On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

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J. Rock
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On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#1 Post by J. Rock » April 3rd, 2019, 2:08 pm

I’ve just recently gotten seriously into wine and have also started to slowly collect some bottles that I want to age for various amounts of time. I’m currently particularly interested in Bordeaux-style blends and Champagnes that I’d like to cellar for 10+ years. I plan on amassing a fairly large collection over time.

Currently, I have a entry level 38-bottle Frigidaire wine fridge that keeps a consistent 55 degrees for reds and 50 degrees for whites/Champagne but has humidity varying from about 60% (when compressor isn’t running) to about 15% (when the compressor is running). I will soon run out of space in my current fridge (and will eventually get more “nice” bottles for long term aging), so I’m trying to decide if I’m better off investing in a Eurocave or similar fridge or nearby offsite storage (and probably another similar cheaper fridge just to increase my capacity for short term / ready-to-drink bottles).

While I do value the convenience of having bottles as my house, I want to feel good about spending a lot of money (for me) on wine to cellar for 10+ years. Also, while I am largely just buying for pleasure, I wouldn’t mind having the ability able to sell/trade nicer bottles at some point in the future.

So, my questions are:

1. How long can I keep bottles in my fridge that sometimes has very low humidity?

2. Is offsite storage more reliable than getting a high-end fridge? What is the smarter/recommended cellar strategy?

3. If I use offsite storage, how far in advance can I take out a bottle and put it in my onsite fridge? Do you take the bottle out the week you plan to use it? The same month? A year?

I apologize for the novel-length post, but I’m trying to get off to a good start and everyone on this site has been so knowledgeable and helpful, so I figured I’d ask.

Thank you!
J o r d a n

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#2 Post by ky1em!ttskus » April 3rd, 2019, 2:21 pm

J. Rock wrote:
April 3rd, 2019, 2:08 pm
I plan on amassing a fairly large collection over time.
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1. I wouldn’t worry about this at all. YMMV.
2. Depends. Your own power and ability to mitigate loss in event of something happening vs the storage place’s. You can insure your collection if you’re worried about it.
3. Site to site dependent.

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#3 Post by rick m » April 3rd, 2019, 2:41 pm

i believe most of us with off-site storage is because we ran out of space at home/office. at some point if you are running many wine storage cabinets at home...electric bill will eventually be higher? also another advantage of off-site is that you won't open some expensive wine after opening tons of bottles with your friends one night...lol
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#4 Post by Neal.Mollen » April 3rd, 2019, 2:49 pm

Welcome Jordan. You'll get lots of (conflicting) advice here; it's what we do.

What do you consider a "fairly large" collection? I ask because (a) if you get the bug, you'll need to double/triple/quintuple whatever number you are conjuring right now and (b) no one wine fridge will come close to housing what most here would consider a fairly large collection. A fairly modest collection of several hundred bottles (modest by the standards here, not in the real world) would almost certainly require at least 2 fridges, maybe more, and, going back to (a), you'll likely blow past that fairly early.

You don't mention your living arrangements; are you in a single family dwelling? Do you have space (spare room, crawl space, closet etc) to put in a proper cellar (i.e., no fridge)? I think most here would agree that the optimum set up is a cellar (passive if you can, active if you can't) large enough to house your entire collection in your home. Several fridges can draw spousal ire, fill up multiple rooms and just generally be a pain in the ass.

Off site storage can be a solution, but be very careful about those with whom you do business. Some here might give you leads if you say where you are living. A number of folks here have trusted their wines to an offsite storage place that then stole all their wine. It happens. Also check on their insurance, backup generators (and if I remember correctly in Sandy a prominent cellar was flooded and a bunch of people lost their wine).

Anyway, that's my view. Good luck!
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#5 Post by J. Rock » April 3rd, 2019, 3:17 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
April 3rd, 2019, 2:49 pm
Welcome Jordan. You'll get lots of (conflicting) advice here; it's what we do.

What do you consider a "fairly large" collection? I ask because (a) if you get the bug, you'll need to double/triple/quintuple whatever number you are conjuring right now and (b) no one wine fridge will come close to housing what most here would consider a fairly large collection. A fairly modest collection of several hundred bottles (modest by the standards here, not in the real world) would almost certainly require at least 2 fridges, maybe more, and, going back to (a), you'll likely blow past that fairly early.

You don't mention your living arrangements; are you in a single family dwelling? Do you have space (spare room, crawl space, closet etc) to put in a proper cellar (i.e., no fridge)? I think most here would agree that the optimum set up is a cellar (passive if you can, active if you can't) large enough to house your entire collection in your home. Several fridges can draw spousal ire, fill up multiple rooms and just generally be a pain in the ass.

Off site storage can be a solution, but be very careful about those with whom you do business. Some here might give you leads if you say where you are living. A number of folks here have trusted their wines to an offsite storage place that then stole all their wine. It happens. Also check on their insurance, backup generators (and if I remember correctly in Sandy a prominent cellar was flooded and a bunch of people lost their wine).

