IF NOT NOW THEN WHEN!
VINOTECA SOLVES THE CONSERVATION CONUNDRUM
I’m fortunate, I know. I receive wines from all over Spain each month, sent by bodegas hoping for a review – they know that the readers of the Costa News’ four titles are very wine friendly! A good Cork Talk review is valuable to them. The result of this, significant continuous supply of bottles of wine, is that in my house there forms a queue of wines to taste!
When can I taste them – if not now, then when – and will they be in the same, perfect condition? Living as I do, on the Costa Blanca, there is a wide variance in the ambient temperatures of the four seasons. This isn’t good for storing wines. Plus, as we know on all of the Costas, the temperature in summer is sometimes unbearable for us, and frankly, always, for wines.
So what can we do? Well, we could hire a digger and dig down, what 10, no, more – perhaps 15 – 20 metres where the temperature will remain a fairly constant and a fairly wine friendly, maybe 16 – 18ºC. But, hey that’s a lot of effort, and of course, money – moreover money that could be spent on wine! But don’t worry, there’s an answer.
Vinoteca, a Spanish company specialising in the supply of all manner of wine coolers, from tiny 2 bottle jobs, to far larger affairs that can hold, in perfect wine storage conditions, up to 400 bottles, is the leader in the field – and that’s in Europe! My problem solved – so much wine, and now somewhere to keep it until the time is right!
If you go to the Vinoteca website (www.vinoteca.es) you’ll see a huge array of wine coolers, comprising the best brands in Europe – Le Nez Du Vin; Caveduke; La Sommeliére; Liebherr; Vitempus; to name but a few, from a list of 14! If you can’t find a wine cooler here, you can’t find a wine cooler!
Your choice will depend on the number of wines you want to store until it’s time for drinking them and, of course, the space you have available for the wine cooler. I don’t have much space available so I went for the 36 bottle La Sommeliére LS36A, which will suit my needs perfectly. This is the newest model in the well respected La Sommeliére range, the first units only arrived in the warehouse last week! It is Class A Energy Efficient (a concern for all of us these days), has a digital display and touch-button technology.
And, check this out – I’ve negotiated a 5% discount on all models, for Cork Talk Readers! Simply add the code COLIN5 in the appropriate box when ordering online – and that’s a 5% discount, extra to any discounts available for the model you choose!
When saddled with having to make a choice from such an array, I’m not the quickest! I therefore went back to the website a number of times over a period of about three weeks. Each time I visited I noted that there were always discounts, indeed the cooler I chose had 19% off the usual price, translating to an 80€ saving!
I spoke with the Sales Department. Now, whilst I’m fairly confident in my wine related Spanish (I should be, after 20 years working in the Spanish wine sector!) and was certainly prepared to chat about my requirements etc in that language, whenever I was stuck with a certain word, I was given the word I sought. There were times when we spoke just in English and I asked if this was normal. The Sales Department is as happy talking to clients in English as they are in Spanish, and I wouldn’t be surprised, in a number of other European languages too.
Talking of clients, I was also informed that they have many on the Costas of Spain from further south than Marbella, reaching to Barcelona, and inland as well. These, apparently well satisfied customers include many of the different nationalities of Europe as well as Americans and others from several parts of the world – including, claro, Spanish!
So what are the advantages of having such a wine cooler? I know from the tastings I present that there are always those who tell me, with a knowing smile, that they don’t need such assistance, as they drink their wine, almost on arrival! I know what they mean of course – but what about when you see that offer in the bodega or supermarket? It’s 36º+ in the house in the summer; there are 12 bottles of this lovely red going for a really good discount, but today only! Well, the idea of a wine chiller starts to look a little more useful, no?
And what about that special celebration that’s coming up, but isn’t here yet? A wedding anniversary or a special birthday. What about buying a fine wine for your grandchild’s 18th (hoping, like me, that he/she doesn’t like wine when that landmark age is reached!). Why not buy the posh wine for it now, put it in the cooler and know that it will be perfect for when it’s needed.
Bear in mind also that, sadly (almost criminally, in my view), many of the supermarkets are not at all concerned with storing their wines under correct conditions. So you will find that wines you buy will sometimes be disappointing, if you wait. Buy them now and put them in the chiller!
Wine coolers keep the wines at the correct temperature and humidity. Depending on the model chosen, there is a range of temperatures that can be set, and at different levels of the chiller. They usually also have an anti-vibration system built in, as well as shaded glass – two other problems that wines do not like! Their designs can be ultra modern, traditional, and a combination of each.
So, Tracy (Chapman, the title of whose song I’ve plagiarized above!) – it doesn’t matter when it is, if it’s not now!