Everybody loves good wine. It makes sense if you always have fresh, cool wine to serve visitors or drink yourself after a long day at work. And this works if you have a wine cellar that keeps its content in a desirable condition and temperature for a long time.
There are many places you could store wine at home, including:
- A basement wine cellar
- Kitchen wine pantry
- Converting a flex space into a wine room
- The dining room
- Wine storage in the living room
- Somewhere under the stairs.
But whatever storage space you’re using as a wine cellar, how do you ensure it offers the optimal condition that wine needs?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you build the perfect wine cellar at home.
1. Think about the wine cellar’s purpose
What exactly do you want to use the wine cellar for? Is it purely to store wine or to display your amazing collection? If it’s the former, under the stairs or in the basement works just fine. But if it’s the latter, then you want to consider having it in your living room or dining area.
2. Provide the optimal storage conditions for wine
The ideal condition for storing wine for a long time is around 55°F (13°C) and 60-70% relative humidity. You should never keep your wine below 25°F, which may cause freezing, or above 68°F, which can cause premature aging.
If you don’t have any part of your home where this is naturally obtainable, you will have to create a controlled environment for your wine cellar.
You could use wine coolers for short-term storage, but their temperature variations and humidity are not particularly optimal for long-term storage.
You can store your wine in darkness, and it will age well.
3. The three critical components of a wine cellar
Every wine cellar requires three critical components to fair well: insulation, moisture barrier, and an airtight seal.
Aim for at least R12 and maximum R30 insulation. Wrap a 6-mil polyethylene sheeting around the wine cellar outside the insulation to prevent moisture from entering or escaping. Finally, the door should prevent air from coming in when closed.
You may think that concrete walls work well for wine cellars, but they don’t. Concrete is porous and is therefore unable to keep moisture out, so you’ll need additional insulation. Glass also requires additional insulation as it’s poor in that regard.
4. Save money by using the right cooling system
Everybody wants their wine cold or at least cool, so a cooling unit within your cellar is a must-have.
There are different types of cooling units, including:
- Through-the-wall cooling system
- Split cooling systems
- Ducted cooling systems
Each comes at a different price, pros, and cons, so you want to go for what works for you.
5. Ensure you have the best wines always
Going off to a store to restock when you’re running low on wine can be a hassle, and you don’t ever want your cellar to go empty. Wine subscriptions can be the perfect solution. Look for the best wine subscription that will provide you with wine that matches your taste and personality every month. With that, you and your visitors will always have something relaxing to cool your nerves when you reach into your wine cellar.
There you have it — how to set up your wine cellar at home. It’s pretty easy! Once you’ve figured out how you want to use the cellar, determining its best position is easy. Create the optimal wine environment, and stock up!
How Long Does Building a Wine Cellar Take?
Each wine cellar will be distinctive to the house in which it is constructed. The location of the new room will be one of the most important aspects because no two will ever be the same. The cellar needs to be as well aired as possible and should be out of direct sunlight, among other things to take into consideration. This can occasionally be a pretty simple choice. However, it can also be more involved in some, particularly if the chosen room is small, which might reduce the overall capacity of your room.
Especially if you are hiring a professional designer, who would want to acquire the best understanding of the space in which they will be working, make sure you allot enough time for a full examination of the chosen room. They could need to change the proposed room from what you had in mind or otherwise alter it to fit the available space.
The exciting part begins when the site has been examined and a room has been chosen. If you hire a designer, they will start by creating a plan that works with the available area while also taking the planned cellar’s capacity and functioning into consideration. To ensure you receive the style you desire and that it blends in with the rest of your home, they will also pay close attention to the new room’s aesthetics.
Making sure you and the designer are on the same page with regard to the overall design of the room will help speed up one of the most time-consuming steps in the process. Choose between a traditional aesthetic with oak racks and a more contemporary metal look. Of course, if you’re doing the job yourself, you’ll already have the concepts in mind; all you have to do is create a plan and get started.
