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Wine Cellars: Why Being A Wine Prepper Is The Next Fad

Get your wine cellar ready. A world-wide wine shortage is expected next year and those who are not prepared may suffer the indignity of higher prices and fewer choices.

According to a new report from Morgan Stanley, “after adjusting for non wine uses, demand for wine exceeded supply by 300 million cases in 2012, the deepest shortfall in over 40 years of records. Production in 2012 also fell to its lowest levels in more than 40 years.”

Not everyone agrees. Writing for Reuters, Felix Solomon argues that “far from entering a period of global wine shortage, it looks like the 2008-2012 period of shortage is actually¬†ending.”

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As someone who neither drinks nor smokes, I’d have to say that the wine debate has little personal impact. I have no idea whether there will be a forthcoming shortage or surplus. That said, more than a few people will be put out if their favorite decanter of red, white or rose is not readily available, and that brings us to wine cellars.

A recent trip to France suggests that the French have found a solution to the projected wine shortage. The place is full of “caves,” the French expression for “basements.” But unlike US basements, places which do little more than leak, the French have evolved the wine cellar and even for teetotalers they are a thing of beauty.

Wine Cellars


First, it should be said that some French caves are really, well, caves. Some are where you would expect them, below homes, but some houses are built against limestone hills which feature either natural caves or caves which have been hollowed out of the rock. The beauty of such real estate is that if you need more space you simply dig in further. The Romans, for one, applied this approach in Amboise and the result is that 2,000 years later you can still see the Granaries of Caesar.

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Part of the Granaries of Caesar at Amboise

Second, caves maintain a constant temperature year-round. That’s great for wine, cheese, ammunition….

Third, talk about preparing for tough times, one cellar we stumbled across had at least 150 barrels of wine stashed away in a long and immaculate cellar beneath a nondescript home. With 300 bottles to the barrel, this wine prepper had some 45,000 bottles on hand in case of civil unrest or nuclear war.

Wine cellars. You have to love them. Finally, a place where relatives can stay for extended visits or the kids can bunk when they return from college….

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