Saturday, September 11, 2010

Reason Number "Nth" Why My Wife Is Awesome Sauce!

I present to you, Exhibit A:



That, good people, is my very own 18-bottle dual temperature wine refrigerator! My wife got it from Wine Enthusiast as my birthday gift this year, and I have to say I'm positively ecstatic! It's a pretty nifty upgrade from the traditional wooden storage rack I had shelved away above the kitchen cabinets:



It solves a nagging worry I've had ever since I started getting into wine drinking a year ago -- which is: How do I keep my wine from going bad when it's being stored in such a blistering hot and sunny environment as my cooking corner? This is a problem because some of my bottles--namely, the most expensive ones that still need a few more years to properly age--need to be stored long-term. With fluctuations in seasonal temps around here, not to mention the furnace heat from my range top, oven, George Foreman grill, and rice steamer combined, it's a veritable battle field for wine bottles.

Hence why this wine fridge is one of the more thoughtful and useful gifts I've received in a long while. First off, it stores 18 bottles -- which is 6 more than the capacity of my old rack. Secondly, the fridge is divided into two zones with their own dedicated temp controls via the touch-screen interface on the door. The top half chills in the range of 54 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit, which is ideal for storing reds. While the bottom zone chills from 46 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit, and is ideal for storing whites.

Right now, I have the top zone at 60 and the bottom one at 48. It took roughly 16 hours for the fridge to cool down from the room temp of 86 degrees to my specified levels, but now that its been optimized my wine is kept in a nice constantly chilled and dark environment 24/7 and all year round. The fridge also uses very little electricity and is super silent to boot!



As you can see, I already stocked it almost to capacity with all my favorite wines. Now, mind you, I don't actually drink this all at once. I usually have half a glass of red with dinner, which means one bottle lasts me one whole week. The whites and the more expensive reds are kept in reserve for special occasions, since sweet whites like Riesling or Zinfandel are the only wines my wife seems to enjoy. Those or a nice, subtle Rose. The reds are mostly imported French varietals, with a few hearty southern Italian reds thrown in for good measure. I almost never drink Californian wines. For some odd reason, I just haven't acclimated to them yet, although I know I should. As for the whites -- those come from all over Europe: Italy, Germany, Poland -- and even Romania!

I'm not a wine expert, or even connoisseur. You can call me a wine beginner, in fact. But I think this fridge is a step in the right direction. I just opened up one of the newly chilled bottles--a Palazzo della Torre 'Veronese' from Allegrini--and allowed it to warm up gradually to room temperature. The bouquet, from what my amateur nose could detect, was more alive and fragrant than the same bottle I opened up a few weeks back, and which had been roasting atop my cabinets all summer long.

Yeah, I think I can get used to this new arrangement.

Yay for the wine fridge! And YAY! to my awesome wife!

2 comments:

Botanist said...

Sounds like you & Lisa share some common thought processes with Ali & me. My birthday present from her a few years ago was a beer & wine cooler which has done awesome service for us ever since ;-)

Looks like this one's more sophisticated than ours...two separate temperature zones? Luxury! But then, out here on the milder west coast we don't have to safeguard our precious assets from that New York summer heat. All ours has to do is keep beer & white wine cooled & ready to drink.

David Batista said...

After reading your latest blog update, Ian, I so wish I lived in the type of climate you do! Hot weather is a chore for me. But, yeah, it's murder on the wine bottles. I like that this fridge is the next best thing to having my own wine cellar.

And, LOL! I guess great wives think alike! :)

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