Anyway, that's my view. Good luck!
Well, I'm still largely in the tasting and learning what I like phase of my new addiction, so my collection won't grow too rapidly at first, but I think it'll be reasonable to have 200 - 300 bottles in the next couple of years, and eventually my goal is to always be able to pull a ready to drink / mature bottle from my cellar 2 - 3 times/week or so, while having additional bottles aging for future years, which I think would mean having 1,000 - 2,000+ bottles.

Fortunately, my wife is into wine just about as much as I am, and we have a single house with some extra space (but in SoCal, so no naturally good places to cellar), so I definitely have the physical room to have more wine fridges, but I'm not sure if my money would be better spent on a large high end fridge (or several smaller ones) or offsite storage.

I would definitely look into various offsite providers before selecting one, but I'm open to suggestions as well if anyone has any for Los Angeles area (esp. West Valley or West Side / Beverly Hills).

I know I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, but I'd hate to spend $3k or whatever on a wine fridge only to later find out that I'd be better off with offsite storage or vice versa, or hate spending $1,000 on Champagne only to find out that the sometimes low humidity in my entry level fridge killed it after a year or so.

Thanks for your help!
J o r d a n

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#6 Post by Neal.Mollen » April 3rd, 2019, 3:19 pm

You'll get lots of suggestions but if you have a spare room, I would insulate it and buy a cooling system. Much more flexible system than cooling units.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#7 Post by Alan Rath » April 3rd, 2019, 3:28 pm

Jordan, unless you live in a cooler coastal area, where - if the power were to go out for several days in summer - you don't need to worry about temps ever getting too high (say, just for sake of discussion, above 80), I would consider at least some off-site professional storage. Most places in California are uncomplicated, with lockers you control yourself (i.e., your own lock, you actively manage what goes in and out). You can typically rent whatever size you need, to fit 10 cases or 100 (or more). It will cost you the rent, of course, but the peace of mind of not having to worry about your wine is worth quite a lot. If you have the space for a decent size cooler in your house, that's great for keeping wines you plan to drink within the next year, while your long term wines age safely off-site. That's what I do, anyway.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#8 Post by Hank Victor » April 3rd, 2019, 3:43 pm

I think if you have the means and space an at home insulated wine cellar with a cooling unit and backup generator would make the most sense. If your aiming for the 1,000 - 2,000 bottle range a wine fridge wouldn't be suitable.

I am honestly just speaking from what I personally would want if that size collection was my goal.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#9 Post by David Baum » April 3rd, 2019, 4:01 pm

Putting in a home cellar only makes sense if you are certain you will be there a very long time which is unusual in Socal. Ive sold a bunch of homes with home cellars here. People walk in, look at the cellar and first reaction is always "Wow! Thats so COOL!" Second reaction? Its always the same too. "How much is it going to cost me to get rid of that?" Dont plan on being able to sell your home to another wine lover. Everyone else will view it as a liability/negative

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#10 Post by Joe W i n o g r a d » April 3rd, 2019, 4:26 pm

I’ve had great luck buying and selling wine fridges on Craigslist...
- got a 180 bottle Eurocave for $100
- got another 180 bottle eurocave for $200
- got a 600 bottle la cache for $1000
- sold the two eurocaves for $600

6 years into this and I haven’t had to get an offsite yet...but ya never know

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#11 Post by J. Rock » April 3rd, 2019, 4:30 pm

Joe W i n o g r a d wrote:
April 3rd, 2019, 4:26 pm
I’ve had great luck buying and selling wine fridges on Craigslist...
- got a 180 bottle Eurocave for $100
- got another 180 bottle eurocave for $200
- got a 600 bottle la cache for $1000
- sold the two eurocaves for $600

6 years into this and I haven’t had to get an offsite yet...but ya never know
Wow, I thought I got a good deal getting my 38 bottle Frigidaire open box (with warranty!) for $100, but you're next level. I look on Craigslist and Nextdoor a decent amount for more good deals, but have yet to find that good of a deal on a Eurocave. I'll definitely keep on looking though.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#12 Post by Mark B » April 3rd, 2019, 5:02 pm

J. Rock wrote:
April 3rd, 2019, 2:08 pm
I’ve just recently gotten seriously into wine and have also started to slowly collect some bottles that I want to age for various amounts of time. I’m currently particularly interested in Bordeaux-style blends and Champagnes that I’d like to cellar for 10+ years. I plan on amassing a fairly large collection over time.

Currently, I have a entry level 38-bottle Frigidaire wine fridge that keeps a consistent 55 degrees for reds and 50 degrees for whites/Champagne but has humidity varying from about 60% (when compressor isn’t running) to about 15% (when the compressor is running). I will soon run out of space in my current fridge (and will eventually get more “nice” bottles for long term aging), so I’m trying to decide if I’m better off investing in a Eurocave or similar fridge or nearby offsite storage (and probably another similar cheaper fridge just to increase my capacity for short term / ready-to-drink bottles).

While I do value the convenience of having bottles as my house, I want to feel good about spending a lot of money (for me) on wine to cellar for 10+ years. Also, while I am largely just buying for pleasure, I wouldn’t mind having the ability able to sell/trade nicer bottles at some point in the future.

