>At the wine tasting birthday party I attended last Saturday, the sommelier was very clear about the proper way to store wine: away from heat. Of course, this is logical, but Husband and I have kept our collection of extremely inexpensive wine (no bottle under $12!), underneath a excellent turquoise leather chair that we obtained at a street sale for $25. This chair is right next to the radiator that pumps out large quantities of steamy, hot air from approximately October to May. One day we may get around to installing the $10 wall wine rack we bought at Ikea in January, so I wanted to preserve the moment.

What is important to me about our current system for storing the juice extracted from grapes is that it is almost identical to that implemented by my parents when I was growing up. We always bought gallon cans of generic grape juice (white label with black stencils reading "GRAPE JUICE"). These cans were then carefully lined up against the kitchen wall, underneath the table. Inevitably, several cans were stacked next to the heating vent. My sister and I swear that those batches of juice were extra-pungent.

Continuing family tradition is important. Just as I am sad that my parents no longer buy large cans of generic grape juice and store them next to the heat, I will miss our heated wine cellar in New York. As for visitors to my home, until we break with tradition, I suggest carefully inquiring as to the storage status of the bottle if I offer you a glass of wine.