Post your wine cellar mistakes

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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Nick Ryan
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Post your wine cellar mistakes

#51 Post by Nick Ryan » September 23rd, 2015, 6:03 pm

J B a s k a m wrote:I went through three Breezair WKL 2200 units in 10 years, compressor died each time. First one was due to a power surge within 6 months of purchasing, and they kindly replaced it. The last two they just stopped cooling.
Yup, gotta go split, rock-solid reliable. I'm guessing the reason is that the split systems are used for a lot more things than wine cellars and thus are made in much greater quantities, and thus have a lot more investment/manufacturing experience behind them.
http://sites.google.com/site/nryan4242/CellarPlannerV11.zip

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Robert Grenley
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#52 Post by Robert Grenley » September 23rd, 2015, 8:50 pm

My most regrettable wine collecting mistake (other than not buying jRousseau by the case) was that I did not taste every wine upon purchase. I stretched to buy upper level wines in most cases, and thus usually bought 3 at a time, and thought they were too precious to commit infanticide and crack a bottle upon purchase. Although I am grateful to have a cellar full of mature and maturing excellent wines, I lost the opportunity to taste them upon release and learn as I followed the wine over the years.
I started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff.
-Bob Dylan

"...what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it."

dsGriswold
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#53 Post by dsGriswold » September 23rd, 2015, 10:51 pm

I would buy just a few expensive WA reds(for me at least)and let them age while drinking the more affordable ones. Now my palate has changed and I do not want to drink the good stuff. On the positive, I will have some well aged wines down the road if my palate changes back to liking fruity reds that have lost their fruit.
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Dennis Borczon
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#54 Post by Dennis Borczon » September 24th, 2015, 5:11 am

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:Not getting in on the ground floor with Maison Ilan...
Still waiting for delivery of the 2012's... Reminds me of another regret. Don't bother to buy futures. Wait til the wine is in a bottle, drink it, then decide if it is worth the investment.

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Anthony Venable
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#55 Post by Anthony Venable » September 24th, 2015, 5:23 am

No proper insulation.
“In wine, there's truth.”

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AndrewH
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#56 Post by AndrewH » September 24th, 2015, 5:36 am

Nick Ryan wrote:
J B a s k a m wrote:I went through three Breezair WKL 2200 units in 10 years, compressor died each time. First one was due to a power surge within 6 months of purchasing, and they kindly replaced it. The last two they just stopped cooling.
Yup, gotta go split, rock-solid reliable. I'm guessing the reason is that the split systems are used for a lot more things than wine cellars and thus are made in much greater quantities, and thus have a lot more investment/manufacturing experience behind them.
But how is the tech for split systems better developed than that for through-the-wall units. In both cases they're premised on an air conditioner (window vs. whole house). Both of those have been around for years, and both need tweaks to have lower temps and not remove as much humidity. How do the split guys make that adjustment reliably but not the TTW guys?
Andrew H e i m e r t

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Robert Grenley
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#57 Post by Robert Grenley » September 24th, 2015, 6:57 am

"But how is the tech for split systems better developed than that for through-the-wall units. In both cases they're premised on an air conditioner (window vs. whole house). Both of those have been around for years, and both need tweaks to have lower temps and not remove as much humidity. How do the split guys make that adjustment reliably but not the TTW guys?"

Although I suppose there are split systems made by the single unit guys seen in those mailers, my split system is a commercial one, as are probably most of the ones owned by people here who have splits. Smaller commercial units for my size of cellar, but commercial nonetheless, and apparently built to last and more reliable, and they are perhaps more amenable to being serviced and maintained.
I started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff.
-Bob Dylan

"...what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it."

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Dusty Gillson
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#58 Post by Dusty Gillson » September 24th, 2015, 8:52 am

If you really want precise control of the temperature and humidity in your cellar for a long time, pony up and buy the real deal:

http://www.emersonnetworkpower.com/en-U ... 175kW.aspx

These are considered a Cadillac of the data center world where temp/hum control are even more important, and they are built to run continuously for 15 years or better.