So, my questions are:

1. How long can I keep bottles in my fridge that sometimes has very low humidity?

2. Is offsite storage more reliable than getting a high-end fridge? What is the smarter/recommended cellar strategy?

3. If I use offsite storage, how far in advance can I take out a bottle and put it in my onsite fridge? Do you take the bottle out the week you plan to use it? The same month? A year?

I apologize for the novel-length post, but I’m trying to get off to a good start and everyone on this site has been so knowledgeable and helpful, so I figured I’d ask.

Thank you!
Hey Jordan, welcome to the WB family! As someone who recently vacated my offsite storage to relocate my modest collection to my newly completely closet cellar, I can offer a few pointers. First, building a wine cellar, even a small one like mine (170 bottle capacity), can be a huge undertaking both financially and labor/time wise. Since I live in a condo, I settled on a closet since I simply didn't have more workable space. Many Berserkers have added more sizable cellars to their homes, but on average, these are labors of love and not to be seen as a financial investment. As someone has already rightly pointed out, most buyers, if you decide to sell in the future, are not obsessed enough over wine to pay up for an in-home cellar. I'd say the people most looking for cellars are those on the very high end of the real estate scale (think the 1%). As far as costs go, my monthly electricity bill has increased slightly less than I was paying monthly to cellar offsite, so, in that regard, it is slightly cheaper. A huge plus to having an onsite cellar is, of course, convenience. Grabbing a bottle on a whim is so much easier than driving to and from your offsite and searching for bottles, especially if the offsite is quite far from where you live. A minor downside to having wines at home, is you are more likely to drink them too young (if they require age) because they are so easy to access. Some people have great willpower, while others, such as myself, not quite so much. Hope these tidbits help and best of luck with your collecting and future drinking!
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#13 Post by R. Frankel » April 3rd, 2019, 5:31 pm

Just as an example ... I have room for about 50 bottles at home, and off site storage for the rest. A bigger fridge would be handy but that's what I have. I end up going to the off site every couple of months to restock, but it's very close by so not a major hassle. Alan's fridge - big enough to house a year's worth of wines - sounds like a better solution. The home fridge of 50 - 100 bottles is a fine way to start though.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#14 Post by ykwon » April 3rd, 2019, 6:35 pm

Not having to wait around for your wine deliveries is a big plus for offsite.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#15 Post by YLee » April 3rd, 2019, 6:51 pm

Since everyone is already talking about on & offsite I will talk about humidity. If your humidity is low as 15%, that will damage the cork and those wines you wanted to age wont age well. Try putting a glass baking dish on the bottom of your frig with distilled water. I find it strange your humidity ranges from 15 to 60%. Mine only moves +-20%.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#16 Post by GregT » April 3rd, 2019, 8:13 pm

Jordan - if you're handy, building your own isn't such a big deal. People today don't seem to be able to do their own work so they hire other people to do it and it seems daunting, but honestly, it isn't that big a deal if you have tools and can use them. Otherwise, building it is going to cost you a lot of money, and people tend to spend on the frivolous stuff, like fancy shelves, that may or may not pay off if you're going to sell. David's in the business so what he told you about people taking out the wine cellars is probably true.

In that case, you can get some wine storage cabinets, which run a few grand each. And they don't hold exactly the number of bottles they are supposed to - that capacity is based on Bordeaux bottle shapes exclusively and packed in a way you will never pack. So assume whatever size they say is about 20-25% less.

Make sure that if you buy, you buy something that can be serviced by a regular fridge guy. If you select off site storage, you're going to be inconvenienced because you're at the mercy of their hours. And it's more real estate that you're paying for, so if you have a house with extra space, I'd store at home.

And I wouldn't worry about humidity. Nothing is going to happen in a dry environment - glass is impervious and your cork is not going to dry out. If you're worried about that, put Saran Wrap over it. Just don't let the wine get too hot. I've known people who keep their wine in an air conditioned room and after ten years, it's just fine. Keep the temps in the 60s, the lower the better, and you're probably OK.

I've now cycled through all options - I built my own cellar and will again when I buy property, I have had a wine fridge and still do, and I have off site storage. Nothing beats your own cellar.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#17 Post by Sean_S » April 3rd, 2019, 10:31 pm

Haven't rented an offsite yet but it's getting close...

I first bought a small 40 bottle fridge and then found a 600 bottle Vinotemp on Craigslist for $250. (Seriously spend some weeks watching craigslist, its amazing the deals you can get). I thought that was twice as big as I would every need! Wrong. It filled within a year. Then I started squirreling wine away in my basement at my Ski house in Utah. Overflowing I considered using my basement here in the Santa Cruz mountains but was concerned about heat. Put a temp monitoring system in my crawl space and discovered peak summer temp down there of 71 degrees so lately have lots of wine stuffed in my crawl space with 0 issues. That's now about full and now have cases stacked in my garage and my office. With the warm season coming I need to figure out what to do with about 20-30 cases in the house before it gets hot. Watch out its a slippery slope. All this transpired over ~3 years!
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#18 Post by David Glasser » April 4th, 2019, 5:17 am

Now that you’ve got most of the advantages and disadvantages of the various options spelled out, you have to decide what works best for you. For me, nothing beats the convenience of a walk-in home cellar with double-deep individual bottle slots and room for unopened cases. Two chillers in case for when one goes out so there’s no rush to replace or in case it happens while we’re away. Peak summer temps in our basement are not high enough to warrant a backup generator. Lost power for 5 days in a heat wave once and while the basement peaked at 80 degrees the cellar never got above 70.

