Chicago Wine Cellars – Reading & Understanding Wine Labels

Drinking wine is a common part of social activities, especially for wine enthusiasts. No dinner or party is complete without a glass or two of wine to complement the food and lively conversation.

For wine lovers and collectors, it is essential to understand not just the taste and flavor of the wine, but also its producers and the region where it came from. It is interesting to note the kinds of wines that collectors have in their wine cabinets, wine racks, or wine cellars.

A basic lesson in wine is reading the wine bottle label. By reading the wine label, one will find a lot of information on the wine he is about to add to or pick from his Chicago custom wine cellar.

REQUEST A WINE CELLAR SPECIALIST TO CONTACT YOU!For those who don’t have a home wine cellar, it is easy enough to get table wines from wine stores, but it is important to have a basic understanding of the wine labels just in case the wine clerk is not adept to answer your queries.

You will also be assured of the quality of the wine you are buying as certain features are written on the label. A collector’s wine bottles in his residential wine cellar are a pure joy to show off to friends and acquaintances, especially if one knows how to read or what to look for in wine labels. This is probably the true test of one’s knowledge of wines.

Buy Quality Wines for Your Chicago Wine Cellar – Learn How to Read a Wine Label

There are five basic elements written on wine labels. These are the vineyard, vintage, appellation, bottling, and alcohol content.

The vineyard is where the wine is produced. The name of the vineyard tells the buyer its reputation. Sometimes for wine collectors, the name of the vineyard is enough motivation to buy or collect a particular wine bottle.

The vintage is the year the grapes were produced and not the year the wine was bottled. Looking at the year together with the appellation and vineyard or producer will tell the collector if the wine is good to be aged for years or not. However, in most commercial wine cellars or wine stores, wines are ready to be consumed and not aged too long as this may affect the quality of the wine.

Wineries in certain regions possess qualities that dictate the kinds of grapes that will be produced. Grapes grown and harvested in Napa Valley are different from the grapes grown in other areas.

In most wine-producing countries, vineyards are bound by government laws in the usage of the grapes used in the wines they produce. For example, if 95% is required by law, it means that 95% of the grapes used must be produced in the vineyard indicated on the label and the remaining 5% can come from other areas or regions.

To indicate good wine made from high-quality grapes, it is important to look for these phrases on the wine label:
France: Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC)
Italy: Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) or Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC).
Portugal: Denominacao de Origem Controlada (DOC) or Indicacao de Proviniencia Regulamentada (IPR)
Spain: Denominacion de Origen Calificada (DOC) or Denominacion de Origen (DO)

Other wines have these on the label:
Grands Cru or Premiers Cru means the wine is produced in a high-quality vineyard from a region in France
Gran Reserva means that the wine is bottled for 5 years
Mis en Bouteille au chateau / Domaine / a la propriete / Gutsabfüllung (estate bottled) means that the wine is bottled by the producers themselves and not by a different entity.
Vieilles Vignes (old vines) means that the wines used are harvested from the vineyard with old vines, usually more than 40 years old in existence. These old vines produce grapes with richer flavors but in lower quantities.

Details on the bottling of the wine are crucial. Usually, good wines are those with grapes grown and harvested by a reputable vineyard and bottled by the same producers. Some vineyards have others bottle their produced wine and this must be indicated on the label.

Alcohol content 
The alcohol content is the amount of alcohol contained in the wine. It also indicates the body and sweetness of the wine. Wines with an alcohol content of 14% and above are more full-bodied and tannic. Wines with an alcohol content of 11% or below are sweeter and lighter. This information can also be used by wine drinkers to know how much alcohol enters their system.

To be familiar with the appellations and vineyards, wine enthusiasts must educate themselves by reading books and other materials about them. One can then take a trip to the nearest wine store to test his knowledge of reading wine labels as this is crucial in obtaining quality wines for your Chicago custom wine cellar.

A Guide to Finding Unique Wine Gifts for Wine Lovers

June is coming in a couple of weeks. June is usually a month when big events commence. Weddings and other occasions such as birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries usually entail gift giving.

