Size Does Matter > Big Bottles of Wine

These are big-game bottles. Drink one and you become a character in a Hemingway story. We hunted for the bottle under the hot sun. We brought it down. The bottle was big. Drinking it felt good. We drank until the bottle was empty, and then we fell asleep. Known in the trade as large formats, big wine bottles are larger animals than the standard 750 ml. They range in size from the magnum, which equals two standard bottles (1.5 litres), to the nebuchadnezzar (neb-kd-NE-zr), which equals 20 standard bottles and weighs in at a table-warping 15 litres. According to a […]

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Wine Cellar Tips for Your Underground Sips

You may have long yearned for a wine cellar, but thought you couldn’t build one because you didn’t have a large wine collection or budget. Not to worry: although cellars are traditionally associated with snobbery and expense, in today’s egalitarian world wine lovers are building them on relatively modest budgets. In fact, there are a range of reasons why wine lovers choose to build a cellar: Do you yearn for the smooth, layered taste of mature wines? Do you like to buy wines upon release, when they’re least expensive, rather than paying top dollar later? Or do you just have […]

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Building a Wine Cellar: Costly Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some mistakes to void when building a cellar. Don’t wait until you have a large collection. You don’t need to amass hundreds of bottles before you consider building a cellar. In fact, it’s best to take the opposite approach: build the cellar and then fill it. You don’t want good wines to cook in the heat of some closet or to freeze over-chilled in an icy basement. And if you do keep your wine in the basement, it may have to rub shoulders with undesirable influences such as harsh solvents or cans of paint. These chemicals break down […]

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How to Stock Your Wine Cellar with $40-$80 Bottles

For those looking to stock their wine cellar in the $40-$80 per bottle range, will notice that many of the budget-friendly wines I recommended also produce premium wines in this category. At this level, wines have greater aging potential, usually at least three to five years, and sometimes longer depending on the producer. Broaden your search to include California, where wines have increased in price dramatically over the past ten years, even though that’s softening somewhat with the currency exchange. The Sunshine State offers great wines in this range, particularly chardonnays and cabernets from Arrowood, Sterling, Frog’s Leap, Kenwood and […]

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Wine Cellar: Dream Bottles of a Lifetime

When price isn’t a concern, go for the heavy-hitters that start at one to two hundred dollars per bottle and go up to thousands of dollars per bottle, especially for mature vintages bought at auction. The challenge in this range is finding the wines since many are on limited allocations, and have people on waiting lists to buy them. Almost all of these require aging to taste their best – at least five years, and some up to ten to fifteen years, or longer. Start with California cult cabernets, such as Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate, Grace Family, Pahlmeyer, Cain Five, […]

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Wine Cellar Trends, Options and Designs

Forget meaningless one-night stands. An increasing number of Canadians are having a hot and heavy love affair with wine — a passion that rages on, long after the red roses have wilted and the Valentine chocolates are gone. According to Statistics Canada, “the intake of wine has continued to increase over the last 10 years reaching 13.9 litres (per person) in 2006.” Ottawa wine writer Natalie MacLean says in the last two years alone, wine consumption has increased seven to eight per cent, edging out beer as the alcoholic drink of choice. “Definitely, it’s trending up,” says MacLean, author of […]

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