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#19 Post by JoeD » April 4th, 2019, 5:41 am

Jordan, welcome. Here is my journey, maybe a decade in.... At first, I lived in a condo. I bought a 85 bottle glass unit, filled it up. Next I got a Eurocave from WE on sale, 200ish bottles, filled it. Boxes of wine on the floor everywhere. Then I started renting a locker offsite, then a 2nd one. I had moved into a house, and bought a Large 300 bottle standing unit. I acquire more wine. From there, I heard some horror stories about offsite storage... so I decided to build a proper cellar in my house. I still have 1 locker offsite, and both standing units (One died), and a cellar. All pretty much full. Wonderful hobby!
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#20 Post by David Glasser » April 4th, 2019, 5:46 am

Joe, how many bottles can you fit in that Green Egg? [cheers.gif]

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#21 Post by Jim F » April 4th, 2019, 9:07 am

Jordan, fwiw, the only reason I have offsite storage as supplemental space is because I ran out of cellar space. My plans for my next place, which will likely be in the near future after retirement, will be a cooled wine room. But the issue of drinking treasured bottles that need aging too soon is very real, e.g., those what the hell moments, or you have friends over and let’s go grap one more bottle, etc; that is why I keep some wooden cases around and fill them with that which I do not wish to touch for a while, nail ‘em shut and stick them at the bottom of a pile. I do not think I am uniquely weak here champagne.gif
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#22 Post by J. Rock » April 4th, 2019, 12:36 pm

Thanks everyone! This is very helpful.

Since building a cellar in my house probably isn't the best option for me, I think I'm going to keep 50 - 100 or so bottles that I plan on drinking within a year at my house and then storing the rest offsite. However, this is the first I've heard of offsite horror stories or problems. Can anyone please elaborate on what kind of problems people experience with offsite storage? Is it a security issue or an issue receiving shipments? What should I look for in an offsite storage house to mitigate risks of something unfortunate happening (video surveillance, insurance, etc.)?
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#23 Post by Hank Victor » April 4th, 2019, 12:49 pm

J. Rock wrote:
April 4th, 2019, 12:36 pm
Thanks everyone! This is very helpful.

Since building a cellar in my house probably isn't the best option for me, I think I'm going to keep 50 - 100 or so bottles that I plan on drinking within a year at my house and then storing the rest offsite. However, this is the first I've heard of offsite horror stories or problems. Can anyone please elaborate on what kind of problems people experience with offsite storage? Is it a security issue or an issue receiving shipments? What should I look for in an offsite storage house to mitigate risks of something unfortunate happening (video surveillance, insurance, etc.)?
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=152705&p=2686718&hi ... r#p2686718

This is worst case scenario.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#24 Post by Neal.Mollen » April 4th, 2019, 1:08 pm

Hank Victor wrote:
April 4th, 2019, 12:49 pm
J. Rock wrote:
April 4th, 2019, 12:36 pm
Thanks everyone! This is very helpful.

Since building a cellar in my house probably isn't the best option for me, I think I'm going to keep 50 - 100 or so bottles that I plan on drinking within a year at my house and then storing the rest offsite. However, this is the first I've heard of offsite horror stories or problems. Can anyone please elaborate on what kind of problems people experience with offsite storage? Is it a security issue or an issue receiving shipments? What should I look for in an offsite storage house to mitigate risks of something unfortunate happening (video surveillance, insurance, etc.)?
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=152705&p=2686718&hi ... r#p2686718

This is worst case scenario.
There was another, the name of which I cannot remember. Someone here will chime in (the guy who had license problems because of a prior conviction). Also,

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#25 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » April 4th, 2019, 1:18 pm

Jordan, I sent you a PM

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#26 Post by J. Rock » April 4th, 2019, 1:26 pm

Wow, these instances of thefts (and natural disaster, to a lesser extent) are absolutely heartbreaking. This reminds me of when I used to spend a good amount of time suing banks/brokers and it was absolutely shocking how people could just steal someone's life savings to buy a yacht or vacation home or whatever while giving the poor customer completely fraudulent statements.

I'll definitely be obtaining insurance (once I have a collection worth insuring) and vetting the storage houses for security (and reputation).

I appreciate the recommendation Michael!
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#27 Post by David Baum » April 4th, 2019, 1:28 pm

J. Rock wrote:
April 4th, 2019, 12:36 pm
Thanks everyone! This is very helpful.

Since building a cellar in my house probably isn't the best option for me, I think I'm going to keep 50 - 100 or so bottles that I plan on drinking within a year at my house and then storing the rest offsite. However, this is the first I've heard of offsite horror stories or problems. Can anyone please elaborate on what kind of problems people experience with offsite storage? Is it a security issue or an issue receiving shipments? What should I look for in an offsite storage house to mitigate risks of something unfortunate happening (video surveillance, insurance, etc.)?
Where in SoCal are you? Know of several good ones particularly a few with an active community of folks that drink together regularly

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#28 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » April 4th, 2019, 1:37 pm

First, you need to decide if you want your wines at home, not at home, or both. If "at home," then a home built-in cellar is the way to go.

