Wine cellars come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles. But without a doubt, if you are a wine aficionado, it has probably been one of your fondest wishes to own your own wine cellar where bottles of your favorite vintages are aging to perfection. If you are a true wine lover, nothing beats having your own collection of favorites ready to share with like-minded friends.
Wine cellars can be built for just about every budget and storage situation. You do not even have to have a dedicated spare room for the smaller versions that are simply a rack designed to hold a few bottles and have them on display. Depending on factors like budget, available space and one's interest level, wine cellars vary remarkably and you will be able to find one sufficient suitable to your specific individual needs.
Let's start small with our discussion. The smaller variations that are available hold anywhere from one to two dozen bottles and they're sized just right to fit into a corner of a spare closet or to display in a room of your choice. Depending on how much space you have to work with (and your budget, of course), you might want to look at the larger storage systems. Storage space need not be a limitation to your dream if having a smaller stock on hand is not a problem.
Now let's discuss the important things to consider when planning your cellar. It is crucial to realize that wine is an ever-changing thing and the conditions under which it is stored will affect how well it ages.
Storing wine is very simple when you boil it down to the basics. It requires a constant temperature, humidity level, darkness, stillness (stored away from vibrations) and a well-ventilated clean area.
Folks who are only storing a few bottles of their favorites will probably not be able to control all of these variables as well as someone who is building a designated area for their wine cellar like a close closet or room in the house but even if you are only storing a few bottles on display, it's best to store them in the best available space.
Those people who are building a dedicated space for their wine cellars will want to consider the following recommended requirements:
1) Insulation – It is well advised to have a room that is well insulated to keep the room's temperature as stable as possible. It will be far easier to build an insulated room above ground than one below as it takes about three feet of dirt to provide the same insulation as 4 "of fiberglass insulation or form insulation.
2) Temperature – It is generally accepted that a good temperature range for storing wine is between 50 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit (10 – 15 degrees Celsius) It is imperative to keep the temperature of your storage area below the mid-70's Fahrenheit to prevent deterioration of your wine.
3) Humidity – Wine with natural corks requires a relative humidity level of around 70% to insure the cork's ability to do its job but anywhere from 50% to 80% is probably suitable. Lower humidity levels can allow corks to dry out, permitting air to reach the wine and then ever spoiling it.
4) Darkness – Light will basically age a bottle of wine so the best option for good storage includes a dark area where the wine is exposed to only occasional light.
5) Finally, do not forget to store your bottles on their sides. The wine in a well stored horizontal bottle will be in contact with the bottle's cork, keeping the cork wet and preventing shrinkage which will allow air to enter the bottle.
There are many different types of wine cellars available and this article should help you select one that is just right for you.