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How to Create the Perfect Wine Cellar in Your Home
For those who appreciate a good glass of wine, having the right storage makes pouring a nice glass of vino easy. A wine cellar will provide you with a place to organize your favorite bottles for easy access and stylish organization. Before wine lovers can celebrate this new addition, it’s important to decide what type of cellar you want. Whether it’s a secret stash of wine under the kitchen counters or a custom wine bar, you need to pick a spot where your wine will be stored. Think about the location, functionality, and aesthetics of your new wine cellar to help you design the ultimate spot. Read on for some tips that will help you create the perfect wine cellar at home.
Location and Other Considerations
Once you decide that a wine cellar is right for you, there are a few key things to consider. First, think about the location of your wine cellar and how much space it will take up in your home. If you have a basement, this can be a perfect spot for a new wine cellar. If you’re limited on space, you’ll need to find a designated part of your home where you can store a few bottles. A separate part of your kitchen can be a perfect place for a small wine cellar. You can even use the space under a staircase for unique wine storage. Make sure you take the location into consideration and choose the coolest area of your home or an area with higher levels of humidity. If the new wine cellar will be a major addition to your home, take the scope of the project into account. If you’re adding onto your home, think about structural changes like installing soffits and wall studs and putting up new drywall which can be costly and time-consuming.
Things to Consider Before You Build
Once you’re ready to build your wine cellar, there are a lot of crucial things to examine before you commit. Here are some key considerations to think about before you start designing your new cellar:
How will you use the wine cellar? Will it be a place where you can entertain friends or just a storage space for your favorite wines? Make sure you declutter the space and clean it thoroughly before you work on adding new elements to the structure.
Understand how to store and maintain your wine properly. Without the right storage conditions, wine can go bad which means your treasured bottle of vintage red wine could be wasted.
Look into adding specific components like the right insulation, a vapor or moisture barrier, and find ways to ensure that your wine cellar has an airtight seal.
Think about the materials you plan to use for your wine cellar. Glass may look nice, but it’s not a good insulator. If you have your heart set on a glass door, make sure it’s double glazed or that it features an argon-filled portion between two panes to keep the room insulated. Concrete is often used for basement walls, but it will need additional insulation if you plan to store wine there. Use plywood to cover existing walls or to build new walls since it can withstand moisture better than drywall.
Invest in a good, high-quality cooling unit to keep the temperature at an optimum level. While this may cost you a bit more upfront, it’s wise to invest in something high-quality to save you money in the long run. Basements tend to be extremely hot without the right cooling equipment in place.
You can build your own custom wine rack or choose a prebuilt rack that will accommodate your desired number of bottles.
Wine bottles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so don’t forget to install racks or shelving that are adjustable or that feature different designs to fit different bottles.
Make sure you plan your budget in advance and try not to go over your limit. Talk to several contractors and get a few estimates if you don’t think you can stay within your budget by doing things DIY.
Maintaining Your Wine Cellar
While you definitely want your new wine cellar to look fabulous with some chic décor, it’s also important that you maintain it, so your bottles of wine remain in good condition. Here are some tips to ensure that your wine cellar is taken care of the right way:
The temperature and humidity levels need to be consistent for wine to stay fresh, so invest in a good digital thermometer and hygrometer. A hygrometer reads the humidity levels in the air to help you monitor the conditions in your wine cellar. Look for new products that feature wireless capabilities so you can check the status of your wine cellar from your phone.
Keep your wine cellar clean, and don’t let dust accumulate on the bottles. If a bottle breaks or something spills, clean it up immediately to prevent pests from making your wine cellar their home.
Install some soft lighting in your wine cellar so you can see everything clearly. Recessed lighting is a good choice for basements since they won’t take up too much space. Choose lightbulbs that emit a soft, warm light and avoid harsh ultra-bright lights that could compromise the integrity and flavor of your wine. LED lights are a good option since they don’t produce a lot of heat.
If possible, choose an area of your home that doesn’t have direct sunlight. If your wine cellar has windows, make sure you cover them with a good set of blinds or some quality room darkening curtains.
Wine Storage Guide
Maintaining your wine cellar is important, but you also want to make sure that your wine is stored properly.
If wine is exposed to sunlight, the amino acids can oxidize and change the flavor. Keep your wine in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight and away from fluorescent lights. White wine is especially vulnerable to sunlight since most wineries bottle it in clear glass. Smell your wine when you open it and look for any unpleasant smells which could mean that it has already become oxidized.
Store wine bottles with corks on their side instead of upright. This will slow down the oxidation process and keep the cork moist, so it doesn’t rot or fall apart. You can store twist-top bottles upright, but ideally, all wine should be laid in racks horizontally.
Once you open a bottle of wine, it doesn’t typically last more than a week. White wine and rose can last about five to seven days in the fridge if it’s re-corked. Red wine should last about three to five days if you replace the cork and store it in a cool, dark place.