Eurocaves are expensive. For a 1,000 - 2,000 bottle cellar, a bank of Eurocaves is not the way to go. Eurocaves' initial cost (new) are more than $10 per bottle; that's an initial cost of $10k - $20k for a collection of the size you anticipate. And then there's the cost of electricity. And then there's the cost of upkeep, repairs, and replacement. I store many of my wines at The Wine Vault in Glendale. I'm pretty sure I pay about 50 cents per bottle per year, maybe a touch less; that's $500 per year for a 1,000 bottle collection. It would cost you at least $10k (initially) to store those same bottles at home in Eurocaves, and that's not considering the aforementioned factors. It would take you 20 years at $500 per year to get to $10k. Offsite is the better deal, monetarily.

I like my setup: one small wine fridge at home (~40 bottles) and one medium/large wine fridge at home (~225 bottles ?), and the rest at offsite. If I was living in my "forever home," I'd strongly consider building a cellar because I would enjoy it.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#29 Post by Chris Seiber » April 4th, 2019, 1:46 pm

1. How long can I keep bottles in my fridge that sometimes has very low humidity?

The humidity in your small cabinet is not a problem, for short, medium or long term storage. Don't worry another minute about it.

2. Is offsite storage more reliable than getting a high-end fridge? What is the smarter/recommended cellar strategy?

Big pros and cons here. If you have the room and can afford the cost (which includes repairs and maintenance, which are expensive and often very hard to obtain) of cabinets in your house, that's the best scenario. You have everything where you can get it without advance planning.

Offsite is a good option if you can't manage in your home, and depending on how close and convenient the place is. But it's ton less convenient than bottles in your house. You will go in thinking "no problem, I'll just swing by and get the wines I want for the weekend," but it's a lot harder to anticipate and to remember and to find time than it sounds. At least for me.

A balance many of us strike is to have both. Have as much storage as you can afford/fit at home, then use offsite for additional bottles. If you can be organized and keep the long-term storage wines in the offsite for the most part, then the downside of offsite is greatly reduced. Buy a case of 2016 Bordeaux, put it off site.

3. If I use offsite storage, how far in advance can I take out a bottle and put it in my onsite fridge? Do you take the bottle out the week you plan to use it? The same month? A year?

It depends on the temperature and where you keep the bottles in your house. If you have a place that avoids high temps and direct sunlight and all, they can sit there for 6-12 months no problem. To whatever extent there is a difference between storage at 55 degrees in a Le Cache versus in a sideways cardboard box in your downstairs hall closet, that difference won't emerge for probably 5-10 years or longer.


A few other things:

- as indicated above, wine cabinets are really hard to sell or even to get rid of after owning one, so if you can find a used one in decent condition, you're going to pay pennies on the dollar.

- installing a wine room in your house probably only makes sense if you're going to live there a long time, or if you don't care about the cost adding no value or negative value to your house when you sell it. Maybe it's different if you own an estate on a hilltop in Napa or something, but otherwise, 95% of potential buyers are going to view it as a liability and cost to remove it, not as an awesome added value feature.

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#30 Post by Steve Brickley » April 5th, 2019, 8:48 pm

70 case wine locker. Once near filled, Wine Bank calls and says the same size locker next to mine is emptying. Another set of keys I own/rent. Can you evict the third locker tenant?
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#31 Post by NED VALOIS » April 5th, 2019, 9:01 pm

Cap your addiction, as I do, by NEVER going off-site to store, therein lies the danger.
I have 3 Eurocaves , an under counter U-Line and a walk-in cellar.
When they are full, like now , it's time to drink, give and party hardy ! [snort.gif]

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#32 Post by Cris Whetstone » April 6th, 2019, 12:07 am

I think Brian said pretty much a lot of what I would point out. I think the heat in Southern California makes our situation different than many people on this site. Even different than a lot of folks in the Bay Area.

- Keep in mind everyone's needs and wants are different. The solution that is right for a lot of people here may not be your solution.

- One thing not mentioned is that there are also problems with home wine fridges. There are plenty of horror stories with those around as there are with off-sites.

- It seems you are new to wine so one big thing not really mentioned above is that your tastes are going to change broadly. What you are way into right now is probably not the same as it will be 3 years from now. That means don't go deep on any kind or style of wine right now.

- A very big thing is how permanent you are, how big is your place and can you afford to build a real home cellar like underground on a hillside. Is your family situation going to be cool with a large wine fridge? How about three?

- If you plan on aging wine then an off-site can help quite a bit if you are not going to have a large home unit. You can leave things there and forget them. They won't be where you can get overly curious and pop bottles ten years too early. Plus, they can handle your wine deliveries so you don't have to send them to work or worry about them sitting in the sun on your porch.

