Those who enjoy the entertainment of friends at home may find the past years to be a very favorite time. For me, after some insights from online UK merchants, I had to wait until the Covid-19 bans were relaxed to share the great wines I discovered.
It didn’t stop me from hoarding. But where to keep the bottles that have been frozen year after year? Some go straight to storage storage according to age requirements. Others, beyond the dates by their drink, need to be served. Moving to a smaller house a few years ago, shaking another case under the stairs has become more difficult.
Wine enthusiasts always need somewhere safe to park their liquid treasures. Henry VIII’s wine store is hidden deep in the heart of the UK Ministry of Defense headquarters. Meanwhile, the UK government’s liquor store – about 2,500 cases – is sitting under Lancaster House near Buckingham Palace.
Whitehall takes wine storage somewhat more seriously than the White House. Author Frederick J. Ryan says staff there keep about 25 cases from the kitchen in a single room alone. Wine and the White House.
Some self-questioning is needed to decide how much wine storage to keep – or whether there really is any. Consider these questions. Did some forgotten dinner guests bring you the proportions of wines you served? Does the term “drink dates” mean anything other than an appointment with your friends?
More seriously, do you have enough space to avoid over-bottling and arguing with your partner or coworkers at home? If you answered “duno” to this or any other, it would probably be much more than what can be found on Ikea.
For the rest of you, how to manage the treasures involved over time is more than worth considering. For starters, wine needs to be dark somewhere to be stored properly because ultraviolet light can ruin light wine. This region should also provide stable, cool temperatures below 20C without excessive humidity.
Great wine collectors with adequate resources and space – and perhaps a Henry VIII thirsty – are increasingly creating bespoke storage rooms (cellars) in their homes. Over the past year, some families who have been cutting back on expenses for other luxuries, such as travel, may have to resort to wine collection. As the fine wine itself, the cost for a stroke can go as high as its pockets.
Should you keep it at home?
Not all wine collectors should keep their wine at home. Those in the UK who trade in surplus cases should keep the liquor in “bonds” – in a warehouse beyond duty. This avoids paying any VAT and duties. These can add up to 20 percent VAT plus £ 2.86 per bottle.
Consider also the introduction of wine that dealers insisted on for wealthy clients. Fake scandals of the past, as well as poor preservation conditions can affect quality. A slight loss to the outer crate of wine for sale means the buyer can make a deal. “Some traders nowadays claim perfect perfection,” says wine owners strategist Miles Davis.
Outside the UK though tax problems are less pressing, and outside (or even professional) storage is not so popular. In fact, the French, who produce the most valuable wine in the world, do not usually make wine or see the need to pay for storage facilities.
Expenses vs. benefits
Putting the above investment issues aside, everything from the use of glorious refrigerators to creating a properly stored climate-controlled recreation space for wine can be expanded. Good quality wine coolers for 50-bottle capacity start at around 500 500. Go for the large capacity of 200 bottles and you can easily pay a few thousand pounds.
More interested in function than style, they can transform any room. Some are out of the kitchen, others in a basement. During the renovation of his West London home two years ago, James Pulsford chose to set up a wine-storage room adjacent to the kitchen. Preferring something short, he had a clear cabinet for 1000 bottles with an integrated air-conditioning unit designed specifically for wine storage. Labor and VAT together it came to £ 20,000, a quarter accounting with refrigeration.
Although he is not an investor, the rest of Pulsford’s wine is in binding storage due to space constraints. Storage groups in the UK, ranging from Octavian (largest) to smaller specialists such as Nexus, offer a variety of services ranging from basic rental fees to full portfolio management services to keep investors sustainable on price. Professional storage also exists in North America, Europe and Asia (primarily Hong Kong) for those in need.
Savings in professional storage
Given all of these costs, it would make sense to build home storage as a saving compared to some alcoholic rental fees. So what is the payback period? The answer is long. In the UK, where anyone may need bonded storage, the comparison is most appropriate. Depending on the storage provider and the quantity of bottles, you can spend about 1 1 per bottle with annual VAT.
On that basis, spending £ 20,000 on a thousand bottles would mean two decades of payback. So either eat and drink, cleverly trade your portfolio or admit that you have wine for passion, not for your pocket.
Homes and homes have to be unlocked
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Bordeaux has a few top-quality cases from top wine on the relatively recent collector, Andy Lund, that he “hopes to drink with his kids someday”. These will be in bonded storage. He hopes to create something in his London home that could hold the growing wine collection in his bottles but probably won’t trade.
But you don’t have to live in a house to store wine. Janice Robinson, Wine critic and FT columnist, but has not liked home storage for a long time. His career not only took him around the world but also brought him the wines of the world. For both personal and professional reasons, it requires good quality wine storage.
In 2016, when she and her husband moved out of their North London home King Cross is a flat Bikash, he needs to rethink where his bottled treasure should be kept.
Internal underground storage was no substitute. Her new flat – Off the Plan – comes with a “unnecessarily large utility room, windowless and north-facing, very nice ideal for wine storage”. So, he only trimmed one-third of it for his bottles.
Its manufacturer has added some insulation and a refrigerated unit. Double-depth shelving – pre-built at a cost of about হাজার 218 per bottle, with space for about 2,000 bottles, with extra floor space in the middle of the room for crates.
Robinson’s somewhat unusual situation enabled him to pay the developer for some expenses. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person.
Something more special
Although rarely smaller, other connectors have a grander goal for their holding. They prefer a place that best presents a collection to visitors, perhaps a separate recreational area where they can enjoy these dishes with
Those interested in making a statement without giving the wine a separate room might consider the spiral unit. It has underground corkscrew around the stairs, allowing enough space for one to go down and realize the choices. Shell UK spiral cellars make these, as well as glass-faced wine cellars make up about 80 per cent of the client’s general design.
When managing director Lucy Hargreaves took over the business in 2004, these spiral bases often moved into garages hidden away from the eyes of guests. Times have changed. In his first five years he noticed that clients were increasingly asking to place interior rooms under the reception room and even on the kitchen floor. The doors of the square wooden traps became round plexiglasses, attractively illuminated from below the surface. “More people want to show off their wine,” Hargreaves notes.
Prices start at around 23 23,000 for a thousand bottles of DIY kit. A custom installation for a spiral cellar can cost up to 80,000. And business has started fast despite the epidemic. The spiral order backlog expanded a year ago.
When not a little luxury
If for the past decade or so enthusiastic wine collectors have switched to Hargreaves’ business, his handiwork looks perfectly short compared to genuine sellers. This Winnipeg, Manitoba group claims to have the largest wine-making center in the world. Most of its clients live in the United States, although there are international projects in some interesting places, including Pakistan
Over the past 25 years, Genuine has created wine cellars for both more modest connectors and aspiring collectors. They have also enjoyed greater demand by increasing their workforce during epidemics.
And when I say ambitious, I mean huge. Founder Rob Denmome has built a 10,000-square-foot wine cellar with a capacity of 45,000 bottles. These can have multiple climates to allow for entertainment – even cigar rooms – in storage space. One client simply wanted four and a half thousand separate bottle houses to collect Pomeroles Petras, one of his Bordeaux promolcities.
Denome and his team will build what clients need in small, spacious, gem-encrusted temples, starting with work at the bottom of the stairs. Genuine has built a wine room at a cost of 3.5 3.5 million.
Even empty, Henry VIII’s treasury was in a safe place after World War II to protect it – there was enough historical value to protect this place. Increasingly, wine collectors will pay to create their own valuable storage legacies.
Alan Livcy is the research editor of Lex