Cellar notes #4: The perfect conditions

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Marina Gayan is an Argentinian Master of Wine working in London and living in a rented flat. She doesn't have acres of subterranean space in which to store wine. Her solution? A wine cooler unit. With temperature and humidity control and ventilation, the fridge-like cabinet stores her bottles on sliding storage shelves, allowing up to 260 bottles to remain in ideal storage conditions irrespective of the ambient temperature in the flat.

Marina's cabinet has a specially treated, smoked glass door that filters out harmful ultra-violet light. She can see at a glance what's what, and it adds a stylish display element to the kitchen where the cabinet is stored. After shopping around on the web, Marina is pretty thrilled with her Liebherr, which is one of the cheaper brands.

With adaptable use of space and anti-vibration compressors, wine storage cabinets can include separate compartments for bringing wines to room temperature and keeping them cool. Capacity varies from 50 bottles to 500 with a trade-off between the number of wines the cabinet holds and ease of access. Generally speaking, the more shelves the less wine but the greater the ease of access.

Quality, as ever, depends on budget with prices ranging from £500 to several thousand pounds. Other names to look out for include Transtherm, Norcave and Eurocave. Contact www.wineware.co.uk, www.eurocave.co.uk, Transtherm Cabinets (01926 811376) and Norcool Appliances Ltd. (01302 351234).

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