On Wine: Outsourcing Storage

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Spring in Sacramento is glorious, but with fragrant flowers and downy ducklings comes a preoccupation with surviving the coming summer. Some people stockpile drugs for allergy season. Others arm themselves for the annual legislative budget battle. Still others escape to a Lake Tahoe cabin. My challenge? To keep my wine bottles happy.

It’s the heat they hate. Every one in my collection is nudging for a cool place to lie down. I’ve got some grumpy Gewürztraminer stuffed under the laundry basket and three boxes of Brunello ready to mutiny from the back of the closet. I’ve dreamed of building racks in my basement or buying another storage unit for my office, but until that happens, it’s time to get some outside help. Outside storage, that is.

The good news is that wine storage companies abound in the Sacramento area. They provide lockers in dark, air-conditioned rooms held between 55 and 59 degrees, with humidity from 60 to 70 degrees. The lockers are leased on a monthly or yearly basis, and the wine owner can deposit or withdraw bottles during open hours. In addition, some area companies also provide a clubby environment where wine stashers can share their passion (and their best bottles).

To determine if off-site storage is right for you, ask yourself:

• Can you afford it?
• Will you need frequent access to your wines?
• When is the facility open?
• Is the locker conveniently located?
• Do you mind that you’ll have to plan ahead to enjoy stored wines? (I find the out-of-sight, out-of-mind nature of the arrangement keeps my deposits safe from early withdrawal.)

Where the elite meet to beat the heat&emdash;
Some of Sacramento’s most important collections are stored in what is perhaps the wine community’s best- and longest-kept secret: Allstar Self Storage on Folsom Boulevard. Wines are kept in the basement. High-profile tenants include Darrell Corti, David Berkley and The Kitchen restaurant.

Please see our May issue for suggestions on where to store your wine.