You may be surprised to learn that wine can actually absorb strong odors. If wine is exposed to things like onions or even the trash can in your kitchen, those odors can permeate the cork and get into the wine over time. Avoid exposing your wine to strong odors by keeping it separated from everything else in your home. Adding a door with an airtight seal will help to keep unpleasant odors from seeping into your wine cellar.
Your wine racks can be made of anything you like including solid wood or metal. It’s easy to make DIY wine racks yourself if you want to save money. You can even choose your favorite type of wood and finish it in your desired color for a custom look. Just make sure you make enough racks to hold plenty of bottles with room to spare.
Store and Care for Your Wine in Style
A custom wine cellar is a great way to keep your wine safely stored. Look for some unique inspiration online to add décor and lighting to this space, especially if you plan to use it for entertaining or tastings. You can create your wine cellar DIY or hire a contractor if you’re planning to make major changes to your home. If you’re just choosing a small space like an area under a staircase, creating your own wine cellar DIY should be a fairly easy process. Make sure you follow these tips about how to store your wine properly so that it lasts for many years until you’re ready to open it.
Creating a custom wine cellar in your home is a great way to enjoy your favorite bottles of wine while keeping them protected. Look for unique design ideas and inspiration that will help you add a personal touch to your storage space. Keep wine bottles out of direct sunlight and check the air temperature and humidity levels to ensure they’re always at a consistent level. With these simple tips, your new wine cellar is sure to be the envy of the neighborhood.
Our warm spiced Roussanne is the perfect drink for a cold evening. As it is warming up, the smell of apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove will fill your home, bringing you memories of Christmas and drinking apple cider fireside. Try out this recipe for a warm treat.
Warm Spiced Roussanne Recipe
3 bottles of White Holiday 2018
1 honeycrisp apple (sliced, but not peeled)
1/2 tbs whole cloves
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
2 cinnamon sticks
1-2 slices fresh ginger (approx. 1 in. diameter & 1/8 in. thick, or use a vegetable peeler and shave off a couple strips.
Brown sugar or honey to taste (optional)
Pour bottle of White Holiday into a crockpot.
Insert whole cloves into the flest part of the apple slices and put into the crockpot.
Add orange juice, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, and ginger to crockpot.
Stir to combine. Heat on low for about 2 hours, do not simmer or boil. Once everything heats up you can add brown sugar or honey to taste.
Remove the cloves from soaked apples and discard. Use the soaked apples and fresh cinnamon sticks for garnish.
Enjoy a warm glass next to the fireplace for a holiday treat!
When Samantha isn't drinking wine, she likes to pair cocktails based on what she's eating at the time. "Spicy margarita's for Mexican food, Aperol Spritz with italian, and gin martini's for everything else."
When she isn't at work, Samantha loves to travel. "I'm actually going to Costa Rica for Christmas and getting married in Barcelona!" She also enjoys hanging out with her cats, Tex and Tuna, and taking frequent walks around the neighborhood. Samantha also loves to experiment with new recipes and cook in the kitchen with her sister, trying out new plant-based recipes. Her favorite at the moment is cashew queso.
Samantha enjoys watching TV inluding new shows and binging old ones!
"I'm currently binging Seinfeld but I can't wait for the new seasons of Bridgerton and Emily in Paris. Gilmore Girls is my all-time favorite show so I frequently re-watch episodes of that on Netflix."
Her favorite food is chips and salsa. She claims the best combo is the house-made chips from H.E.B and the salsa from Joe. T Garcias. "As a born-and-raised Texan, I can eat chips & salsa till the cows come home."
Samantha attributes her success as an event coordinator at Lost Oak Winery to her food truck start-up where she also became adept at organizing catering events for a few thousand people. "We began with the sole purpose of simply bringing more healthy options to the UT Austin campus. Facetrack one year and our food truck had became so popular that we were catering events with SXSW, Kendra Scott, & Dell Computers to name a few."
Samantha has been working in the industry for about four years but started her Lost Oak journey about four months ago. One of her favorite memories is when her fiance started working with her.
"My fiance, Trevor and I started working together at Lost Oak as something to do together while he went back to school. However, since taking on this new role I am technically his boss. I joke that it's the only reason I took the position."
We are lucky to have Samantha on our team and we appreciate everything she does at the winery!
Lost Oak's Sangria Recipe
- 1 bottle of Lost Oak Dolce Rouge (750 ML)
- 1/2 can orange juice concentrate
- 1/2 can lemonade concentrate
- 1 can of Sprite or Ginger Ale
- Add round slices of lemons and oranges to float.
- Mix Dolce Rouge with fruit concentrate
- Stir well and add Sprite
- Add fruit and enjoy!
