Do I need a wine cooler?
Let's take things from the beginning. A wine, as it waits to be opened, it must be stored horizontally. It does not like the temperature fluctuations at all, it dislikes the heat and is intolerant to the intense light, especially to the sun light.
Do you have a dark basement with a relatively constant cool temperature and enough room to put shelves on which you'll put the bottles that deserve to mature? It's very important to mention that there should be no odors of mold, color, pesticides and anything else that could affect your favorite wines. If you have, then you clearly do not need a wine cooler. If you do not have one, then even a small wine cooler will be a safe heaven for the wines you want to keep for the next years. There are wine coolers in all sizes. The size may vary from very small, for those that may hold only a few bottles to extremely big with the size of a double-wardrobe. If you know or you can predict what your capacity requirements will be in the next few years, choose accordingly.
Don't get dazzled by the impressive, modern, glossy wine coolers. Since the reason you're buying one is mainly practical, you shouldn't be that interested in the appearance. Our advice it to prefer those with the non-transparent facade that excludes any contact with light.
Are single-variety wines better than blends?
Let's start from the fact that some of the best wines are blends. Think about it. If the winemaker was a painter, then using more grapes is like having more colors on his pallet to paint. You can easily understand that he might be able to achieve exactly the taste he wants. By combining grapes of different varieties the wine maker can get the characteristics he wants or affect those he does not like. For example, a Cabernet Sauvignon, which by its nature has intense tannins, will soften a lot if it is combined with a small quantity of Merlot. Malagouzia will add fruity aromas to a robust Assyrtiko, giving a lighter and fruitier blend.
This in no way means that blends are better than single-variety wines, that are made from a single variety. If the producer is satisfied with the wine he makes from a single variety, that expresses its features nicely, he has no reason to blend it with others.
What does decanting do?
Simply put, decanting allows tight red wines to breathe, aerate and release their fragrances. On the other hand, in older vintage red wines, decanting allows the removal of the sediment that is probably created over time. Beyond the effect, decanting carafe has a practical raison d'être.
It is more common in the new world where they decant almost everything. Here we tend to think that the wine's stay in the glass is enough, without being always right, though.
Our advice? Leave the red wines in the decanter for about half an hour. After the end of use, wash the decanter with hot water, without soap or other cleanser.