Wine cooler is on wish list

December 4, 2013 

All I want for Christmas this year is a wine storage refrigerator that holds at least 100 bottles, and it would be really nice if it came full of good wine.

In today's day and age it's every oenophile's dream to have their very own wine cellar, but it really raised my eyebrows to read some recent articles about the archaeologists who unearthed what is being called the world's oldest -- a 3,700-year-old wine cellar that is larger than most peoples' bedrooms today at 15-by-25 feet. If you were lucky enough to own a wine cellar of this size, it would take a lot of wine to fill -- 3,000 bottles or more to be exact and how affordable would that be? On the other hand, there are a lot of more affordable wine cellars of many different sizes that will fit into just about any home available at local retailers, and some even come with gift certificates designed to help you put some decent wines in your new cellar.

Once you decide that a wine cellar is in your future, the first decision is how many bottles should it hold; and then you have to figure out how to fill it up so that you can enjoy all those bottles for years to come. Determining the number of bottles it holds is really an affordability issue, both in terms of the size of the wine cellar you purchase and the cost of filling it up.

So you've determined what you can afford, now you have to figure out how to fill it and what better way than to try a wide variety of wines at a large wine tasting such as the Forks & Corks Food and Wine Festival that is scheduled to take place Jan. 24-26. This festival is

hosted by the Sarasota-Manatee Originals, an organization that has a "passionate desire to celebrate and preserve our community's culinary sense of being."

What would a wine festival be without some type of hands-on training? Forks and Corks University allows for an interesting opportunity to participate in two interactive seminars Jan. 25 at Michael's On East Ballroom and Wine Cellar. Michael's Wine Cellar is retail wine outlet that carries more than 1,000 different wines, at least 200 of which sell for less than $20 a bottle. You can purchase tickets and find a schedule of events at

If you're lucky enough to get a wine storage refrigerator that was purchased at Rice's Appliance & TV, depending on which one your loved one selected for you it may include a gift certificate that is worth up to $200 in wine from Michael's Wine Cellar. You better hurry though because there is only 21 more shopping days before Christmas.

Jim Rawe, a family attorney in Bradenton, is an avid collector of fine wines. He can be reached at

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