An Oenophile is someone who is a lover and a connoisseur of wine . This is a person who not only loves drinking wine, but loves to learn about it, try an unending variety of it, and of course, collecting it.
For many people who enjoy keeping a large collection of wine on hand, storage can often pose a significant challenge. After all, not many of us live in grand chateaus with large cellars with the capacity to store hundreds of bottles.
Aside from a lack of space, ensuring that your wine is stored in the appropriate conditions can be even more problematic, since the incorrect temperature or light conditions can affect its quality.
One Australian man, however, seems to have found the perfect solution.
Storage in the Stairs
Murray Berrill lives in Australia and owns his own business, Murray Berril Constructions. Recently, he decided that the stairs in his home took up a lot of space, but that space wasn’t being used effectively. To solve the problem, he converted them into a wine cellar, while still maintaining their functionality as stairs.
“I hate dead space when renovating a house, as you’re essentially paying for nothing. So we thought of putting the wine in drawers in the staircase rather than behind it,” he said .
It took him a week and a half to build complete, and was quite expensive, given the high-quality craftsmanship. Berrill said he spent 500 dollars on the drawers alone.
“We had to work out how all the bottles were going to fit and make sure the entire design was strong enough,” he said .
What are the Proper Conditions to Store Wine?
It is very important when you’re collecting wine that you store it at the right temperature. If you don’t, you run the risk of spending money on a good bottle, only to have it go off before you can drink it.
The first rule of wine storage, and perhaps the most important, is temperature. Keeping your wine in an area that is too cold or too warm is an almost guarantee that it will spoil. It should never be kept below 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 Celsius), and never above 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 celsius). The optimal storage temperature for wine is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or 13 degrees Celsius .
How you store the bottles is important, too. They should always be kept horizontally, in order to keep the cork moist. This is particularly important for long-term storage because a dried-out cork can cause the bottle to leak and the wine to age prematurely .
You should also store your wine in a dark place because UV light can damage its flavors and aromas. As much as possible, store your wine in the dark .
The humidity of your wine cellar can also impact the quality and longevity of your wine. The ideal humidity is between 60 and 68 percent- any lower and the corks could dry out, too high and the labels could peel off the bottles, making it difficult to know which one is which .
Proper Conditions in the Stairs
Berril kept the rules of proper wine storage in mind when building his unique 156-bottle cellar. The stairs, of course, will keep the bottles out of direct light at all times, and they have been properly insulated to protect the wines from temperature changes, particularly in the summer months.
Berril said that he is also considering adding in a small unit that will keep the wine chilled.
His genius craftsmanship has caused a stir after he posted the final product on his company’s Facebook page, with many people commenting on his ingenuity and skill. Only one person had a problem with it:
“Only complaint is that there [aren’t] enough stairs!”