertaining for some great wine and food pairing suggestions.
- When you’re stocked up it’s time to prep your space. Reorganize your wine cellar, wine racks, or wine cabinet so it’s organized, and everything is at your fingertips.
- Move the bottles you plan to drink to eye level and easy to reach places in your cellar.
- Use your angled display row as a visual cue for what is stored in that area.
- Move wines you don’t intend to serve to higher wine shelves, so they are out of sight.
- For other ideas about organizing your wine cellar check out our guide.
- Don’t miss an important key to wine – serving temperature. Whites served too cold or reds served too warm can ruin any gathering. Here are a few rules of thumb when it comes to ideal wine temperatures or check out our wine storing guide for more.
- Sparkling wine and champagne should be stored in a cool place and put in the fridge the day before serving to ensure you reach the optimal temperature of 40-50 degrees.
- White wines should be served between 52 and 62 degrees. While white wines should be chilled, they should not be stored in the fridge. If you have a temperature-controlled wine cellar store whites there, if not keep them in a cool place such as a cabinet or closet. Then move them to the refrigerator a few hours before you plan to serve to ensure proper chill.
- We’ve heard that red wine should be served at “room temperature” but did you know that term came about in the days of stone, cold castles not today’s comfy, insulated homes. Serving red on the cooler side is best – 62 – 68 degrees. If you have a temperature-controlled wine cellar or wine cabinet, the wine will be at optimal temperature and ready to serve anytime. If you don’t have a wine cellar, just pop the bottle in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before serving.
- Don’t forget about gathering and organizing your wine accessories. The right glassware, decanters, and wine openers are imperative for any good celebration. Stage the items you’ll need so that serving is a breeze. A temperature-controlled wine cellar is the perfect place to decant and keep the wine cool while it opens up for serving.
For wine lovers the key to any good holiday celebration is what’s in your glass. With a little planning and good preparation, you will ensure your cellar is “wine ready” and your holiday gatherings are a success.
About the author
Megan Hoffman is a marketing professional with a focus on brand development and growth in the wine industry. She is a wine enthusiast with expertise in wine marketing, wine education, and wine country travel. Visit her LinkedIn profile here.