What Makes a Good Wine Cellar?
We all love a good glass of wine. A whole closet or room full of it? Even better. A wine cellar adds elegance and beauty to your home, and it is the perfect feature to show off while you’re entertaining other wine connoisseurs. Whether you prefer red or white, a wine cellar is a fantastic addition to any wine lover’s home.
A great deal of planning and detail goes into creating a custom wine cellar—including climate control, proper lighting, and storage. Thinking about building a wine cellar in your home? Call Meridian Construction’s experienced craftsmen to schedule your consultation today!
Critical Qualities of a Good Wine Cellar
The key to making a wine cellar or wine room “good” is its climate control. Just like the weather, climate-controlled wine cellars have two elements: temperature and humidity. These can be affected in more ways than you think (it’s not just throwing your bottles in a fridge).
Finding the “Sweet Spot” Temperature
Wine thrives in a very particular environment. Most experts would suggest that your wine cellar’s temperature remain between 51°F and 59°F. Anywhere above or below, you risk ruining the aging process of your wine and creating unfortunate chemical reactions (think vinegar). Hotter temperatures speed up the aging process, while lower temperatures slow it down. Finding the “sweet spot” allows your wine to age beautifully.
An extra note: Something that homeowners may not consider when building their wine cellar is its placement in relation to possible heat sources. Is your wine cellar going to be in your basement opposite the furnace? Any heat source you can think of, keep your wine away from it!
Humidity’s Effect on Wine
The corks of your wine bottles need proper moisture to maintain their seal. However, like temperature, finding the perfect degree of humidity, which can range from 50 to 70% (57% being the ideal), takes some careful planning. If your wine cellar’s humidity drops below 50, you risk drying the cork and unsealing your wine. Oxygen then flows through the bottle and changes the taste, and too much oxidation makes good wine smell more like sherry. However, if there’s too much moisture in the air, mold (yuck!) can develop in the cork and neck of the bottles.
How to “Climate Control” My Wine Cellar
Our experts have several suggestions for building or renovating your wine cellar:
- Basements make for great wine cellars. It’s called a “cellar,” after all!
- Determine the humidity and average temperature of your wine cellar (or the space where it will be).
- Install high-quality insulation to help sustain both temperature and humidity.
- Ever wonder why most wine cellars in pictures and movies have soft lighting? It’s not just for setting the mood. If the lighting in your wine cellar is too harsh, it can act as a sneaky source of heat.
- Ask for professional help, especially when installing climate control like wine cooling systems, exhaust rooms, and humidifiers/dehumidifiers. Meridian Construction has experience building both beautiful and functional wine cellars, like this Tuscan-style wine cellar in Blue Bell, PA.
Wine Cellar Innovations: How to Make My Wine Cellar Great
Your choice in storage and materials transforms your good wine cellar into a great one. Are you going for a simplistic design? Would you like to display the labels of your prized collection? Will you use cobblestone slabs and wood, or will you go uber-modern? Whatever you decide, the designers at Meridian Construction can help you plan and execute your customized wine storage.
Thinking about adding a wine cellar, or updating your current one? Call 215-720-1863 or complete our online form to schedule your consultation with Meridian Construction today!
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