- If you plan on rotating through smaller groups of wines and not aging a lot then a home wine fridge or two is probably better for you.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#33 Post by Brian Tuite » April 6th, 2019, 9:07 am

Something that perhaps you may not have thought about yet. Palate shift. It happens to most of us along the way during our wine journey. In 10 years you may not like those wines you have lovingly cellared so long. Be careful to not build your collection too quickly. You could end up doing a lot of horse trading down the road.

I've maxed out my home storage to the point that I have 3-4 cases on the floor of the garage awaiting my drinking some space for them in temp controlled storage. Short of building a room I am at critical mass and don't see the value in paying someone to store my wine. YMMV. I find myself now simply slowing down my buying to only replenishing empty storage space.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#34 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » April 6th, 2019, 9:15 am

I have both onsite and offsite storage. Small under counter wine fridge for daily drinkers. 300 bottle wine storage unit in my office which holds wine I plan to consume within next 24 months. And then offsite for everything else. IMO, offsite is probably the safest bet, but over time the $ add up. If I had the space, I’d build a wine cellar at home. Even better would be passive storage in a basement.

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#35 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » April 6th, 2019, 9:31 am

I have both; whatever you end up going with will probably never be enough. Building new 5000 btl cellar; guessing it’ll be full before it’s done.

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#36 Post by Matthew King » April 6th, 2019, 9:38 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 9:07 am
Something that perhaps you may not have thought about yet. Palate shift. It happens to most of us along the way during our wine journey. In 10 years you may not like those wines you have lovingly cellared so long. Be careful to not build your collection too quickly. You could end up doing a lot of horse trading down the road.

I've maxed out my home storage to the point that I have 3-4 cases on the floor of the garage awaiting my drinking some space for them in temp controlled storage. Short of building a room I am at critical mass and don't see the value in paying someone to store my wine. YMMV. I find myself now simply slowing down my buying to only replenishing empty storage space.
Similar situation. I wish I had your discipline.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#37 Post by Brian Tuite » April 6th, 2019, 9:59 am

Matthew King wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 9:38 am
Brian Tuite wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 9:07 am
Something that perhaps you may not have thought about yet. Palate shift. It happens to most of us along the way during our wine journey. In 10 years you may not like those wines you have lovingly cellared so long. Be careful to not build your collection too quickly. You could end up doing a lot of horse trading down the road.

I've maxed out my home storage to the point that I have 3-4 cases on the floor of the garage awaiting my drinking some space for them in temp controlled storage. Short of building a room I am at critical mass and don't see the value in paying someone to store my wine. YMMV. I find myself now simply slowing down my buying to only replenishing empty storage space.
Similar situation. I wish I had your discipline.
I’m in the beginning stages of this “discipline” and find myself passing right now on things I don’t want to pass on. I’ll simply have to up my drinking game.

Offline at my place, let’s create some storage!
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#38 Post by David Glasser » April 6th, 2019, 11:13 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 9:59 am
Matthew King wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 9:38 am
Brian Tuite wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 9:07 am
Something that perhaps you may not have thought about yet. Palate shift. It happens to most of us along the way during our wine journey. In 10 years you may not like those wines you have lovingly cellared so long. Be careful to not build your collection too quickly. You could end up doing a lot of horse trading down the road.

I've maxed out my home storage to the point that I have 3-4 cases on the floor of the garage awaiting my drinking some space for them in temp controlled storage. Short of building a room I am at critical mass and don't see the value in paying someone to store my wine. YMMV. I find myself now simply slowing down my buying to only replenishing empty storage space.
Similar situation. I wish I had your discipline.
I’m in the beginning stages of this “discipline” and find myself passing right now on things I don’t want to pass on. I’ll simply have to up my drinking game.

Offline at my place, let’s create some storage!
I am in exactly the same situation. We thinned the cellar when we moved to downsize and I lost the debate to build another walk-in cellar in the new place. I’m frequently frustrated by the limitations of the wine fridges we got instead, capacity being but one of them. Getting down low to reach the bottom shelves has also become difficult with some of my orthopedic issues. The long term agers are down there and by the time they’re ready I may need to hire a butler to retrieve them.

There are now 3-4 cases on the floor of the basement waiting for space to open up and I just have to stop buying.

My wife says we have too much wine, but really the problem is too little storage capacity.

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#39 Post by JDavisRoby » April 6th, 2019, 8:13 pm

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
April 4th, 2019, 1:37 pm
First, you need to decide if you want your wines at home, not at home, or both. If "at home," then a home built-in cellar is the way to go.

Eurocaves are expensive. For a 1,000 - 2,000 bottle cellar, a bank of Eurocaves is not the way to go. Eurocaves' initial cost (new) are more than $10 per bottle; that's an initial cost of $10k - $20k for a collection of the size you anticipate. And then there's the cost of electricity. And then there's the cost of upkeep, repairs, and replacement. I store many of my wines at The Wine Vault in Glendale. I'm pretty sure I pay about 50 cents per bottle per year, maybe a touch less; that's $500 per year for a 1,000 bottle collection. It would cost you at least $10k (initially) to store those same bottles at home in Eurocaves, and that's not considering the aforementioned factors. It would take you 20 years at $500 per year to get to $10k. Offsite is the better deal, monetarily.