Choosing the best wine gift for the recipient is very important. Here are fresh new ideas for you.
Wine tasting party kits are innovative gifts that include wine bottle markers, bottle covers, tasting pads, and more. With this kit, hosting a wine tasting party in your Chicago home wine cellar can be more fun, entertaining, and educational.

For beginners in the world of wine, a book about types of wine and proper wine storage will surely be appreciated as a gift, or, for wine connoisseurs, a book that will enhance their knowledge of wine. Most leading bookstores sell wine books by various authors.

If you are looking for an unconventional wine gift, there are wine accessories and gadgets that are really out of this world and uniquely new. One of these is the wine thermometer which is attached to the wine bottle as a belt and takes the temperature of the wine.

Another exceptional wine gift to give is a mug with an elegant wine stem inside. This can be used on days when one wants to drink wine but would prefer to use a mug for it. USBs are usually part of everyone’s essential daily items and for wine lovers, a USB designed as a wine stopper is a great gift to give.

If you know someone or a couple who would want to expand their wine knowledge, membership in wine clubs is a perfect gift. There are now many wine clubs that people can join to widen their understanding of wines and to learn the latest wine-related news.
If you don’t have an idea of what the recipient loves or what his hobby is, you can give him a wine gift certificate. I think a gift certificate will be appreciated since it allows any wine lover to buy any wine-related gift that he desires.

For people who have the budget to spend on a gift, a wine refrigerator is a good thing to give. It can store a number of wine bottles and can provide your wines with the best storage conditions.
Gift giving is fun, especially when you know that the person who received your gift appreciates it. It is wise to do some research on the best wine gadgets and accessories available on the market and to know what your recipient wants.

Wine Gifts and Wine Accessories by Wine Cellar Specialists

Need some unique gifts for someone special? Contact Wine Cellar Specialists at 866-646-7089. You can even use your preferred logo to make your gift personalized.

Custom Wine Cellars Chicago Illinois – Anil Project by Wine Cellar SPecialists

Custom Wine Cellars Chicago Illinois Anil – Processed Video Transcription

Custom Wine Cellars Chicago Illinois Project for the Anils
You are looking at the design for a very interesting custom wine cellars Chicago Illinois.  The cellar is only about 3 1/2′ deep by about 7 3/4′ wide.  The ceiling height is not quite 8 feet.

Before Photo - Custom Wine Cellars Chicago Illinois

Before Photo – Custom Wine Cellars Chicago Illinois

The very front is full glass windows and doors.  We also have a window on the right side.  This is no longer a window; this is a solid wall.  Each elevation is designated by a letter; elevation B is the left and right walls and elevation C is the back wall.

You can see that there is a total of 497 bottles storage possible in this wine cellar.  Elevation B, the left and right walls, begin with individual bottle storage custom wine racks Chicago Illinois below, a high reveal display row with your display bottles at a 15-degree angle and a light valance above.

The light valance is there to hide any LED ribbon lighting that is installed in the wine cellar to shine down on the display row.  We also have individual 750 bottles above that are configured in a waterfall configuration.
This will be so that the windows in the front can see the labels on the bottle as they go up the racking.  Each of the racks is 13 ½’’ deep.  They have 1 ½ toe kick and base molding at the bottom and a 2 ¾’’ crown molding at the top that is attached to the custom wine racks.  Elevation C is the back wall.

We have lattice case storage down below with full face trim, individual bottle custom wine racks Chicago Illinois, a high reveal display row with light valance, more individual bottles above, a glass rack, and a tabletop; all matching the racking.

3D Design Custom Wine Racks Chicago Illinois

3D Design Custom Wine Racks Chicago Illinois

This is the overhead 3D view.  You can see the waterfall racking coming down toward the windows.  The front view shows the glass windows and what you can see.  This is the upper view of the right wall and back wall and the upper view of the left wall and back wall.
The design is actually completed and here is our picture of the completed room.  You can see the WhisperKOOL wine cellar cooling units Chicago Illinois up in the upper left wall, so WhipserKOOL XLT 3000.

