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The right storage for your liquid assets

The reason is likely to be a combination of cost – a good cellar is expensive to build and maintain, and that’s before you fill it with pricey bottles of quality wine – and poor knowledge of wine storage requirements.

Poor storage, especially in Australia’s climate of fluctuating temperatures, can ruin potentially good wines and, if you are a serious collector and drinker, the rack in the corner of the living room or in an ordinary basement, just won’t do.

A refrigerated wine cabinet is a less expensive alternative. Free-standing versions can be purchased in Australia, but one HIA kitchen designer offers them as a built-in option.

A typical refrigerated cabinet can hold up to 120 bottles and has variable zones so that different wines can be stored at their ideal temperatures. Smaller versions are scaled down to between 20 and 30 bottles. Built-in wine storage units are well on the way to becoming an almost automatic accessory in the modern kitchen.

Of course for the dedicated wine buff, nothing short of a full-scale cellar will do and one real estate agent believes that the additional cost of installation is worthwhile, even if you are not going to fill it with your favourite shiraz or chardonnay.

‘Because they are so rare, a good cellar can actually put between five and 10 per cent on the value of a home,’ he says. ‘And in the meantime you can use it as just another room.’

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