How to Build the Perfect Wine Cellar at Home

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!