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Designing the Wine Lover’s Kitchen

Do you simply enjoy your wine or are you a connoisseur, a true wine lover? There is a difference. Of course, the appreciation for fine wine is generally developed over time; there is a learning process involved. If your wine collection is growing and your understanding of the nuances of flavor, bouquet and age is growing with it, you may be ready to remodel that Washington DC kitchen into one that better accommodates your passion for the fruit of the vine.

There are just a few critical elements to consider when designing a wine lover’s kitchen. Wine storage is one aspect, but the serving of the wine is just as important. Most wine lovers enjoy sharing their new discoveries and old favorites with friends, family and acquaintances, along with a meal, cheese or other types of food for nibbling on.

Proper Wine Storage

There are five elements that are said to be critical to proper wine storage: Temperature, humidity, light, ventilation and angle. You will see the horizontal angle preferred for wine storage demonstrated in wine racks and wine coolers. The bottles of wine lay on their side, instead of being stood upright. The horizontal position with the cork tilted in a downward angle keeps the wine in contact with the cork. This adds an extra seal to the bottle to prevent air from entering or escaping the bottle. Controlling the humidity level in your wine’s storage area is also needed to protect the cork from drying out or getting too moist and becoming mildewed. The porous nature of cork can also allow odors to be absorbed through the cork into the wine, so you’ll want to keep your wine bottles protected from strong odors. Wine is also sensitive to light and should be kept out of direct sunlight or any other bright light. Last, but certainly not least, is the importance of temperature in wine storage. To maintain a wine’s freshness, you will want to keep the wine at a constant temperature. Fluctuations in temperature, more than just a few degrees, can cause outside air to enter the bottle and affect the wine.

Wine Cooling Unit

If you are a true wine lover, you already knew all of these details about proper wine storage, but it never hurts to receive a refresher course. These five elements to proper wine storage will factor into the selection of a wine storage unit for your kitchen. A good wine storage unit will provide a tinted glass door to block light, constant temperature and humidity control and horizontal storage racks for your wine bottles.

Beyond those basic necessities, you will need to decide how many bottles of wine you need room for in the storage unit. Units can range from as small as four bottles to those big enough for 75 or more. Some of the most popular units are those that are easily incorporated into the kitchen under the countertop, in the island or elsewhere. Dual temp beverage coolers are sometimes chosen for those who want the convenience of storing both wine and other beverages in the same unit. Whichever type and size of storage unit you choose for your Washington DC kitchen, you will want to select its location carefully to make sure it is easily accessible when needed. Be sure to incorporate a storage space, such as a small drawer, for your corkscrews and decorative wine stops nearby.

Wine Glasses

Where there is wine, there are wine glasses. Hanging slots for stemware always creates a secure and accessible storage space for crystal goblets. These hanging slots can be open air or enclosed within glass front cabinets. Just be sure that the location is easily accessible to the host, if not the guests themselves.

Serving and Entertaining

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, most wine lovers enjoy sharing their passion with their houseguests; this means that a wine lovers kitchen will be designed as a social center. A larger kitchen may allow for seating around the island, where a smaller kitchen will usually incorporate a seating and serving area into a peninsula adjacent to the dining or living area. For the countertops, the natural beauty of granite always seems to be the perfect complement to a sparkling glass of wine. Choosing glass doors for cabinets in view of your guests will also work well to show off your entertainment serving dishes, like cheese platters and appetizer trays.

What style of cabinetry will you find in a wine lover’s kitchen? There is no standard for that; it is as varied as the wine lovers themselves. Contemporary European simplicity will fit with one home and the antique charm of Old World styling will fit with another. Just as wine comes in many flavors and vintages, so do wine lovers. Choose whatever suits your taste, and your wine will blend in beautifully.