Mr. Anil chose unfinished premium redwood racking for his custom wine racks Chicago Illinois.  This view is from the front and you can see the glass rack, the lattice case storage below, and the high reveal display rows around, as well as the waterfall racking.

Anil Custom Wine Cellars Chicago Illinois

Anil Custom Wine Cellars Chicago Illinois

The final view is with the lights out; the ribbon lighting shining down on the display rows and some overhead lighting above.  Hope you enjoyed viewing the Anil wine cellar and seeing the drawings by Wine Cellar Specialists, racking, and cooling that we’ve provided, and the photos of the completed project.

Visit Wine Cellar Specialists’ website to check out more custom wine cellars Chicago Illinois projects. Click here!

Chicago Wine Cellars – Guide to Hosting Wine Tasting Parties

Wine tasting parties are often engaged by enthusiasts and collectors to enhance and explore their experience and knowledge about wines and sometimes even to “show off” and display their collection in their wine cellars and wine storage cabinets.

Hosting a wine-tasting party need not be a chore or a burden. It could be (or should be) a fun and exciting activity. A wine-tasting party is similar to a book club where participants discuss the merits of a book and express their thoughts about what they read while also being open to other participants’ views and opinions. Below are some tips to guide you in hosting wine-tasting parties in your Chicago home wine cellar.

Wine tasting is best done with people who are not necessarily your good friends, but with people you are comfortable with and who share the same interest and appreciation of wines. When done at home, it is a good opportunity to display one’s collection in his or her Chicago custom wine cellar to fellow enthusiasts and share information.

Wine Tasting Parties in Chicago Home Wine Cellars – Tips to Follow

It is important for the host to determine what kind of wine tasting party he or she wants to give. Is it formal with rating and scorecards? Or is it informal where tasters can express their opinions and views freely?

Scorecards should indicate what tasters are focusing on, otherwise, guests can be given blank index cards to encourage them to take notes and thoughts to be shared with the group.

Is it a round table kind of wine tasting where guests are seated while discussing the merits of the wine? Or is it a free-flowing party where participants freely roam around and assess the wines and at the same time discuss the paintings on the walls and the wines in the host’s Chicago home wine cellar?

For the number of participants, 8-12 is a good number since the size is neither too small nor too big that one hesitates to share his views. It is also important to determine the number of wines to be tasted and whether it is a blind tasting or not.

WINE TASTINGUsually, 6 kinds of wine are used in wine tasting. Each person is served approximately 2 ounces of wine. Blind tasting occurs when the host decides to cover the label of the wine bottle with a brown bag and discuss its characteristics and merits.

It is not necessary for the host to prepare a full course meal to cap off the wine tasting. Finger foods can be served and shared after the wine tasting so as prolong the enjoyment of the party with fellow enthusiasts. During the tasting itself, bland or neutral tasting biscuits or bread can be served to cleanse the palette in between wines. Servings of light cheese will also do the trick.

The host must also prepare enough wine glasses for the guests. Each wine can be poured into one glass to be discarded right after, or a bucket with water for rinsing can be prepared for cleansing in between wines to avoid contamination of flavors. Guests are advised not to wear too much perfume which could distract wine tasters from smelling the real aroma of the liquid.

No matter how the host wants to stage his wine tasting party, what’s important is the sharing of ideas and thoughts with people with which one shares an interest and appreciation. Wine tasting parties are different and unique activities meant to be learned from, enjoyed, and enhance one’s experience.

Wood – Widely Used by Chicago Wine Cellar Rack Manufacturers

APR 13 WCWith several wine rack designs, styles and sizes, it is best to assess your wine storage needs, location, and budget when choosing the right wine cellar rack for your collection. The material from which the wine rack is constructed contributes a lot to having a safe and beautiful resting place for your wines.

