The 'Instant Wine Cellar' is The Finishing Touch Inside New Homes Where Luxury Reigns

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Premium wine source Hinsdale Cellars presents its Private Steward customer service program to spare upscale homeowners the daunting challenge of populating large, showcase wine cellars on their own.

Architects and upscale homebuilders decided at some point that everybody needs a wine cellar, and it is apparent that buyers of luxury homes are not resisting the trend

Just as they would in matters of design, furnishing and landscape, discerning owners of state-of-the-art, luxury residences can address the intimidating task of stocking an empty custom wine cellar by turning to experienced consultants.

Hinsdale Cellars, operator of the essential premium wine and luxury lifestyle web site, has upgraded its Private Steward customer service initiatives to specifically address strategies for stocking and maintaining world-class residential wine cellars.

"Architects and upscale homebuilders decided at some point that everybody needs a wine cellar, and it is apparent that buyers of luxury homes are not resisting the trend," said Steve Woodward, managing director of "A wine cellar is a showcase, a destination for guests, if it is occupied by exceptional wine. Without the wine, it's another closet, albeit a climate controlled one."

If a new custom wine cellar is in a buyer's future, weighing the options in advance can help guarantee that the cellar's inventory meets both quality and budget expectations, and that it will be ready for that inaugural dinner party.

Where to start? "That's an easy question for the established collector and connoisseur, who simply transfers existing inventory to a new, presumably larger, cellar and tracks additional selections as usual," Woodward said. "But there are many more aspiring collectors who appreciate and purchase fine wine yet lack the time or patience to populate a cellar."

Relying on a substantial network of sources to support its online wine sales, Hinsdale Cellars maintains an inventory of, and access to, world-class wine crafted by the industry's most influential vintners. Hinsdale Cellars' Private Steward cellar plan is rooted in multiple steps toward making the instant home cellar a reality:

1. Create a customer profile that establishes tastes and preferences. The wine universe is vast. Narrow the options by asking the client to communicate specific dislikes or turn-offs, which can include types of wine varietals, winemaking regions and price thresholds. If a client detests Sauvignon Blanc, that's good to know up front.

2. Identify the timeframe. If the objective is simply to fill an 800-bottle cellar as quickly as possible with wine that guests will generally enjoy (in other words, the buyer has few strong preferences but demands quality), decisions will more likely be driven by availability and volume. All things being equal, if one premium Pinot Noir from one of the leading Santa Barbara wineries is in short supply but a nearby winery has released ample supplies of an underrated and slightly less expensive Pinot, it's a no-brainer for the time constrained client. If the client wishes to evolve the cellar, however, and is not averse to empty racks, a different mindset will prevail.

3. Determine the percentage of inventory the client wishes to have on hand for personal consumption, or to present as wine lover gifts, versus the percentage that is strictly put aside for prescribed aging and financial appreciation.

4. Document the collection. After wine shipments begin to arrive and bottles are populating the racks, the client will receive complete documentation, stored on discs or in a binder, of the selections. This important content includes detail about the wine, such as origin of the grapes and how this gives the wine identity; the winemaker's philosophies and how they are reflected in the wine; facts about the growing season that produced the grapes; information about various wineries and their heritage; and reviews by the industry's most respected critics.

5. Anticipate long-term cellar management needs. Hinsdale Cellars will refer clients to a leading wine cellar management provider, such as Cellar Advisors. (Cellar Advisors founder Marc Lazar is one of the many contributors providing relevant content found daily at Cellar Advisors precise systems will ensure the client maintains a technological handle on inventory depletion; bin labeling; collection appraisals; temperature and moisture settings; and insurance coverage options.

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Stephen Woodward
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