I like my setup: one small wine fridge at home (~40 bottles) and one medium/large wine fridge at home (~225 bottles ?), and the rest at offsite. If I was living in my "forever home," I'd strongly consider building a cellar because I would enjoy it.
$0.50 per bottle a year seems awful cheap. Most I’ve seen are in the $0.20-0.50 per bottle per month.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#40 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » April 6th, 2019, 9:00 pm

JDavisRoby wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 8:13 pm
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
April 4th, 2019, 1:37 pm
First, you need to decide if you want your wines at home, not at home, or both. If "at home," then a home built-in cellar is the way to go.

Eurocaves are expensive. For a 1,000 - 2,000 bottle cellar, a bank of Eurocaves is not the way to go. Eurocaves' initial cost (new) are more than $10 per bottle; that's an initial cost of $10k - $20k for a collection of the size you anticipate. And then there's the cost of electricity. And then there's the cost of upkeep, repairs, and replacement. I store many of my wines at The Wine Vault in Glendale. I'm pretty sure I pay about 50 cents per bottle per year, maybe a touch less; that's $500 per year for a 1,000 bottle collection. It would cost you at least $10k (initially) to store those same bottles at home in Eurocaves, and that's not considering the aforementioned factors. It would take you 20 years at $500 per year to get to $10k. Offsite is the better deal, monetarily.

I like my setup: one small wine fridge at home (~40 bottles) and one medium/large wine fridge at home (~225 bottles ?), and the rest at offsite. If I was living in my "forever home," I'd strongly consider building a cellar because I would enjoy it.
$0.50 per bottle a year seems awful cheap. Most I’ve seen are in the $0.20-0.50 per bottle per month.
It is cheap. Most SoCal options are in the $1 - $2 per bottle per year range. The place at which I store has limited hours, and charges an extra fee to accept deliveries on my behalf. I never have my wine delivered to them, as it is easily delivered to my office. And their limited hours are good enough for me. I don't think I visit offsite more than 4 times a year, and I'm sure it's sometimes only once or twice.

The range you quoted is very expensive, but I suppose prices vary depending on locale.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#41 Post by J. Rock » April 7th, 2019, 9:16 am

Regarding Los Angeles prices -- the one closest to my house is no frills and pretty poor hours, but it's $240/year for 12 cases; the one closest to my work is $216.67/MONTH for 50 - 100 bottles (and prices will rise soon, but I can get grandfathered in if I join now [no thanks]). I've found that the less frills and more limited hours are less money (surprise) and the ones that promote a social element rather than just passive storage are more.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#42 Post by JDavisRoby » April 7th, 2019, 10:52 am

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 9:00 pm
JDavisRoby wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 8:13 pm
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
April 4th, 2019, 1:37 pm
First, you need to decide if you want your wines at home, not at home, or both. If "at home," then a home built-in cellar is the way to go.

Eurocaves are expensive. For a 1,000 - 2,000 bottle cellar, a bank of Eurocaves is not the way to go. Eurocaves' initial cost (new) are more than $10 per bottle; that's an initial cost of $10k - $20k for a collection of the size you anticipate. And then there's the cost of electricity. And then there's the cost of upkeep, repairs, and replacement. I store many of my wines at The Wine Vault in Glendale. I'm pretty sure I pay about 50 cents per bottle per year, maybe a touch less; that's $500 per year for a 1,000 bottle collection. It would cost you at least $10k (initially) to store those same bottles at home in Eurocaves, and that's not considering the aforementioned factors. It would take you 20 years at $500 per year to get to $10k. Offsite is the better deal, monetarily.

I like my setup: one small wine fridge at home (~40 bottles) and one medium/large wine fridge at home (~225 bottles ?), and the rest at offsite. If I was living in my "forever home," I'd strongly consider building a cellar because I would enjoy it.
$0.50 per bottle a year seems awful cheap. Most I’ve seen are in the $0.20-0.50 per bottle per month.
It is cheap. Most SoCal options are in the $1 - $2 per bottle per year range. The place at which I store has limited hours, and charges an extra fee to accept deliveries on my behalf. I never have my wine delivered to them, as it is easily delivered to my office. And their limited hours are good enough for me. I don't think I visit offsite more than 4 times a year, and I'm sure it's sometimes only once or twice.

The range you quoted is very expensive, but I suppose prices vary depending on locale.
There isn’t local offsite storage in my area. So I’m paying for a facility to do intake and even pickup in some cases. The also have an ability to login and see my inventory. I’m sure that’s the reason for the extra expense. If there was local offsite I’d use it while I’m building out my cellar.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#43 Post by Cris Whetstone » April 7th, 2019, 10:59 am

J. Rock wrote:
April 7th, 2019, 9:16 am
Regarding Los Angeles prices -- the one closest to my house is no frills and pretty poor hours, but it's $240/year for 12 cases; the one closest to my work is $216.67/MONTH for 50 - 100 bottles (and prices will rise soon, but I can get grandfathered in if I join now [no thanks]). I've found that the less frills and more limited hours are less money (surprise) and the ones that promote a social element rather than just passive storage are more.
That is pretty normal all around SoCal. Less fee, less hours. Usually open 6-8 hours a day and not on Sunday. Higher fees, more services and extras. Often more access whether it be hours or individual entry. Sometimes they offer more concierge services and inventory control. Sometimes more social events. Often providing room for client hosted events.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#44 Post by lleichtman » April 7th, 2019, 11:53 am

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
April 4th, 2019, 1:37 pm
First, you need to decide if you want your wines at home, not at home, or both. If "at home," then a home built-in cellar is the way to go.

