The good guide to wine cellar
Being a wine connoisseur, you always found it unacceptable that
you do not have the appropriate storage place for your
collection of vintage wines. All your dream home now needs to
make it absolutely perfect is a wine cellar were you can store
all your wines bought over the holiday season for later
enjoyment or to toast a later special occasion. You might also
consider having fun experimenting and analyzing the wine as it
matures and make notes of its changes in tastes and structure as
it matures over time. By adding such a storage room to you home
enables you do buy young wines and allow it to mature to its
optimum state and derive the greatest benefit from it.
If you are planning a new home it might be easier to allow for
this space within the architecture of the building for optimal
ambient results within the cellar, but even with a little
initiative a lot of futile spaces in your existing home can be
converted to a wine cellar. All that is required for such a
cellar is temperature which can be controlled, moderate
humidity, good ventilation and to be as dark as possible. If you
have a large enough space you could even include a table or
comfortable couch for the occasional private wine tasting in
peace and quiet.
Below follows a few key factors to consider when planning you
own wine cellar:
Temperature is at the top of the list for the reason that it is
the single most important factor to consider when planning or
installing your own wine cellar. The wines should be stored at a
constant temperature as far as possible as fluctuations in
temperature will damage the wines over time. It is said that the
most favorable temperature range for a wide variety of wines is
between 6 and 18 degrees Celsius, the higher the temperature the
earlier the wines will mature. It might be wise to get a more
accurate opinion from a wine maker for a specific type of wine
that needs to be stored.
To keep the corks of the wines elastic and to prevent shrinkage
thereof an optimal humidity level of 70 per cent is most often
specified. Depending on the type of wine collection in your
cellar a humidity level of between 60 and 80 per cent would also
suffice to keep the corks resilient enough to allow the most
advantageous ‘breathing’ of the wines.
Wine ages prematurely when subjected to too much light during
its bottled lifetime, hence the darker colored glass bottles for
packaging. Ensure that your wines are kept in complete darkness
as far as possible especially if there are clear bottled wines
in your collection. The most favored source of lighting for any
type of wine cellar is incandescent or sodium vapor lights.
A constant airflow though the cellar is imperative for the
non-contamination of the corks of the bottles and keeping the
impurities in the surrounding air out of the wines. Never store
food or other goods even if it is packages in your cellar as
this could also penetrate the wines through the corks especially
when the ventilation in the room is not sufficient. By ensuring
a steady air flow in your cellar you can be sure the wine
maintains its original taste.
As far as possible plan your wine cellar as far away from noise
and vibrations for example next to the garage or if your
property faces a busy main road rather try to place your cellar
at the back of the house where it can have peace and quiet away
from vibrations that will disturb the red wine sediment and
spoil the wine. The wines should be stored in a horizontal
position in shelves so that the wine stays in contact with the
cork and should be moved as rarely as possible.
Future planning and expansion of the wine cellar should be
carefully planned beforehand so that the existing precious wines
are not disturbed when shelves are added onto the space.