If you live in a house that has either a cellar or a separate area for your wine, consider yourself fortunate. What if you have no space — for example, what if you live in an apartment?

As an apartment dweller, you have three choices:

  • Leave your wine in a friend’s or relative’s house (provided that he has adequate storage facilities — and that you trust him not to drink your wine!).

  • Rent storage space in a refrigerated public warehouse.

  • Buy a wine cave — also known as a wine cabinet — which is a self-contained, refrigerated unit that you plug into an electrical outlet.

The first two options are barely acceptable because they don’t give you immediate access to your wine. It’s downright inconvenient to make a trip every time you want to get your hands on your own wine. And both of these options rob you of the pleasure of having your wines readily available in your home where you can look at them, fondle the bottles, or show them off to your friends.

Many wine caves resemble attractive pieces of furniture, either vertical or horizontal credenzas. Many have glass doors, and all of them can be locked.

Wine caves range in size and capacity from a tiny unit that holds only 24 bottles to really large units that hold up to 2,800 bottles, with many sizes in between. Prices range from $400 to about $10,000. You find wine caves advertised extensively in wine accessory catalogs and in the back pages of wine magazines. Two great wine caves worth checking out are Le Cache and Vinothèque. You can buy less expensive brands, but they won’t be of the same quality.

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