Share your creation with us! Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest! #Lostoakwinery
5 Wines to Bring to Your Next Tailgate:
1. Tempranillo 2019
Tempranillo is going to be your best friend during the fall for sporting events. With smokey notes and strong tannins, Tempranillo will pair nicely with almost any barbeque and Texas party.
The Texas terroir is in full force in this Tempranillo. It is bold and full-bodied with a strong earthiness. The flavor is decadently rich with cherries, chocolate, sweet tobacco, and mocha. Strong tannins linger on the palate along with cherry and a hint of smoke.
Food Pairing Notes:
Tacos, steak, barbeque, chocolate
2. Quartet 2018
Quartet is perfect for a tailgating event. Its flavors are versatile and can pair with most tailgatiing sides, salads, appetizers, and cold snacks.
Four varietals combine to create a treat for the senses. This wine starts with wonderful aromas of lemon drops and flavors of cactus fruit and soft citrus that all blend together to make the perfect summertime wine.
Food Pairing Notes:
Fruit, cold slaw, salad, appetizers, and more!
3. Dolce Rouge
Our Dolce Rouge will pair well with your favorite gaming snacks so make sure to have this one close by!
It is medium bodied and carries bright berry flavors with just a hint of spice on the back of the palate. A perfect wine for those who don’t like it so dry.
Food Pairing Notes:
Pair with deer jerkey, brisket sandwiches, barbaco street tacos, guacamole with fresh tortilla chips, milk chocolate truffles, or make sangria with the Lost Oak Sacred Sangria recipe!
4. Gewurztraminer 2020
The Gewurztraminer is a nice classic that you'll want at your next party as it can pair with salty chips, grilled goods, fruit, and more!
Pronounced “Guh-voorts-trah-mee-ner,” this wine has an inviting slightly honeyed color. Delightful aromas of golden pear, green mango and papaya start this wine off. The first sip coats the mouth with more tropical fruit flavors reminiscent of pineapple. Soft with just the right amount of crispness it has a finish of Persian lime.
Food Pairing Notes:
Pair with fruit skewers, blackened rainbow trout, banh mi, grilled stuffed jalapenos, cobb salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, or pineapple upside down cake.
5. Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
And last but certainly not least, is the classic Cabernet Sauvignon that you can pair with other classics! This is a wine you can pair with some fruit, chili, burgers, and hot dogs.
This Cabernet Sauvignon has an inky ruby color. Aromas of black cherries, currants, and just a hint of liquorish are ever changing with each inhale. Cherries and currants carry over to the palate but with the added flavors of dark chocolate and espresso. It finishes with a lingering mouth feel reminiscent of black tea full of structured tannins.
Food Pairing Notes:
Pair this wine with sundried tomato bruschetta, burgers, hot dogs, chili, bacon wrapped asparagus, tomahawk steak with potatoes, grilled pizza with Italian sausage, or devil’s food cake.
When Michele isn't drinking wine, she tries to keep herself hydrated with flavored/sparkling water and in the colder weather months, she loves hot chocolate with milk. "You mean there is some other beverage other than wine?" When she isn't at work, Michele likes to hike, bike, and kayak in nature. Michele also likes to go to live local music venues with her dogs. She also teaches Business Information Systems, Supply Chain Management, and Statistics at TCU.
"I also spend quite a bit of time at home where I foster dogs for Trinity GAP Rescue. Many have met Trapper at the winery. I affectionately refer to him as my 'foster fail' and since then we have fostered 10+ amazing dogs. When you foster, you know you've saved a life, you know you're making a difference, and you know your changing the world a little bit. Speaking of making a difference, prior to Covid you could find me once a month as a Repeat Attender for the Prison Entrepreneurship Program."
In her spare time, Michele enjoys binge watching TV shows like Beverly Hills 90210 as well as movies Directed by John Hughes. "I love to cook in my gourmet kitchen at home and rotate meals around seafood, filet mignon, chicken, pork, vegetable dishes, and salads. Of course, I cook with wine (in my glass) - unless it is breakfast (most of the time)."
When it comes to her prior work experience that helps her do her job at Lost Oak Winery, Michele started as a Volunteer in 2012 harvesting grapes, bottling, pruning, and leading tours. When she retired from Corporate America in 2020, she was officially hired on as a Tour Guide.
We are lucky to have Michele on our team and we appreciate everything she does at the winery!
- 1 loaf of French bread
- 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 8 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup of shredded basil
- 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Place sliced French bread on parchment paper and brush olive oil on
- Top bread with shredded parmesan and bake for 5-10 minutes or until crispy.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix tomatoes, garlic, basil, and salt and pepepr.
- Dice the tomatoes and cut the basil into ribbons. Stir well.
