Posted on December 12 2016
Any serious wine connoisseur needs a space in their house to store that prized collection built up over much time, effort and travels. With a little effort and planning, you can create a wine cellar in your own home that will be the envy of all your friends. Keep the following in mind when building your cellar to make it a dream environment for you and your wines:
Optimal use of space
Traditionally, underground rooms were preferred for cellaring wine, due to the lack of natural light, ambient ground temperature and higher humidity provided by these spaces. With space becoming an ever more luxurious commodity though, it makes sense to use whatever gap you have in your home. So if you're tight on space, an unused closet or space under a staircase can be customised with great success to house your wine collection.
For optimal ageing, your wines need a cool and relatively humid space to rest. Air-conditioning between 11-14 ᵒC is ideal. Special wine cellar cooling units are designed to keep the temperature and humidity in your home cellar at tip-top levels for wine maturation, as well as offering the necessary ventilation.
Your cellar should be a dark space with little or no windows as direct sunlight can spoil your wine. To help keep the temperature in your cellar constant, lights you install should also be cool and not heat-emitting – LEDs are a good option. You can also install light dimmers for that romantic, cavernous cellar atmosphere.
When it comes to racking, you can go with natural wood finishes for a more traditional, or stainless steel for a more contemporary feel, depending on your personal style and what fits your house. Another good tip is to keep your favourite wines, or the ones you will likely be drinking more often, on a central rack in your cellar that is within easy reach. Remember that your wines should be stored sideways so the cork stays moist and doesn't dry out. Screwcapped wines can be stored in any position.
People often collect wine because they attach a certain sentimental value to it. A bottle can for example stir up memories of a vineyard you visited or winemaker you met during your adventures abroad. Or it can help you to relive a special moment like your wedding day or the birth of your children. For this reason alone it is worth investing in a safe and beautiful storage space for your wine treasures where you can enjoy them to the fullest. Keep a record of your collection and open a bottle when its age or the occasion calls for it. Wine is ultimately made for drinking, after all. Cheers!