While wine cellars and in-home wine storage have been around for hundreds of years, for tech-savvy oenophiles, a whole new world of smart wine-cellar technology awaits.
“Life is about viewing your collection from an app on your phone—-controlling temperatures, lighting, music, and overall ambiance,” says Kendra Ratcliff, principal broker with Luxe Platinum Properties/Christie’s International Real Estate, who works with wineries and luxury estates in Oregon and Washington state.
“In-home cellars should have technology for organizing, cataloging, securing, and displaying the wine,” she says. “I’ve been in a couple of homes that have their cellars controlled by the same smart technology as the rest of their home.”
Marshall Tilden III, vice president of sales at Wine Enthusiast, is a big fan of Coravin’s devices that allow you to pierce and reseal the cork without actually opening the bottle of wine.
“It’s awesome—it makes a $500 bottle of wine a Tuesday night wine if you just want a glass of it,” he says, mentioning a high-end client and collector in New York who has “30 bottles tasting at a time” with a Coravin opener.
“Starting now and for the next year or two, you will be seeing a lot of new development” in the field of smart wine technology, he says.
And make room for beer, too, Ms. Ratcliff says. “I recently visited a residence with industrial coolers for the home, which had not only zones for red, pink, and white but zones for beer, too. Beer collections and displays are trending.”
Ready to rethink your wine cellar? Here are five products to get you started:
The eSommelier Private Wine Management System (US$3,995) may be just the ticket for collectors looking to finally get a handle on exactly what is in their basement cellar.
The visual system allows you to peruse the labels on hand and see the price you paid for the wine, as well as what it’s worth, with regular wine-valuation updates.
Then, once you’ve entered the winery and vintage, eSommelier automatically fills in the rest of the data: country, region, maturity, rating, and tasting notes. While shopping or traveling, you can access your wine data from any internet browser in the world.
The new Plum countertop wine fridge (US$1,999) holds only two 750-milliliter bottles at a time, but its creators say this high-tech wonder can preserve an opened bottle for about 90 days. Its internal camera scans the label of an inserted bottle and detects the wine’s region, winery, vintage, varietal, and ideal serving conditions. It can recognize 220 different varietals of wine, and its two chambers are sealed off from each other so you can chill wines at different temperatures.
Plum is also connected to the internet, so you can read reviews and check food pairings, and it will save your wine-drinking history so you can go back and find a favorite bottle.
One unfortunate event, from a power outage to an absent-minded family member, can wipe out your entire collection. Enter La Crosse Alerts Temperature and Humidity Monitor (US$99.95), which protects valuable wine collections from dangerous swings in temperature and humidity with an easy-to-use remote monitor and alert system.
With the La Crosse, you’ll also get custom text and email alerts whenever your cellar’s temperature or humidity is outside your desired range, when the battery is low, or when the connection is lost.
And it’s not just for wine. You can add up to five sensors for other areas—swimming pools and spas, refrigerators and freezers—within a 200-foot wireless range.
Coravin’s Model 11 (US$999), the latest from the intelligent wine-opener maker, allows you to pour a glass without removing the cork. It uses a small, thin needle and a hit of Argon gas to pierce the cork and preserve the bottle of wine like you never poured a glass.
Model 11 will also sync with Coravin’s forthcoming Moments app, which will allow users to keep track of how much gas is left, as well as offer food-pairing suggestions.
Model 11 has an aerator attachment that Coravin says creates the same effect as letting the wine sit in a glass for an hour. It is expected to go on sale in September; try Coravin’s already available Model One (for US$200) or Model Two (for US$300) if you don’t want to wait.
Aerating wine by just letting it sit in a glass or decanter for a while can dramatically improve its taste. In a hurry? With the push of a button, the Aervana Electric Wine Aerator (US$99.95) provides aeration to a single glass or whole bottle of wine in just a few seconds.
It works for both red and white wines and is incredibly easy to use—no lifting, aiming, holding, or spilling.
This story first appeared in Mansion Global magazine.
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