Why Wood is a Top Pick for Chicago Wine Rack Construction 

Wine racks can be built out of a number of different materials, but the most common are made out of wood. The reason why wood is the top choice for constructing wine racks is because of its stability and beauty. Wooden wine racks can complement any existing décor and can create a distinctive look in a Chicago custom wine cellar.

APR 13 MAHOGANY WRThe two most popular wood species that you can choose for your custom-made wine racks are mahogany and redwood. Most wine enthusiasts prefer mahogany wine racks because of their sturdiness, longevity, and high resistance to rot and warping. These wine cellar racks can blend easily into any existing interior.

If you choose mahogany as your wine rack material, your wines will be safe since it is resistant to moisture and stains. The quality of mahogany is exceptional which makes it expensive. You can easily find it in the marketplace, and it is also stylish and can bring out the elegance of your wine storage place.

Another reason why most Chicago wine cellar and wine rack manufacturers prefer mahogany is that it is easy to work with, not difficult to polish, and can last for years if cared for.

APR 13 REDWOODAnother popular choice of wood of many wine cellar manufacturers is redwood. Chicago custom wine cellars constructed from redwood are beautiful and beneficial to your wines because redwood has a non-aromatic quality and is high resistance to warping, rot, and mildew.

The 2 types of redwood are all-heart and premium redwood which are both known for their aesthetic appeal and durability. The good thing about these types of redwood is their ability to stand out even when left unfinished.

Wood may not come in various shapes like metals, but its uniqueness and durability surpass it all. It gives you several options when it comes to design, style, and stain.
Are you in need of wine cellar racks? Feel free to contact Wine Cellar Specialists at 866-646-7089 or get a FREE 3D wine cellar design package at here to view their wine cellar gallery.


Chicago Custom Wine Cellars – Wine & Food Pairing Tips

WINE & FOODPairing wine with food is as exciting as finding the right pair of shoes to match your new dress or suit. You need to find the right match in order to look good.

Pairing wine and food doesn’t need to be expensive as long as it tickles your taste bud. The best thing to do when you pair wine with a certain food is an experiment.

Don’t be afraid to explore the world of food and wine. With so many types of wine stored in your Chicago custom wine cellar, it may take a while for you to find the perfect combination, but once you have found it things will become more fun and interesting. There are no rules in food and wine pairing, only recommendations or suggestions.

Wine and Cheese

WINE & CHEESEIn pairing wine and cheese, it is recommended that you start from the same region where they came from. For example, Parmesan cheese and Italian Chianti go well together. For convenience in looking for a certain type of wine in your wine cellar, you can organize them by region. Click here to learn more ways to organize your custom wine room.

Another trick is to pair a harder type of cheese with wine that contains more tannin, while the creamy cheeses can be paired with a wine that has more acidity, like Chardonnay.
You might want to ask which wine is best paired with cheese- white wine or red wine? White wine is best paired with soft cheeses and stronger flavors, while red wine is best paired with harder cheeses and milder flavors.
Some soft and creamy cheeses leave a layer of fat on the palate which interferes with the flavors in reds, making it monotonous and bland. Though both wines work with cheeses, many wine enthusiasts believe that whites tend to pair better with cheese.

Wine and Chocolate

Choosing the right wine in your Chicago custom wine cellar to complement the right chocolate is the key to having a successful wine and chocolate pairing. Below are some tips to achieve this.

– The wine should be sweeter than the chocolate.
– Pair red wine with darker chocolates.
– Complement lighter-bodied wines with lighter and elegant-flavored chocolate, or intensely flavored wine with bittersweet chocolate.
– Chocolate desserts must be paired with sweet dessert wine.

For beginners in the world of wine and food pairing, try to use the mix-and-match approach. Make sure that your wine collection in your Chicago residential wine cellar is organized properly for pairing to be more fun and less hassle.

If you want to start your own wine cellar project, choose an expert wine cellar builder with excellent customer service. Contact Wine Cellar Specialists at 866-646-7089 or simply click here for a FREE 3D wine cellar design package!