The basement is one of the most common places to locate a wine cellar. It provides a large space to set up a decently sized wine cellar and is fairly easy to maintain in terms of temperature and humidity. Unlike other rooms in the house, the basement does not experience much variation in both temperature and humidity.
If you do not have a basement or it is being used for some other purpose, look for a corner of your house that is not in the direct line of sunlight or draft. One increasingly common and creative idea is to set up a mini-cellar under the stairs. Often enclosed by glass, under-the-stairs wine cellars can look quite dramatic especially when you plan the lighting properly. If you have a pantry with no windows, that would also make an ideal location for a wine cellar. If you have bar area, you can set up a small wine storage cabinet behind the bar.
Generally, the location depends on the size and design of your home. Wherever you decide to locate it, make sure you are able to control the conditions so as to maintain the integrity of the wine.
Once you have decided on location, you need to figure out what kind of storage you are going to use. Most people opt for wine racks. Wine racks come in a wide range of styles and some companies even offer custom made options.
Even in a small wine cellar, racks can take up surprisingly little space, allowing you to store a significant number of bottles in a limited area. Most wine racks are made from wood though you will come across other made from metal. Make sure you choose the right size. Some racks are small enough to be set down just about anywhere in the house. Others will take up an entire room. For really vast storage, such as one consisting of hundreds or thousands of bottles, consider getting custom wine racks that perfectly match your needs. One other thing to be careful about when buying wine racks is the size of the opening. Some bottles such as Magnum and champagne bottles require large openings.
If you need smaller wine storage, there are many options beyond a wine rack. You can have a wine refrigerator small enough for 50 bottles or a bigger one for a couple hundred bottles or more. Another option is a walk-in vault. These vaults are mini-cellars complete with built-in storage and climate control. Other storage options include wine cabinets and wine lockers.
Related: Wine Storage Solutions: A Cellar Designer’s Underground Secrets
Design and Lighting
Design is an essential part of wine cellars. After all, the collection is a point of great pride for its owner. The design needs to reflect that. When designing a wine cellar, consider working with a contractor to decide on these design elements.
Many wine enthusiasts opt for hardwood flooring to match the wooden wine racks on the walls. Others opt for stone flooring to contrast with the wood racks and create a vintage style. Glass is also a popular material especially for enclosing smaller under-the-stairs wine cellars.
One of the most important aspects of the design is the lighting. There are two things to consider when deciding what kind of lighting to install. One is of course the style. Do you want a warm darker feel or a brighter futuristic vibe? A good idea is to install lights that can change color to reflect the current mood. The second issue is heat. Halogen or incandescent bulbs should never be used because they emit too much heat, which is bad for the wine. LEDs are the best. You can choose from puck lights, strip LEDs or track lights depending on the style you are going for.
Try to highlight specific areas such as wine racks and any other interesting displays. You can also have an assortment of overhead lights providing general illumination.
Here are a few extra tips to keep in mind:
- Select a strong door that is insulated to protect the wine cellar climate. If you want a glass door, make sure it has exterior-grade insulation and should be double-paned. Ideally, a wine cellar should not have windows. If they are present, they should be as properly insulated as the door.
- For flooring, most materials including wood, tile, vinyl and marble are acceptable. The only no-no is carpet. It will develop mold and mildew because of the high humidity levels.
- For a large wine cellar, consider adding a tasting center. This often consists of a table and chairs. Add more seating space if you plan on holding tasting events often.
- Don’t forget about security. Always keep the door to the wine cellar locked to prevent any unauthorized individual from going inside. For really big collections, install a monitoring alarm system as well as cameras.
Setting up a wine cellar is no easy task. There are so many components to work on including storage, climate control, design and security. But if you love your wine, there is no end to the enjoyment after the wine cellar is complete. It becomes a personal sanctuary where you can relax, be happy and admire your priceless collection.
This is an image roundup post, curated to showcase and promote other reputable contracting companies’ and their amazing work. To have any of the images removed, please reach out to us and we would be happy to do so.
Other Great Articles to Read: