Recently, I was asked by Jenna Hall, the Marketing Coordinator at Redfin, to contribute to an article about wine decor and wine storage. the article they published on the Redfin blog is the following below, where you can also read my contribution. Have fun.
If you love drinking wine, there’s no doubt you have a few empty bottles laying around your home. Instead of letting them collect dust, transform them into a statement piece that any wine enthusiast would love.
We have consulted wine experts from around the country to share their best tips on how you can showcase your bottles and create unique wine decor perfect for your home. Plus, some insights on how to protect and store your unopened bottles safely. Whether you live in a cozy New York City apartment or a ranch-style house in Nashville, TN, you’re sure to find a decor idea that fits your aesthetic.
1. Create an herb garden
If you consider yourself to be an avid wine drinker, a plant lover, and on top of that, an advocate for everything low-maintenance, then you’ll love recycling your empty wine bottles and converting them into self-watering planters. Instead of hearing the clink, clink, clink as you throw away the bottles into the recycling bin, you can create a mini wine-herb garden in your kitchen and grow fresh herbs to cook with while you enjoy the process of emptying out another one. – Wine Eat and Travel
2. Repurpose the label
My go-to method to remember a nice bottle of wine and the experience I had with it is to delicately remove the label from the bottle. The label can then be used as a decorative item in a variety of ways. In our house, we applied the labels to inexpensive wooden tables, applied a sealant, and then had a custom piece of glass cut and placed on top. When designed well, these tables can be both fun and useful statement pieces around the house, and even outdoors. To remove a label with relative ease, place a bottle of wine in the oven at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Use oven mitts to remove the bottle, and then use the edge of a sharp knife to gently peel off the label. Not all labels will peel off easily, as producers around the world use many different types of glue that vary in quality, but the majority will. – Greig Santos-Buch, Co-Founder and Wine Tourism Specialist at Winetraveler
3. Utilize wine stylish racks
Wine racks not only make for great decor but are also really important for storing your wine. Look for one that’ll hold your bottles horizontally and keep them out of sunlight. Never place bottles (or your wine rack) on top of the fridge. It might be convenient, but your fridge vibrates and gives off heat – both of which can damage your wine. – Vinebase
4. Use corks to help your plants
Help save the world one cork at a time. Instead of throwing your corks in the garbage, just throw them on top of the soil surrounding your plant, which will look good and help the plants better preserve water. – Henry’s Wine & Spirit, Brooklyn, NY
5. Aesthetics come second
Your wine collection on display makes a statement about your fine taste. There are many beautiful rack systems to choose from that turn your collection into part of the home decor. But aesthetics should always be secondary to protecting the quality of your wines. Storing in climate-controlled cellars and wine fridges between 56-59 degrees Fahrenheit will ensure memorable tasting experiences for many years to come. Start there and make the esthetic the secondary part of your decision. – Tony Margiotta
6. Sanitization is key
It’s very important to monitor the cleanliness of your bottles. When you’re finished drinking a bottle, rinse it right after and store it neck-side down in a wine box to allow some of the moisture to exit the bottle. This will minimize the possibility of mold forming on the inside of the bottle. If you see any mold particles in your bottles, we would recommend recycling them. – Cork It Wine Making, North Vancouver, BC
7. Display your collection on a bar cart
A bar cart may be one of the most underutilized accessories in your home. It’s functional enough to store wine bottles, glasses, and other supplies to make entertaining guests easy and fun. – Wine Spencer
8. Create wine bottle lights
If you have a cellar or a cool space in your home, you can hang wine bottles in cords attached to the ceiling at various heights along a wall for storage and invite your dinner guests to choose which bottle to open. These should be bottles you intend to drink soon or that you hang only for a special occasion. For empty wine bottles, why not design your own light fixtures or lampshades? Try cutting off the bottom of the bottle and inserting a light bulb or insert led light loops inside the bottle to light up your terrace at night. – Grapevine Adventures
9. Showcase your wine in a properly sealed glass case
While showcasing your favorite wine in a glass display may be nice, make sure your collection isn’t in direct sunlight. Light exposure can be detrimental to the health of your wine. Long-term storage for the optimal preservation of wine could be in a quiet oasis of refrigerated space using properly sealed glass in the main viewing area of the home. – Fainting Goat Wine Cellars, Dallas, TX
How to protect your wine
After purchasing a new bottle of wine, it’s important to protect it so it doesn’t spoil before you get to drink it. Here are some tips to keep your unopened wine bottles fresh.
1. Heat is wine’s worst enemy
When storing wine at home, keep in mind that heat is wine’s biggest enemy. 45 to 65 degrees is ideal, anything greater can ‘cook’ the wines and turn an outstanding bottle flat. You don’t necessarily need to invest in a state-of-the-art wine cellar, however, the temperature is your number one key for longevity. – Tutoni’s Restaurant, York, PA
2. Meet the four main elements of long-term wine storage
Neither a pre-existing cellar space nor a high-end home is required to store your wine collection. As long as the four main elements of long-term wine storage are met (heat, vibration, UV, and humidity), then the space is largely a matter of personal taste. It certainly doesn’t need to be underground, and therefore instead of calling it a wine cellar, call it a wine room or better yet, a wine space to reflect that it can be created anywhere in the house – from an upstairs loft to a kitchen cupboard. – Mummy Wine Club
3. Learn how to correctly store open and unopened bottles
By intentionally storing your wine on its side, you’ll keep the cork in constant contact with the wine, which is a good thing. The cork will stay moist and avoid shrinkage, which helps ensure the oxygen doesn’t seep into the bottle. When oxygen comes into contact with the wine, the result is not pretty – the wine starts to oxidize, and the aromas, flavors, and color all begin to spoil. After opening, store leftover wine as followed:
- Sparkling wine: 1 to 3 days, in the fridge with a sparkling wine stopper.
- White & Rosé Wines: 3 to 5 days, in the fridge with a cork.
- Red Wine: 2 to 4 days, in a cool dark place with a cork. – Shar Martin, Winery Manager at BOTTAIA Winery, Temecula, CA
4. Utilize the closet under your stairs
If you desperately want a cool area to store wine, consider the closet under the stars. Line the inside of the closet with sheets of thick foam insulation – the temperate may not be 55 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’ll be pretty constant, and good enough to store wine for a longer period of time. – Willful Wine, Portland, OR
5. Drink wine young
99% of wine on the market is meant to be drunk young, so don’t hold on to those Sauvignon Blancs and Rosés for too long. Also, remember that storing wine is all about consistency. If you purchase the wine cold, keep it cold. Wines don’t like big fluctuations in temperature. – By the Stem
6. Treat wine delicately
Wine should be treated as delicately as fresh produce. A bottle sitting on a countertop will deplete its potential faster than you think. Instead, bottles should rest on their sides in dark and chilly environments. Remember, no dwelling is too small for a wine fridge. Take it from a couple who shared an 800-square-foot apartment in San Francisco and still fit two separate Eurocave coolers. It’s all about priorities. – Wine Scribes
Originally published on Redfin