What Makes A Great Wine Cellar?

Many wine enthusiasts, collectors, and sommeliers share a dream of owning their very own wine cellar featuring popular vintages from exotic wine regions. However, there are vital factors that determine the proper functioning of the cellar so that wines are stored perfectly.

Anyone can get a good cellar for wines built in their backyard or basement. But to create an excellent cellar, one must first decide on the kind of wines, and how much one intends to store. Following are some factors to consider:

● Size of room
● Ideal insulation, temperature, and humidity
● The best style and make of racks

Construction of cellars for wine needs strategic planning. Such planning comprises guidelines on how to store various kinds of wine. Creativity is as important as technical factors.

Size of cellar
The ideal size of a cellar for wines depends on the size of the collection. It also depends on the kind of racks and overall design.

Basically, one can fit nearly 500 bottles of wine in a room of 25 square feet. There will be racks lining each wall of such a room. But when the wine collection grows, size factors become tricky. So, one must always plan for the future. A wine collector must think 10 to 20 years ahead so as to plan for new bottles of wine.

Best storage conditions
The crucial factor for a great cellar is to know the proper conditions and techniques of storage. Following are the major aspects:

Temperature
The quality of wine can be impacted by the smallest of temperatures. Experts have found that the smallest variations in temperature will speed up many chemical reactions linked to ageing of wine. The best tip is to keep it cool but not too cool- ideally at 55 degrees F.

What if it becomes too hot?
With regard to wine storage, too much heat is enemy number one. If the temperature exceeds 70-degree F, the wine will age faster than required. Since heat speeds up the aging process, frequent tracking and monitoring of temperature is critical.

If the temperature soars beyond 70-degree F, it will cook the wine; there will be a dull, stewed flavour caused by heat.

What if it gets too cold?
When the heat has been ranked as enemy number one, cold is just behind as number 2 enemy. Keeping a good bottle of wine in the fridge and permitting it to get excessively cold can be equally devastating.

Storing wine in the fridge for a few months may be fine. But anything longer will harm the longevity of the wine. The average temperature in a fridge will dip below 45 degrees which is the least temperature to store wine.

Humidity
Levels of moisture or humidity are another crucial component of a good cellar for wine. The ideal levels of humidity must be around 50 % to 70%. Proper balance is vital, like temperature. If humidity climbs above 70%, it will result in mould around the bottles and cellar, damaging the glue and labels around them.

But if the humidity drops below 50%, there will be quick drying of corks, resulting in too much airflow into the bottle, causing rapid ageing, and the wine can go bad fast.
To sort out issues of humidity, the best solution is to install a humidifier in the cellar. Both humidity and temperature can be controlled.

Insulation
This is the comprehensive factor that maintains the right temperature and humidity in the cellar. One will need to make an insulated space that will create a moisture barrier and help control the environment. One will also need an air-tight seal on the door for accessing the cellar.

Kinds of racks
Racks are available in multiple styles and types. Some of the popular designs are:

● Scalloped
● Cubes or bins
● Stackable
● Table-top
● Lattice cube

The best wine cellars have racks that ensure:
● Proper storage conditions for wine
● They have space efficiency
● They fit the aesthetic design of the room
● They are sturdy enough to endure shocks and vibrations.

In sum, these are some aspects about the construction of a great wine cellar.

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