By Serena Tomlin. Wine Cellar Types. Published at Thursday, May 31st, 2018 - 08:54:53 AM.
Proper aging of wine requires that you keep wine undisturbed as well as at a constant temperature. While wine refrigerators are built to handle these tasks for you, wine cellars will require some preparation. You will need to invest in an cellar cooling system for this purpose. While cellaring wine can be expensive, someone with a large wine collection and a desire to age wine will surely benefit from this investment.
Humidity control is another valid concern. Damp air keeps wine corks from drying out, which forces the cork to stay expanded and ensures a firm seal. Laying a bottle on its side will also ensure the cork remains moist on the inside, which is just as important to keep the cork swollen. The ideal humidity level for your cellar is 55%-85%. If you’re concerned about humidity, buy a hygrometer to measure your cellar's humidity level. You can always install a humidifier if your cellar is dry, but be careful not to let the humidity rise much above 90% as this will cause mold to grow on the corks.
Your wine cellar is more than just a storage solution, it’s a room where your collection can be displayed in all its glory, which is why lighting plays a big part in the overall décor. We’d recommend installing low-voltage or LED lights, as these will give off the least amount of heat. Using bold bright lighting can risk damaging the wine, so opt for a lighting solution that allows you to read the labels clearly without causing too hot an environment. It’s a good idea to install set timers and motion sensors in the cellar to make sure lights are only on when necessary. If lights are left on for long periods, this could heat up the cellar and put all your efforts to waste. Recessed lighting and sconces can provide fairly subtle, yet effective lighting solutions.
Things to Consider Before Building: A custom built wine cellar in the home is not as difficult an undertaking, nor as formidable an expense as you might fear initially. Ideal storage conditions for wine are simple, the bottles must be stored in a vibration free dark environment, lying horizontally and undisturbed, the temperature a constant 52 - 57 degrees Fahrenheit (10-15 degrees centigrade), and relative humidity no less than 70 percent. Where shall we put it? If one had the freedom (or luxury) of being able to carry out structural alterations (or even better, build from scratch), our personal preference would be a location with easy access from the living or dining room, preferably the former.
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