- Assemble the bruschetta mixture on the French bread.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes
- Enjoy it and pair well with Lost Oak's Blanc du Sharkey
As the Delta case counts are increasing in our community, we have adjusted our policies regarding COVID.
- All staff and guests are encouraged, but not required, to wear a mask when in the tasting room or with groups of individuals whose vaccine status is unknown.
- All staff members are encouraged, but not required, to acquire the COVID vaccine. Lost Oak has offered paid time away from work to get vaccinated.
- Lost Oak Winery staff will continue to maintain all cleaning protocols, as outlined previously, to keep staff and guests safe.
- Through this blog and other mainstream media, all staff and hopefully our guests, understand the inherent risks associated with not being vaccinated against COVID 19.
Much information has recently been published regarding the safety and efficacy of the current vaccines. Below are several well-written articles which better explain how these vaccines are safe to use.
- This well-written article by UT Southwestern Medical Center describes how vaccines are a one-and-done treatment that gets eliminated quickly, thus eliminating potential side effects. Also, all post-vaccine side effects are being carefully monitored through the V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker, which is the most extensive long-term monitoring database ever created.
- Hopkinsmedicine.org explains in this article how virologists have determined that the proteins in the vaccine are in no way able to cause infertility.
This article from the CDC explains the severity of the Delta variant compared to the early form of the COVID-19 virus. The newer variant not only causes more infections and spreads faster than previously, but also appears to cause more severe illness in unvaccinated people.
At the time of this writing, Johnson County, Texas is experiencing an increase in COVID infection and hospitalization rates similar to those of early spring, 2020. This dashboard from the State of Texas Health and Human Services reflects the severity of the current outbreak.
Charity Spotlight: Evans2 and Kidd's Kids
Evans² is the blending of not only wine but two men’s passions for grape growing and winemaking: Dusty Evans (Owner of Sprayberry Vineyards) and Jim Evans (Winemaker at Lost Oak Winery). For every bottle purchased, $5.00 goes back to the Wine Society of Texas Scholarship program, awarding scholarships to those interested continued education in Texas wine.
The Wine Society of Texas was founded in 1996 with the goal to promote the knowledge of Texas wine appreciation, Texas winemakers, and oenology and viticulture. The scholarship assists students or individuals pursuing wine and winery education, internship, field study, research work, grape growing, wine making and marketing in the state of Texas.
Decadently dark in color, Evans² does not disappoint. It is abundant with aromas of blackberries, ripe cherries, vanilla with just a hint of herb garden. The cherry and vanilla flavors are front and center accompanied by plum with silky tannins. Full bodied with a prolonged finish, this wine is truly a product of passion for all things wine.
Kidd Kraddick founded Kidd’s Kids in 1991 with a dream to make a difference in the lives of children and their families who were dealing with life-altering or life-threatening conditions. Since 1991, the charity has sent over 1000 kids and their families on a trip of a lifetime to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The goal has been to continue to grow that number each year. For every bottle purchased $5.00 will be donated to the Kidd’s Kids foundation.
With a color of light straw this blend starts off with a vibrant aroma of sweet flowers and melon. On the palate, melon gives way to more pear and crisp apple flavors. Tropical fruit flavors of star fruit green mango finish this wine off while bright acidity lingers, reminiscent of lemon zest.
When Rylee isn't drinking wine, she enjoys Dr. Pepper. "I used to be obsessed with Dr. Pepper and would only drink it for the longest time until one of my co-workers introduced me to getting healthier. Now, I mainly just drink water and Dr. Pepper once in awhile for a nice treat after a long day." When she isn't at work, Rylee likes to spend her time with her friends. She also works as a waitress, works on art projects, or tries to catch up on sleep.
In her spare time, Rylee has been watching the TV show, Shameless, with her dad when he has time. "My sophomore year of high school, I would binge Grey's Anatomy and maybe in class too, which wasn’t a good idea! Then I moved to Vampire Diaries and would stay up all night watching it on weekends." One of her favorite foods is sweets. "Junk food is by far my favorite food even though it’s not healthy for you at all. I have a weakness for sweets. My favorite healthy food is any kind of fruit."
When it comes to her prior work experience that helps her do her job at Lost Oak Winery, she attributes her other job as waitressing that helped her develop and be confident in her people skills and small talk. She has been working as a waitress for three years and has worked at Lost Oak for 10 months as a barback.
"One day, on a sangria Thursday, we made the sangria ahead of time to be extra prepared. It was sitting in one of the refrigerators in the back. When it was time to get the container full of sangria, she had tried to pick it up and move it to the rolling table so it was easier to move it," Rylee said. "However, when she got it she slipped and busted her bottom and split the sangria all over her. It was so funny after we made sure she was okay."
We are lucky to have Rylee on our team and we appreciate everything she does at the winery! We will also miss her as she goes off to college, but lucky to still have her included in the Lost Oak family.