When it comes to the characteristics and use of your new wine room, there are a number of factors to take into consider. For instance, choosing the right racking—label forward or cork forward—depends on the size of the bottles you intend to keep. Adding glass affects the cooling system requirements, regardless of whether the room is completely glass-fronted, has a glass door, or is left open. Spend plenty of time getting the finishing touches just perfect and make sure you are completely aware of all the possibilities for lighting, flooring, wall, and door finishes, as well as temperature and climate management.
What purpose you want your new cellar to serve is another important decision you’ll need to examine carefully. Do you want your vast collection to be the focal point of your home, something you can show off to visitors, or are you just searching for a place to store it in bulk? While in the former scenario your major concern will be rack and cooling unit sizes to make the most of the available space, in the later case you may need to make a capacity compromise to ensure you can display your bottles effectively.
The start of the actual construction on your home makes this the most thrilling phase of the entire process. But the procedure goes well beyond simply mounting some shelves. Vapor barriers must be installed (closed cell foam is recommended) and the entire room must be sealed, depending on the location you have chosen. Before applying the final finishes, which are typically constructed of drywall or redwoods, the process will likely include involve constructing and insulating the walls.
The space will play a significant role in how long the installation process takes. Larger places require more labor, which means it will probably take longer. Before a significant percentage of the work can be completed, paints, stains, and floors must have enough time to dry and set properly. At this point, it is crucial to have good insulation in climate-controlled buildings. It can save your cooling system a ton of maintenance in the future and you tens of thousands of dollars over time.
At this point, your journey will finally come to an end. To properly protect your wine collection, the cellar doors will not only be installed but also tested to make sure they produce a good seal. The actual wine racks, your chosen cooling system, and any additional amenities, such as a wine refrigerator system, follow next. Lighting and any other aesthetics you have picked will be the last items to be implemented.
It’s crucial not to speed through this final stage, even if it could be frustrating because you’ll want your collection brought in as quickly as possible. Many of these systems will need to undergo thorough testing and inspection to make sure they don’t develop issues that might ultimately cost a lot of money to fix. But after everything is finished, you may start using your new wine cellar.
Although there are many aspects to take into consideration when estimating how long it would take to create a wine cellar, readers should now have a better grasp of how long it will take. Whether you’re a DIY pro who is building your new cellar on your own or you’ve hired a professional. We take great delight in supplying a wide variety of wine racks, cooling units, wine coolers, and much more to solve the problem of wine storage.
Location and Other Considerations
There are a few important factors to take into consideration once you determine whether a wine cellar is a perfect choice for you. Consider first where the wine cellar will be located and how much space it would require in your house. A new wine cellar may be the ideal addition to your basement. If you don’t have much room, you’ll need to designate a spot in your house where you can keep a few bottles. A modest wine cellar might fit perfectly in a different area of your kitchen. Even the area beneath a stairway can be utilized for creative wine storage.
Make sure to consider the location and pick the coldest or place with the most humidity in your home. If the new wine cellar will be a significant addition to your house, consider the project’s scope. If you’re building an addition to your house, consider structural adjustments like soffits, wall studs, and new drywall installation, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
Things to Consider Before You Build
When you’re ready to construct a wine cellar, there are many important factors to consider before committing. Before you begin planning your new cellar, keep the following points in mind:
- What use will the wine cellar serve? Will you use it to host friends or will you just use it as a place to store your favorite wines? Before you start working on incorporating new components into the framework, make sure the area is fully cleaned and decluttered.
- Learn how to properly maintain and store your wine. Your prized bottle of vintage red wine can be wasted if the wrong storage conditions allow it to spoil. Investigate the possibility of including particular elements like the appropriate insulation, a vapor or moisture barrier, and measures to guarantee that your wine cellar has an airtight seal.
- Consider the components you’ll be using in your wine cellar. Glass is a poor insulator, despite its attractive appearance. If you absolutely must have a glass door, make sure it is double-glazed or has an argon-filled space in between two panes to insulate the space. Although concrete is frequently used for basement walls, if you intend to store wine there, the walls will require additional insulation. Since plywood can survive dampness better than drywall, use it to cover or construct new walls.
- Invest in a good, high-quality cooling system to maintain the ideal temperature. In order to save money in the long run, it is a good idea to spend a little more up front on something high-quality. Without the proper cooling system in place, basements frequently get very warm.
