In Italy wine cellars are everywhere, some are simple others are elaborate, some date back centuries others are modern and full of technology.
In America the idea of a wine cellar seems somewhat distant, reminiscent of the old world. Most wine enthusiasts would never consider an actual wine cellar as even being a possibility, settling instead for a nice wine rack in their basement, or a good wine cooler.
However, having an actual wine cellar in your home does not need to be just fantasy, it really isn’t that hard to put one together. While it is true that you could spend tens of thousands of dollars constructing one, it doesn’t have to be all that expensive. Regardless of your budget, there are enough options out there that you can put together a wine cellar.
This article will hopefully inspire you to consider the idea of putting in a wine cellar. So let’s start dreaming!
Where to Put Your Wine Cellar
Where to put your wine cellar is the obvious first question, and the one that will affect all of the others. For example, you can not decide on shelving, lighting, temperature control, furniture, etc until you know where you will be and how much space you have there.
The best place for your wine cellar would be a basement, if you have one. Basements are great because they are usually dark and the temperature and humidity are usually very close to ideal for wine. Thus it will be much easier to adjust the temperature, humidity and lighting without too much cost or effort.
If you don’t have a basement, don’t worry there are plenty of other options. Some people convert a walk-in closet, pantry, spare bedroom, or even the space under the stairs. Take a walk through your house looking at the different possibilities, you might be surprised just what you come up with!
How Big Should a Wine Cellar Be?
The answer depends mostly on how much wine you want to store and whether or not you will want a sitting area in your wine cellar. A couch or a couple of sitting chairs really add a nice touch and can create a surreal atmosphere to escape the outside world and enjoy a nice bottle of wine!
However, the main, practical, purpose of a wine cellar is to age and keep wine in the ideal conditions, so you really don’t need all that much room. That is why some people will put a cellar in under the stairs or in an old coat closet.
It all depends on what you want and how much space you have to work with.
The Temperature and Humidity Factor
This is a very important aspect of any wine cellar, and it is here that many people get discouraged. However, there is no reason to be anxious, while it is true that it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in wine cooling equipment, it can also be as simple as investing in a humidifier and air conditioner unit!
The ideal temperature for most wines is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The perfect humidity range would be between 50 and 70 percent humidity. So, it is obvious why basements are such a good choice.
Lighting for Your Wine Cellar
Wine should never be in kept direct sunlight, so windows could be avoided all together, however, if you plan on spending time in your wine cellar, maybe putting in some sitting furniture, you may want to put a window in. If you decide to do so it is important that the room is put together in such a way that the sunlight never comes into direct contact with your wine bottles.
Artificial lighting is not as crucial as sunlight, however, it should also be takin into consideration. Pick lighting that doesn’t give off any heat, and don’t make it too bright.
Should You Include a Wine Cooler?
This may seem to defeat the purpose of a wine cellar, however, it could actually be a good idea. As we mentioned before, the ideal temperature for storing and aging wine is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. However, some bottles are best when served at slightly lower temperatures, especially white and sparkling wines.
So including a stylish wine cooler in your wine cellar might actually be a smart idea.
At the end of this brief article we hope the idea of a personal wine cellar doesn’t seem as distant to you. It is well worth the effort, it will bring you much satisfaction, it will make for a great conversation piece among your friends, and it will add to your enjoyment of the produce of the vine!