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Wine Lover's Top 10

Christine Hawley, one of the country's top designers of high-end wine cellars, names 10 favorite things.

Trend Luxe apartment buildings with wine cellars: Hawley's hottest idea yet was for The Loft, in New York's SoHo, a $2 million project with wine storage for all 13 lofts, plus a communal tasting room. Residents Courtney Love and Lenny Kravitz reportedly adore it.

Thermometer Put the Zyliss Wine Thermometer in a bottle to find whether the wine is at the proper temperature. A chart tells you what's optimal--e.g., 59 to 63 degrees for a red Bordeaux ($11; 888-794-7623).

Coasters Hawley collects antique wine coasters from shops such as James Robinson, in New York City. The store also sells reproductions in sterling silver (from $375; 212-752-6166).

Fridge The sub-zero wine storage refrigerator provides space for 132 bottles, with superquiet cooling and a high-tech lock that can be connected to your home's security system ($4,600; 800-222-7820).

Organizers Cataloging your wine collection? You might alphabetize your index cards in a lacquered red leather Chinese wedding box, like the $1,000 antique that Hawley found for a client at Christina Borg, in New York City (212-628-1919). Or you could go digital with Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s Wine Advisor and Cellar Manager CD-ROM, which not only organizes information about your collection but also calculates the current value of a wine and the prime time to uncork it ($100; 800-726-7089).

Gadget If you're trying to figure out where the best spot in your basement is for a wine cellar, the Digital Cellar Gauge can help. It not only measures temperature and humidity simultaneously but also keeps track of their highs and lows. You can attach the device to any wall ($50; 212-838-7500).

Cooler The Italian-made Vin Chilla looks like a high-design ice bucket, but it's more: Switch it on and a whirlpool of ice and water rushes around a bottle of white wine or Champagne, fully chilling it in less than five minutes ($130; 800-243-0852).

Rack Although Hawley is skeptical of most prefab wine holders, she finds Kedco Custom Mahogany Units sturdy enough and, with their brass fittings and fine finishes, elegant enough to recommend to clients. The family-owned company's racks start in six-bottle ($57) and 12-bottle ($115) sizes (800-654-9988).

Book Hawley often gives Rosemary Zraly's Champagne...Uncorked! to friends as a gift. It's compact, charming and very informative ($17; available at www.champagnelady.com).

Published October 2001
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