Many wine collectors buy quantities of wine in order to age them over longer periods of time. Because of this, it will be necessary provide a cellar area in your home where the atmosphere can be controlled to meet ideal conditions. This may mean purchasing a self contained unit, converting a room or closet, or building out a new room. This article will provide some tips and considerations for building out a new wine cellar room.
The first consideration should be for the size of the cellar and the amount of wines being stored. If you are limited on space then that may be the factor that determines how many wines you can store. Otherwise you should consider how much you want to store and make sure you add some additional room for growth.
A second consideration would be for location. This should be in area that does not fluctuate as much in temperature, lighting or humidity conditions either throughout the day or throughout various seasonal changes. For most people this will be a space somewhere in their basement where the climate is more ideal and more stable. Whether you decide to build out a new cellar or convert an existing space, keep in mind that you will likely have device to control temperature and possibly humidity. This may require ventilation either into an adjacent space or outside.
Since this new space will have a climate different from the surrounding areas, you'll want to have insulated walls. Since you will also have a higher humidity in your cellar, you should consider providing a vapor barrier. This could be in the form of paneling or green board drywall materials.
You should also consider providing an exterior grade door that will provide a proper level of isolation for maintaining your ideal conditions within your cellar.
Once you have your space built out you will need to provide the actual storage units for the wine. The most popular is to use unfinished wood wine racks. These are typically made out of a harder wood such as redwood or mahogany. Just be sure to provide a system that allows for the bottle to be stored on their side and is easily accessible to each bottle. Most wine bottles are sold in the 750 ml size, but the larger magnum size is becoming popular. Wine actually ages better in this larger magnum size because the ratio of possible oxygen to wine is much lower. Consider providing racks for this larger size as well. Sizes above the magnum are just too bulky and clumsy to store.
You can also consider wine boxes that can be used to store whole cases of wines. These are a lesser expensive and more efficient way to store like wines. However, it does not make sense to store different types or vintages of wines in these cubes as it would require you to disturb other bottles of wines in order to get to the ones you want.
If you have tall wine racks, you should consider having a rolling ladder installed that will make it easier to reach wines near the top of your racks. The ladder should be easily rolled on the floor in front of the rack. Consider the type of flooring you might use if you plan to have a rolling ladder.
A wine cart on wheels is a convenient portable option for housing and serving wine. These will typically hold about 30 bottles and have a serving tray or multiple layers of trays on top. If you plan to do a lot of entertaining, this can be helpful tool for serving multiple wines to a large number of guests.