Q: I have a separate room in my basement where I have installed wine racks. The temperature runs between the low 50's (winter) and low 60's (summer). The humidity runs in about the same range, although a little higher in the summer. Are these ranges OK for long-term storage of wine? I have about 300 bottles but intend to have more although most are to be enjoyed over the next three to five years. -- Jan Miller
A: Your storage space is acceptable, especially if you don't intend to resell any of your wines. You should, however, know that auction houses are less and less likely to accept consignments from "passive" cellars, but you indicate that most of the wines you own are for relatively short-term consumption. Given that the fluctuation in temperature is not extreme, you shouldn't have any serious problems.
However, you have not indicated what the price range is of the wines you have collected. If any of them are extremely valuable or rare, you should buy a temperature and humidity-controlled storage unit to protect your investment. Sixteen-bottle units are available for less than $200 and 50-bottle storage facilities cost about $600.
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