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Trends for Wine Storage and Tasting Suggestions For Your Dallas Home

One of Hatfield (now Alair Homes- Plano) Builders & Remodelers’ favorite parts of the work we do is creating spaces that fit your lifestyle. Many of our clients are wine enthusiasts, and there are many ways we can update your home to accommodate the preservation and enjoyment of your favorite vintages now and in the future.

With summer upon us, we spoke to wine expert Jacob Studenroth, whom along with his wife, opened The Wise Old Dog in Hartford, CT in 2011. The pair hosts weekly wine nights and frequent tastings. They enjoy a wide range of bottles at every budget among friends, customers, and of course, family at both the store and at home. Here are some ideas discussed for creating or customizing an ideal place to store, age, and enjoy your wine.

Traditional Wine “Cellar”

wine cellar 1This doesn’t have to be a cellar; any dark, dank place will do. Consider the use of a large closet or perhaps the creation of a new space cut out of a hallway. The room should not have outdoor light, and should be conducive to hydration: “What you’re going to need to do is create a space, large or small, that locks in vapor and temperature. In a newer house, you’ll use strategic wall materials designed to hold in moisture,” Jacob explains.

Your Hatfield (now Alair Homes- Plano) design team will work with the space you have to create an environment that can keep the right temperature and humidity parameters. Whether that’s designing an ideal wine storage room right off your entertaining hub, or just made part of the kitchen. From an aesthetic point of view, this room can be straightforward and functional or more highly designed. We’ll work with your inspiration; whether you’re seeking a rustic or contemporary look, we will be creative with shelving and flooring for the right look.

Create a Tasting Space

wine cellar 2For wine enthusiasts who like to enjoy a glass (or a bottle!) at home without the full commitment to creating a complicated cellar Jacob suggests a “tasting space”. He adds that a wine cabinet which is essentially a fancy refrigerator is perhaps the easiest way to get the temperature and humidity right. The units simply plug into the wall and can be placed anywhere in the house. Brands like Vinotéque, EuroCave are highly rated. “I suggest top-notch, real-deal fridges like a steakhouse would use. At the end of the day, even the best bottle will deteriorate if the temperature and humidity are wrong, so it’s worth the investment.”

If you decide to go this route, Hatfield (now Alair Homes- Plano) can gladly carve out a designated area off the kitchen, living room, or wherever else is convenient to sip with company in a beautiful space. We can specialize cabinetry and shelving to accommodate the fridge and store excess bottles and glasses. Consider a variety of seating options so that your best bottles can be enjoyed with friends and dinner guests or solo. A meeting of highly-functional wine fridges and top-quality Hatfield (now Alair Homes- Plano) design creates the perfect environment for the wine as well as a decorated space to enjoy it.

Sommelier’s Corner

wine cellar 3When it comes to entertaining, Studenroth suggests taking the wine-temperature of your guests ahead of time – put the feelers out to see who likes what. But it’s always a good idea to have a few staples on hand for summer entertaining. In the below suggestions, the wine profiling and tasting notes are all direct from the expert and prices listed are current retail in his shop. And yes, The Wise Old Dog ships!

Something Sparkly – Whether it’s actual champagne (which most bubbles aren’t) or a fresh and delicious Prosecco, keep a bottle of bubbly cold and ready for of-the-moment celebrations. Jacob likes: Il Colle Prosecco di Treviso N/V ($16) for a “boutique spin” on small production crowd-pleasing bubbles. The ultimate treat, of course, is vintage Champagne. “In recent memory, a bottle Lanson Brut “Gold Label” 1997 (NFS) from the Shop’s Cellar was an absolute favorite.”

Think Pink – The uber-masculine and the ultra-femme sets can both enjoy rosé, a warm-weather favorite that Europeans can’t get enough of. Steer clear of anything too sweet to ensure the whole group will like it. Jacob suggests: Domaine de Fonsainte Gris de Gris Corbières 2014 ($15) for a “delicious but grippy sipper” and Lieu Dit Rosé of Pinot Noir 2014 ($29 very limited production) if you prefer something extra-fancy.

Food & Wine – Pairing is subjective, of course, so go with what you love. But fresh summer salads, grilled fish, and other seasonal favorites are best enjoyed with: “The most versatile on the planet…a Beaujolais. From a sub-appellation in France’s Burgundy region, these wines offer a juicy fresh (and on a hot day even chill-able) option that pairs up with just about anything,” Jacob says.

Also consider as an everyday go-to, the fresh vintage of Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais 2014 ($15). If you’re getting more serious about relaxing on that deck and need more of a “thinker,” check out anything from Domaine Jean-Paul Dubost, because even his intro-to-party “Villages” level wine ($18), is a naturally made “bottle of magnificence.”

Posted on: June 30, 2015
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