Posts Tagged ‘wine articles’

Visit Vintage Cellars’ Wine Storage Education Center!

June 27th, 2011 No comments

Wine Cellar

Have a question about how wine cooling systems work?  Wondering about the similarities and differences between various wine racks and wine racking kits?  Need help choosing the right wine cabinet for your needs and living space?  Perhaps you simply want to learn more about how wine preservation systems work to keep your open bottles as fresh as possible?  Now is the time to take advantage of Vintage Cellars’ own Wine Storage Education Center.  Packed with information about these topics, plus additional information pertaining to various wines, opening and serving wine, wine cellars, humidity control, thermoelectric and vapor compression cooling, the science of aging wine, wine glasses, decanters, and much more, the Wine Storage Education Center is your source for information concerning all things wine-related.  With technical, historical, and even scientific articles,  you’re bound to come away learning something new about the wine you love.  And perhaps you’ll be inspired to try some of the tips you read at home?

  • An example of a versatile article that covers much ground is Stephanie Warren’s The Science of Wine Aging.  In this engaging composition, Stephanie succinctly provides a brief history of wine aging, delves into the chemistry of wine aging discussing compounds like esters and tannins, explains how oxidation impacts wine, and reveals the ideal conditions in which wines age the best.  That’s quite a bit!
  • Wine Opener: A step-by-step article on how to properly present and open a bottle of wine at the table.
  • In Decanters & Decanting, decanting procedures are discussed in detail along with how decanting varies for wines of various ages, how quickly to serve wines after decanting, etc.

The Wine Storage Education Center is designed to be a valuable resource to enhance your wine enjoyment.  Visit often to learn about the latest developments in wine technology, as well as wine basics!

American Wine “Newbies”: Blame Prohibition

March 28th, 2011 No comments

Contrary to what you may think after reading a recent article about wine “newbies” in Wine Spectator, Americans have been enjoying their wine for quite some time.  Historically, the first Europeans that explored this land dubbed it “Vinland” because of the massive grape vines they saw covering the terra firma.  In fact, the early American colonies included “wine making” as one of their goals in their founding charters.

The first commercial vineyard and winery of the infant United States, named First Vinyard, was established by an act of Kentucky Legislature in 1799 (Two oaken casks of wine produced at this site were sent to Thomas Jefferson in 1805).  Prior to this, Franciscan missionaries established vineyards in California, the first being near San Diego in 1769 (Yes, the toponym “California” was used on maps as early as 1562!).  And let us not forget about the wineries that appeared in the Finger Lakes region in 1860s, the Rocky Mountain wineries, and ones in the Midwest.  Today, in fact, there are almost 3,000 commercial vineyards in the U.S., and each state is home to at least one commercial winery, to say nothing of private wineries.

Marie-Francois-Regis Gignoux’s “American-Landscape”

Given America’s rich wine history, how can it be that the author of the article in Wine Spectator calls Americans “newbies”?  Drawing on his own experience, he states, “Most of us didn’t grow up with wine. My parents never drank wine. Indeed, they didn’t drink anything alcoholic except an occasional cocktail at a party in order to be “sociable.” I’ll bet you anything that the same could be said for most of your parents, too—at least if you’re old enough to be in the Baby Boomer cohort.” The “Baby Boomer cohort” gives us clue about why the author’s parents may have adjusted to a life without much wine: Prohibition.  Following the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, America’s once thriving vineyards had deteriorated, left unattended for over a decade.  Expert winemakers had passed away, unable to pass knowledge of their craft on to their children, and thus a generation of people grew up unexposed to wine.  What took a few hundred years to develop was destroyed in the blink of an eye (okay, a decade!).  It took many years for commercial American vineyards to recover, reaching almost 3,000 in number by 2003.

Prohibition Makes the Press

After such a drought, it’s no wonder many American people were slow to imbibe after adjusting to a life without wine or spirits. Many families did resume drinking after Prohibition, but now they often bought inexpensive, less-than-ideal jug wines.  In many ways, because of the lasting effects of Prohibition, the claim that “Most American wine lovers are almost as new to wine as most Asian wine lovers” may not be far from the mark in some parts of this country, but the article does not address why this may be so, and also fails to inform the casual reader about America’s previously-rich wine history that is, once again, thriving (and nowhere more so than here in SoCal!).

6,000-Year-Old Winemaking Site Found

January 11th, 2011 No comments

Today, the media reported that archeologists in Armenia have unearthed the world’s oldest known winery.  They think that the 6,000-year-old winemaking equipment, which includes a wine press and desiccated grape vines and seeds, was used to make special wines for funeral ceremonies held nearby.  Very cool!

Read the full story on here.

Click here to learn about the winemaking process.

Featured in Wine Spectator: The Gilliland Wine Cellar

November 17th, 2010 1 comment

Three Vintage Cellars custom wine cellar projects were recently featured in Wine Spectator magazine. You can click that link to see the original article; in this post we are focusing on the details of one of the cellars. Click the photos for larger versions.

The Gilliland wine cellar in San Diego, built in 2009, was designed to be the focal point of the dining room. This is a small wine cellar, holding only 750 bottles or so, but it has a lot of personality. To create the space for the wine cellar, a bump-out was added to the wall. You can see the framing for this addition below:

Gilliland wine cellar framing

The framing for the bump-out to to create space for the Gilliland wine cellar.

This framing allowed for about 80 square feet of wine cellar space. After constructing the addition, the entire area was sealed, vapor-barriered and insulated to maintain temperature and prevent moisture build-up (you can read more about building a wine cellar on the main site).