Eurocaves are expensive. For a 1,000 - 2,000 bottle cellar, a bank of Eurocaves is not the way to go. Eurocaves' initial cost (new) are more than $10 per bottle; that's an initial cost of $10k - $20k for a collection of the size you anticipate. And then there's the cost of electricity. And then there's the cost of upkeep, repairs, and replacement. I store many of my wines at The Wine Vault in Glendale. I'm pretty sure I pay about 50 cents per bottle per year, maybe a touch less; that's $500 per year for a 1,000 bottle collection. It would cost you at least $10k (initially) to store those same bottles at home in Eurocaves, and that's not considering the aforementioned factors. It would take you 20 years at $500 per year to get to $10k. Offsite is the better deal, monetarily.

I like my setup: one small wine fridge at home (~40 bottles) and one medium/large wine fridge at home (~225 bottles ?), and the rest at offsite. If I was living in my "forever home," I'd strongly consider building a cellar because I would enjoy it.
Unless, you buy used ones. My investment in 2 Eurocaves was about $2000 and they have been running well for 8 years with no downtime. I can store about 450 bottles in them.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#45 Post by alan weinberg » April 7th, 2019, 12:16 pm

lots of good advice here. It’s a myth to store white different from red. Colder just leads to slower maturation. I keep my cellar at 50.

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#46 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » April 7th, 2019, 12:29 pm

Very true, Lawrence. Of course, buying used has it's own hazards, but they are often worth it, as in your case.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#47 Post by Justin S » April 7th, 2019, 10:41 pm

As someone who also recently (less than 2 years ago) started this hobby, I say keep your current wine fridge to store the "next in line" for drinking bottles and then go for off-site storage for the remainder. Or buy a used Le Cache or equivalent. It mainly comes down to spending the first six months to determine what your needs are really going to be:

Building a cellar or investing in an expensive wine system at home could be the least expensive and most convenient way to go in the long term. But you don't even know yet how committed you will be to this hobby or how many bottles you really want to collect. Newbies like us buy too much wine too quickly and our tastes change, leaving us with tons of wine we don't want to drink. And not enough room to store the wines we do drink. By adopting a go-slow approach, you also ensure that you don't decide end up with 1000 bottles without reason. Up-front costs are also way less in this approach. Why invest $5k into something you don't know you want to do. You might instead want to use that money on acquiring wine to taste. A lot of people on this site who spend 5 figures on wine yearly consider this pocket change, but maybe you do not.

Many on this site would also recommend buying 2-3x more storage than you anticipate needing, but you can always do that later when you are better integrated into the hobby. By getting too much space too quickly, you are sure to fill it regardless of your actual need. Maybe you are the person that wants to have a 1000+ bottle wine cellar and spend $20k a year on wine. No problem. But maybe you are like me and want to limit yourself to around 200 bottles at any given time. I won't have the deep library of aged wines like the 1000+ bottle person, but this does free up cash for other things.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#48 Post by R0$$ M 0 R R 1 $ 0 N » April 8th, 2019, 5:26 am

Lots of good advice above. Converting a room or even better - basement space to a cellar is more flexible than a wine fridge. If no home cellar, I do recommend a sizeable wine fridge to augment off-site storage. Having to go to storage for a single bottle is a nuisance. As my cellar has grown in variety as well as size it has become increasingly challenging to have all the is ready for drinking now on hand without a trip to off site storage. Suggest a 500 bottle unite as a good start. It will fill up faster than you think.

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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#49 Post by Paul McCourt » April 8th, 2019, 6:04 am

I prefer off-site. (I live in Manhattan but I don't think I would build a cellar even if I had room)

I like the inventory service, and I like not having to worry about the mechanics of the process. They get picked up and magically appear on my inventory.

The down side is instant access. Also, with offsite you can't stand there admiring your collection while rubbing one out. Although, admittedly, I haven't asked them if I could.
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Re: On-Site vs Off-Site Storage Strategy

#50 Post by Juliec » September 2nd, 2019, 10:06 am

The Eurocave investment paid off for me. If you have some expensive bottles, I would suggest it. Also, I started small and probably could have gotten a bigger. My objective was quality of the model over quantity. It may be better to get lessor quality of eurocave and fit more bottles. I really had qualms about buying an expensive wine fridge but I’m glad I did. I am already out of space since I am storing a specific vintage for future drinking as the vintage is starting to sell out.

It not easy to buy used items, as it is difficult to move these size items without professionals that are already included in the cost when new. Good luck. Storing in house in wine racks may be thee best bet if you keep your house in the 60s.
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