My home entertainment center is rather complete. You can count it all up and see that nothing essential is missing in terms of a screen, sound system (surround sound what else!), receiver, speakers, etc. There are comfortable chairs, a bar area, and a wine fridge. My center is ready to accommodate anyone’s needs in the entertainment sphere, complete with snacks and beverages.

People come over to enjoy life in a relaxing, pastime kind of way. We don’t pretend it’s anything profound. We get enough of that at work and in the news all day. Sometimes it’s just so darned depressing. We have the right to get away from it all, even with the help of a little alcohol. Wine, for example, puts you in a great mood right away, and without the hit of hard drinks. You can only handle so many of them before you need a designated driver. Wine is stocked in my fridge for a good reason. People love it and it seems to solve life’s many problems, at least for one evening.

It all started with a few gifts. People would come over and not want to bring beer. They knew I had tons of it. They thought it was more interesting to offer a nice imported wine, either red or white. I started getting into it and serviced the wine upon occasion. Everyone wanted to participate, even during football or basketball games. It became a thing to take the time to pick a really unusual, unknown wine. The whole thing just snowballed.

Movies were a cinch. Movie night became gourmet with cheese and crackers. Sipping wine seemed the perfect accompaniment. I became an oenophile, or true connoisseur of wine; or so I like to think. Over time, the wine started replacing other beverages, even sodas, and it all just caught on. People knew they would get their favorite variety just by asking. They knew my wine cooler was up to date on the product of the grape.

I was glad I had taken the time to research the right wine refrigerator. I mean who really knows about such stuff. I didn’t know there is a dual control for temperature so you can stock both red and white wines. I didn’t know that these fridges are décor items made of brushed finish stainless steel and special glass. I didn’t know that you can pull out the shelves or that they are made of unfinished wood so that the chemicals in paint don’t tarnish the taste of your wine. And I didn’t know that they are supposed to be quiet and barely hum.

Well, I found out all about it by reading the reviews. I selected a mid-size mid-price model that ran me more than four hundred bucks. But it holds 32 bottles and at the perfect temperature. You never get reds that are too cold or whites that need more chilling. It is an under counter design, but they also come free standing and even in slim size for modest spaces. I was very sure about it, and in fact hit the jackpot. It is now the focal point of my entertainment center when guests first enter, although it does disappear from attention in no time once the screen comes alive.