The Gilliland cellar was outfitted with wine racks and display shelving, including a display area on the left side that isn’t shown in Wine Spectator:
Wine racks in the Gilliland wine cellar

There is also adjustable shelving for large-format bottles in the center of the room (you can also see a Rogar Estate bottle opener in the foreground; there is a 10% off coupon for these openers available on the Vintage Cellars Facebook, Twitter and email newsletter right now!):
Gilliland adjustable wine racks for large format bottles

The cellar is outfitted with insulated glass doors framed by a stone facade and opens into the dining room.

doors to the Gilliland wine cellar.

Small wine cellars can pack a surprising amount of wine and interesting features into a minimal space. This cellar, designed to enhance the owner’s enjoyment of their collection rather than to store investment wines, is a perfect example of how a small wine cellar can be a big enhancement to a home.

Ready to think about your own custom wine cellar project? Check out more Vintage Cellars custom wine cellars and call us for a free quote and design assistance.

Vintage Cellars Featured in Wine Spectator!

November 12th, 2010 No comments

inside a custom Vintage Cellars wine cellarVintage Cellars was delighted to be featured in Wine Spectator’s November 30th issue (on sale now). The article featured Vintage Cellars wine cellar projects in Escondido and San Diego, one of which is pictured above in high resolution. More from the article (click for larger images):

The Gilliland\'s 750-bottle wine cellar in San Diego, completed in \'09, features large-format storage.

The Gilliland’s 750-bottle wine cellar in San Diego, completed in ’09, features large-format storage.

More about the Gilliland wine cellar, including additional images.

Michael Thiemann\'s 4000-bottle San Diego wine cellar is the oldest featured--it was completed in \'03 and houses some lovely antique furniture in addition to wine.

Michael Thiemann’s 4000-bottle San Diego wine cellar is the oldest featured–it was completed in ’03 and houses some lovely antique furniture in addition to wine.


The Gerardy\'s Escondido wine cellar holds 4000 bottles and has a gorgeous slate floor.

The Gerardy’s Escondido wine cellar holds 4000 bottles and has a gorgeous slate floor.


Wine Spectator Cover

Look for this cover to pick up the issue!

You can pick up a copy at your favorite newsstand or wine shop to read more about these and other featured wine cellars. The article was split into sections on small, medium and large wine cellars, so it is worth a read for collectors of any scale.
For more photos of custom wine cellars, flip through the slideshows on our custom wine cellar design page. Thinking of building your own? We offer free design consultations and can work with you from sketches to finishing touches.

VintageView Wine Racks Named Best of the Year

October 8th, 2010 No comments

Apartment Therapy, the trendy website for design, technology, cooking, and other fun stuff, has just released its list of the best wine racks of the year. One favorite? VintageView wine racks. Good choice, Apartment Therapy–they’re one of our favorites too!

VintageView wine racks

VintageView wine racks use a unique design that allows you to store bottles label-forward rather than cork-forward, so that you can find out what’s in the bottle without disturbing the contents. Ingenious!

VintageView racks are meant to be customized.  You can purchase a single rack perfect for the corner of your studio apartment, or you can choose to outfit your entire wine cellar with floor-to-ceiling racks.  Racks come in single, double, or even triple-deep sizes, and magnum-sized racks are available too.  Whew!  With so many choices, it’s not wonder that VintageView racks are a designer’s dream.

Do you have VintageView wine racks in your home or business?

A Vintage Cellars Custom Wine Cellar in the Wine Spectator

October 20th, 2009 No comments

Vintage Cellars just had a unique custom wine cellar featured in the Wine Spectator. Actually, Jeff Strauss of the Pamplemousse in Solana Beach, Ca was the true feature of the article, but it was a Vintage Cellars design and build.

This was a totally unique custom wine cellar project. There are curved display features, 3 rows of high reveal display, coved shelves, pull out storage, wine glass display and even a mirrored solid archway. The custom handmade wine cabinetry in this cellar really highlights the display of wine.

Check out page 30 in the October 31st issue of the Wine Spectator (“A Chef’s Education) to see the feature on Jeff Strauss’ custom wine cellar and the Vintage Cellars photographs.

Plastic Wine Bottles?

August 11th, 2009 2 comments

If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure you might be ready to jump out of your seat. On Saturday (8/8/09) I came across and article in the LA Times Business section, “Plastic bottles aim to remold wine industry”. This article has brought up recent memories for the cork versus screw top debate. Now, no one who knows me would consider me a wine “snob” but I do have my opinions on the subject… Plastic wine bottles are a short term solution!

Reading about these plastic wine bottles, I don’t think wine collectors and wine cellar owners are going to budge from the traditional glass bottle. Plastic wine bottles will come with a “use by” date. The serious wine enthusiast and wineries that produce wine that is designed to be aged will have no use for plastic. Can you imagine a Vintage Port that could easily age 25 to 30 years in a plastic bottle?

So you really see this trend as a true change is the wine industry? No, I don’t. I see this as a way to get mass consumed product to the mass consumer. The plastic wine bottles are lighter making shipping costs less; they hold more, allowing for a few more glasses on a per bottle basis. This is a trend that can affect wines that are designed to drink right off the shelf. I just don’t see this as a major change in the industry. 

High end wine stores, where the wine collector shops, probably will not carry wine in a plastic bottle. I’m positive you won’t find a Premier Cru available in a plastic bottle unless it’s done by Chateau de Plastique.
This article may surprise you and it may not. If you still have plans to build a beautiful wine cellar, don’t stop. Good wine in a bottle is still meant to keep at a constant 55-57 degree temperature with a relative humidity around 60%. Some traditions will never go away. Maybe another time we will discuss the screw top!