You will have to run a cold water tap to the humidifier though, and a drain line to the condensate pump.
Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever. - Aristophanes

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Warren Taranow
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#59 Post by Warren Taranow » September 24th, 2015, 9:13 am

dsGriswold wrote:... if my palate changes back to liking fruity reds that have lost their fruit.
Is that a Yogi Berra quote?
"If the only prayer you ever uttered was thank you, it would suffice."
Meister Eckhart c. 1260 – c. 1328

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P. Willenberg
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#60 Post by P. Willenberg » September 24th, 2015, 12:42 pm

I don't have major regrets but a few minor ones

- I should have restricted myself earlier to buying 2-4 bottles of a wine instead of a case.
- I built big enough but since I like to organize by type, I should have left more room between sections, for example, my champagne section is cutting into my burgundy, so I need to bulk relocate pretty much every shipping season. Annoying, but not terrible.
- Like many have listed above, I should have planned better for oversize bottles such as champagne, mags and German Riesling baseball bat magnums.
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Er€z _ L.
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#61 Post by Er€z _ L. » September 24th, 2015, 2:34 pm

Purchases:
-should have ignore some of the high scores that I'm not sure I'd ever open.
-Too many Malbec bottles in relation to consumption (thank you CT for pointing it out on me, though a good malbec is so good)
-One specific place I received recommendations from that I should have trusted my instincts saying "not always perfect, don't trust them"
-too few single grower champagnes that are now priced relatively high
-under-representation of sonoma
-Same applies to Lorie valley
-to a lower extent, the same applies to walla walla
-one specific wine: not getting the entire stock
-getting certain wines for 'cellar diversity' even though I had doubts (and confirmed) they do not fall in line with my preferences

Storage:
-not getting storage early
-not getting storage consolidated
-not organizing storage early and often

cellar mgt:
-holding to spreadsheets and notes for too long in lieu of CT
-not 'trading/switching' bottles that I decided I'd (probably) not consume, as I hate the hassle.
-holding some bottles for 'special events' (got rid of that habit, every friend/family visit is a good event)
£ € n c n @ r

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Andres S k o j e
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#62 Post by Andres S k o j e » October 18th, 2015, 12:44 am

Chris Blum wrote:1. Being in too much of a hurry to fill my cellar. Your tastes will inevitably change, you will get smarter about buying, and you will blow right through your storage capacity.

8. (related) Not having a logical plan that evaluates consumption, drinking windows, and past buying patterns
Guilty of these two. Looking back to when I started buying wine I see that I was "all over the place" and I am now in a position where many of these bottles are RTD. On the positive side this is more of a turning point for my cellar, since the last years have shown me what I like and don´t. Moving forward I know where to put my time and money.

Only buying one bottle of something is great if you are not sure, but the feeling of only having that single bottle that turned out to be great is not so great... Been there done that

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CJ Beazley
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#63 Post by CJ Beazley » October 18th, 2015, 7:42 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
Warren Taranow wrote:A public service to those building and filling a cellar.
Here are the mistakes I made:

1. Inadequate capacity; I underestimated how many wines this obsession would command

2. Metal racking; good for capacity, bad for labels

3. Imperfect ratio of drinkers to pearls. I should have bought more high end wines and less total wines.

4. I underestimated the life-span of wine cellar refrigeration units. Plan on replacing yours every 5 years or so.

5. I've had a tendency to buy wines on sale that I like a little, when I should mainly buy wines I love regardless of cost (within reason).

Cheers,
Warren
These are all good lessons, notwithstanding that some people's experiences are different in one or two respects.

Another one for me is not enough oversized racking - so many 750 ml bottles are made (sparklers, Turley, Burgs, others) that don't fit regular racking.

#1 is a mixed thing, though. Almost everyone who buys a wine cabinet realizes quickly he got one too small. But at the same time, if I could hold 2,000 bottles in refrigerated storage, I'd probably have 2,200 bottles by now, so to some extent, the lack of space - imperfectly and clutteredly - imposes some restraint on your excess.

It frustrates the hell out of me how poorly made wine cabinets are. You can buy a $250 refrigerator and run it for 25 years without a repair, but you spend $8K on a top of the line wine cabinet, and you're undergoing expensive repairs and replacement multiple times in the first decade. I still have yet to have anyone tell my why wine cabinets are so dramatically much more fragile than refrigerators.

I'll add another thing - I never realized how hard it is to find anyone to repair a faulty wine cabinet. I live in a very populous area, surrounded by a lot of wealthy folks, and with the ability to ask on WB and among local wine collectors for referrals, and yet I can barely find anyone willing to come repair my wine cabinet. I've basically been able to find one single guy over the years, and he quite happily might take a month or more to even call me back. Your AC repair guys generally won't work on them, in my experience.
Chris, having just gone through this, I found out HVAC guys don't/won't work on them because they're not an "HVAC" unit, they are actually refrigeration units (apparently this is a different discipline) as was told to me: "any good refrigeration man can also do HVAC, but none of the HVAC guys can do refrigeration units" his other advice is if your new to the area and need repairs call florists or funeral homes because they use the same equipment as wine cellar folks.
It's C(raig)

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