Stellar Wine Cellar

If you are a lover of all things wine, and you find yourself with a collection that just keeps on growing, you have probably considered giving your wine it's own space in your home. That is unless, of course, you already have one. 

Here's everything you need to know about building a stellar wine cellar.

Store your wine in style:
Find the ideal place to set up your cellar. This should be a section or a room in your home that is away from any outside walls, and where there is no direct sunlight. Ideally, this would be in your basement, but if you want to show off your collection more easily to friends and family, you can create this space in a central location in your home so long as you prepare it properly. Be sure to use wine racks that suit your style and the right lighting to illuminate your collection. Depending on the size of your wine collection, cellars can be as small as 30 square feet, or as large as you can imagine, but it is important to note that you will need an exhaust room next to it, as well as framing, insulation, and drywall in the main structure.

Keep your collection cool:
The main point of not having direct sunlight on your wine cellar is that the heat from that light will likely spoil your wine. A cellar is best kept at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that your wine doesn't age too quickly in the heat, or too slowly when it's too cold. Temperature is surprisingly a factor when considering the type of lighting you would like in your cellar. Of course you want this space to look as amazing as the wine you're storing in it, but beware of hot lights. The best option is LED lighting since the bulbs do not generate much heat and can be used throughout your cellar. These lights will add a decorative flair to this space without costing you your fabulous wine.

This is Florida, so we know a little something about how humidity can ruin your good hair day, but it can just as easily ruin your wine. When you are building your wine cellar, be sure to install a wall cooling unit that can reduce the level of humidity. You will want to keep the humidity level around 60% as anything above 70% can lead to mold growth in your wine corks, and anything under 50% runs the risk of drying out the corks, thus ruining your wine. Since the cooling unit is not able to add humidity, you can easily keep a humidifier in your cellar to balance this out, or if you're feeling more creative, you can add an indoor waterfall to create the humidity necessary to keep the balance in the room.

Do not disturb:
Wine is essentially a living thing, so, like a bear in the woods, you'll not want to disturb it. When storing your wine, you should lay the bottles on their side with the label facing upward. This will allow you to see which wines you have without picking up the bottle or turning it around. The less you move your wine, the better. In fact, you should not pick up a bottle in your cellar until you are ready to drink it. You also do not want to have any loud noises near your wine since the vibrations of the sound will move the content of the bottles, therefore speeding up the chemical reactions that age wine. Finally, you want to avoid any pungent smells in your cellar since these scents can permeate through the corks and seriously affect the taste of your wine. This room should be used for the sole purpose of holding your wine collection to ensure that your wine is stored to perfection.

The gift that keeps on giving:
One of DCWAF's amazing Board Members, Joan Carter, knows how to give a gift! She shared with us that she bought her first refrigerated wine cellar as a gift for her loving husband for their first anniversary. She also tells us that, "great wine shared with family and friends makes a great wine cellar" and we could not agree more! For those just starting out, Joan recommends that the best way to build your wine collection is by ordering twice as much wine as you normally would so you can enjoy half now and half later.

Whether you're an expert at wine storage, or just an expert at drinking wine, a cellar is a great way to grow your collection. If you follow our tips, you'll start enjoying your delightfully aged wine in no time.



- Melissa Vidaurre

Source: 1, 2 

Published on Thursday, August 4, 2016