- You can either choose a prebuilt rack that will hold the number of bottles you want or build your own customized wine rack.
- Wine bottles come in a range of sizes and shapes, so be sure to build shelving or racks that can be adjusted or have various designs to accommodate various bottle sizes.
- Make sure your budget is well thought out in advance and try not to go over it. If you don’t believe you can stay inside your budget by doing things yourself, speak with multiple contractors and receive a few quotations.
Maintaining Your Wine Cellar
It’s essential to keep your new wine cellar so that your bottles of wine stay in good condition, even though you undoubtedly want it to look amazing with some stylish decor. The following advice will help you take proper care of your wine cellar:
- Purchase a reliable digital thermometer and hygrometer because they are necessary for maintaining a constant temperature and humidity level that will keep wine fresh. To help you keep an eye on the conditions in your wine cellar, a hygrometer measures the air’s humidity levels. To check the status of your wine cellar from your phone, look for new items with wireless capabilities.
- Don’t allow dust collect on the wine bottles in your wine cellar. To stop pests from making your wine cellar their home, clean up any spills or broken bottles as away.
- To get a clear view of everything in your wine cellar, use some soft lighting. Since recessed lighting won’t take up much room, it’s a wonderful option for basements. Avoid harsh, ultra-bright lighting that can affect the quality and flavor of your wine and choose for light fixtures that produce a subtle, mellow glow instead. Since LED lights don’t generate a lot of heat, they are a suitable option.
- Select a room in your house that receives indirect sunlight, if at all possible. If your wine cellar contains windows, be careful to cover them with quality room-darkening drapes or shades.
Wine Storage Guide
While keeping your wine cellar in good shape is essential, you should also make sure your wine is stored appropriately.
- Amino acids in wine have the potential to oxidize when exposed to light and alter the flavor. Keep your wine in a cool, dark location away from fluorescent lights and bright sunlight. Since white wine is typically bottled in clear glass by wineries, it is particularly susceptible to sunlight. When you first open your wine, give it a sniff to check for any disagreeable aromas that can indicate oxidation.
- Corked wine bottles should be stored on their sides rather than upright. This will prevent the cork from rotting or disintegrating by slowing the oxidation process and keeping it moist. Twist-top bottles can be kept upright, however wine should generally be arranged horizontally in racks.
- A bottle of wine usually lasts little longer than a week once it is opened. If it’s been re-corked, white wine and rose can be stored in the refrigerator for five to seven days. If the cork is replaced and the wine is kept cool and dark, it should last three to five days.
- The fact that wine may actually absorb powerful scents may surprise you. Over time, aromas from things like onions or even your kitchen trash can get inside the cork and end up in the wine if wine is exposed to them. By keeping it apart from everything else in your home, you can keep your wine from being exposed to unpleasant odors. To prevent bad odors from leaking into your wine cellar, add a door with an airtight seal.
- You can choose to have your wine racks built out of metal or solid wood. If you want to cut costs, making your own DIY wine racks is simple. For a unique appearance, you can even select your preferred type of wood and finish it in the color of your choice. Just be sure to create enough racks so that there is space left over to hold a lot of bottles.
Store and Care for Your Wine in Style
Keeping your wine securely kept is easy with a personalized wine cellar. If you want to use this area for entertaining guests or hosting tastings, look online for some original decor and lighting ideas. If you’re going to make significant renovations to your property, you can build your wine cellar yourself or hire a contractor. Making your own wine cellar should be a simple task if you are only selecting a little place, such as a space under a staircase. Follow these recommendations for appropriate wine storage to ensure that it lasts for many years before you decide to open it.
A fantastic way to enjoy your favorite bottles of wine while keeping them safe is to build a personalized wine cellar in your home. Look for one-of-a-kind design inspiration and ideas that can help you give your storage area a personal touch. Keep wine bottles out of direct sunlight, and make sure the air is always at the right temperature and humidity. Your new wine cellar will be the pride of the neighborhood with these easy ideas.
It takes careful planning, close attention to detail, and dedication to uphold the best conditions for wine storage and maturation to construct the ideal wine cellar.