Offsite Wine Storage

There are places that specialize in storing wine. They are pretty popular too because even if you have a special built cellar or one or more temperature controlled wine storage cabinets, wine just seems to grow. What seemed like a lot of space suddenly is full.

Maybe room for 200 bottles of wine or 500 or 1000 or 2000 or more seemed like plenty of storage and then suddenly it’s full. Yes, wine can be addictive, but also some wines age very well and some in fact demand aging. For example I bought magnums (which age more slowly than normal bottles) of Fonseca, Grahams, and Taylor Port in 2000, and there is no way I will be opening them before at least 2025, and probably a decade after that. I have some great Bordeaux as well that needs a decade minimum. Suddenly you have lots of wine, but nothing to drink.

Let’s say you open a mere 3 bottles a week, throw a couple parties a year where you open 10 bottles, and have an occasional splurge as well. That is easily 15 cases and year, and many of us drink more; a glass or two a night adds up fast.

Now let’s say you like primarily Bordeaux and other wines that need some aging, perhaps 10 years? Well, 10 years times 15 cases is suddenly well over 1500 bottles of wine you are storing.

When looking at a wine storage location, there are many things to consider. Certainly backup power is one. Now this is less important in Maine than in New Orleans of course, but it is an issue. You do not want your wines slowly cooking if there is an extended power outage.

Convenience is another factor. Is their parking? Wine weighs a lot, especially when you are moving many cases. What about hours? My place has limited but adequate parking, but their hours are not at all convenient. And how far from your place is it? Depending on where you live, you may have to travel. There are no wine storage places in my rural location so I keep my long term agers about 75 minutes away and visit them only once or twice a year.

What temperature and humidity do they keep the place at? I don’t believe this is a big issue as long as it is in the ballpark and consistent!

Now let’s say you rent a storage locker that holds 40 cases or 480 bottles. You practically speaking are not going to get that much wine into it. Wine bottles come in different sizes and shapes and the number they tell you is the maximum possible number if all the bottles were consistent, i.e. on ideal circumstances.

Also keep in mind when you fill your storage locker (and you will), getting bottles out will be difficult. I just wanted two bottles last week and ended up moving 20 cases of wine twice, once out of the locker and once in. My friend Charles hires college students to help sort through the wine in his locker!

Consider physical security as well. Wine is expensive and a target for thieves. My current place is quite secure.

Ahhh, wine, a wonderful thing. I'm off to get a glass!