Lifestyle June, 3rd 2012 by

Dedicated Storage - A Fridge By Any Other Name

by AJ Linn  (originally published in Spanish in Diario Sur)
‘Tell me how you store your wine and I will tell you what sort of a drinker you are’ – or something along these lines. This is the promotional slogan of a brand of wine storage cabinets that have come to be every wine aficionado’s essential accessory. They get called all sorts of things: wine storage units, cabinets, acclimatised mini-cellars – whatever. In my simple way such matters are uncomplicated: white wine in the fridge (although my professional colleagues have a problem with this), and red wine in the basement, four floors below ground level and better than any ‘wine cabinet’.
It is often said that white wine and of course cava and champagne should be cooled quickly, using preferably an ice bucket but in its absence a freezer. We are told that keeping them in the fridge from purchase to opening can spoil the wine, something that José Ignacio Domecq must have forgotten to tell me when we met once in London and I asked him how it was possible to enjoy the bottle of fine manzanilla we were sharing so far from its native Sanlúcar de Barrameda. José Ignacio´s explanation was simply that it should be kept in the fridge from the moment it arrived. Thinking about it I suppose the explanation is that neither in his case nor in mine does the wine stay long enough in the fridge to have any negative effect.
The first time I visited Roger C’s house in Marbella I was agreeably surprised to see in the bar area a huge fridge that turned out to be the temporary home for at least 50 bottles of champagne. This Belgian, who has lived on the Coast for almost ever, only drinks (present tense!) champagne, and I remember when he celebrated his 60th birthday he chartered a plane to bring his friends to a party that lasted a day and a half – with wall-to-wall Möet & Chandon.
Another character that had cold storage dedicated to one item was Stewart Granger at his finca near Estepona. In this case it was not yet alcoholic but soon would be. Tins of Campbell’s consommé filled the shelves of a fridge, and on the (fortunately) few occasions I had ‘breakfast’ with the then-waning Hollywood star, it would be sitting by the pool drinking long glasses of bullshot. But that’s another story for another column….. 

AJ Linn

Andrew Linn left England 40 years ago to relocate to Spain, having been involved in businesses such as wine shipping and publishing. He currently writes regularly and professionally on wine, food, flamenco, and the Spanish way of life for various publications, and has a regular column in a Spanish newspaper. Andrew is involved in charity work relating to abandoned and mistreated animals.

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