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The Romans were some of the first people to understand the benefit of keeping their wine underground in cellars. It was a natural way to keep the wine cool and keep it from spoiling. That is why so many wineries still store their products in casks and bottles underground in caverns and caves. It keeps the wine fresh longer, helps it age, and is the best environment for fine wines.
Today, you don't have to dig a hole in the ground to store your favorite vintages, you just need to understand the basics of wine storage, which you'll learn here!
Residential wine cellars have gained popularity as more people have begun to appreciate the value of a diverse wine selection located in the comfort of their home. When you sit down with a company to discuss your custom wine cellar design, here are some steps to follow: Clearly, communicate your needs and desires. Tell them how many bottles you would like to store in your wine cellar, the current size of your collection, what you would like to spend on the project and any time constraints you may have.
Discuss, in detail, the design of your wine cellar. What do your envision for the overall design? Do you want many art elements? Do you want to have several pieces of furniture or would you prefer a sparser look to the space? Minimum or maximum lighting allowed. Do you want specific architectural elements? Splashes of color? Types of wood? Your answers to these questions can help the company involved in your wine cellar construction achieve the desired result.
What challenges will you face in building your custom wine cellar? Depending on the area of the house you have chosen for your wine cellar, there will likely be technical and aesthetic challenges. Go over them in detail with the company, ask questions regarding how they plan to address and overcome them in the construction of your home wine cellar.
During the planning process of your residential wine cellar, allot for wine racks that hold abnormally sized bottles. The average size of a wine bottle is 75 cl. However, larger bottles have become more common and actually store wine better than smaller bottles. A good rule of thumb is to store four to six bottles of your best wine in magnum-sized wine bottles, which are among the largest available. Do not purchase bottles larger than magnum-size because they are difficult to handle and store. Flexible wine racks can accommodate your differently sized wine bottles. Also, remember to group your wines by size for convenience.
Constructing a wine cellar from the ground up is only one option for a home wine cellar. Another common choice is a cellar pit. This prefabricated wine cellar is constructed in a factory, shipped to a wine cellar construction company and installed on the premises of your residence.
A pre-constructed cellar pit takes some of the hassle out of constructing a wine cellar in your home and gives you the ability to own a mobile wine cellar. The location of any home wine cellar is key, so if you find that your cellar pit's location does not work to the benefit of your wine collection, you can have the company move it to find the optimal spot in your home.
A benefit of storing wine in a residential wine cellar is the amount of money you save because of your ability to purchase wine in bulk. Purchasing wine by the case is less expensive. A wine cellar in your home allows you to store your wine properly. Buying wine by the case also means you can purchase larger quantities of wine when it is young and less expensive. Once these bottles have reached maturity, they not only taste better, but also can yield you a higher profit return on your initial investment.
Residential wine cellars should have a variety of wine racking options. A home wine cellar is a chance to display your wine collection. From wrought iron racks for smaller collections of a brand to bin storage for wine purchased by the case, a custom wine cellar should have the ability to store differently sized bottles, including splits to 750ml to magnums. The wine racks in this space should reflect the overall décor of the home wine cellar and boast both function and style.
When you are designing your residential wine cellar, incorporate accents for storage AND functional purposes. Designate an area of your custom wine cellar where you can store cases of wine and a different area to entertain guests over your favorite bottle. This would be a good spot for a wine spirits center. A wine spirits center is small enough to fit comfortably into your custom wine cellar without overwhelming the space. It is large enough to serve in a storage capacity for your wine accessories, stemware and a few of your latest bottles.
The center comes with a serving area and is generally made of a rich, mahogany or light beechwood. Choose the center that best fits with the overall design of your residential wine cellar.
Residential wine cellars can be customized in a variety of ways. One such way is to choose a unique wall treatment to make your wine cellar walls stand out.
Wall treatment options include: paint, applied to make the wine cellar look "aged"; stucco or a sanded style of paint; tile; slate; faux stone or rock; wood paneling; flagstone; travertine or river rock. Choose materials that do well in a semi-damp environment and those that will look good without the benefit of bright light.
You residential wine cellar should have a flooring surface that is durable and solid. It should continue the overall design of your residential wine cellar, while still being able to sustain harsh flooring conditions. Carpet will not work in this space because it cannot stand up to frequent wine spills and constant moisture.
Common flooring choices in residential wine cellars include: hardwood, sealed concrete, tile or stone. All of these choices have a variety of styles from which to choose and can withstand the moisture and spills without deteriorating in an unreasonable amount of time.
A wine cart is a portable storage option for your home wine cellar. Many models hold up to six bottles of wine in each bin (usually totaling around 30 bottles for each cart). The trays come off the cart one layer at a time and have a support tray at the bottom of the cart. The cart is portable, which is particularly convenient when you are entertaining guests and want to highlight more than one label at a time.