Wine Cellar 101

Having a wine cellar has been my life long dream but, for a variety of reasons, I’ve come to realize that I’ll never have one. If a cellar is in the stars for you, start by analyzing your budget and available space, to determine what will fit. If you’re a wine and beer fan, you might want to create a full home bar, while passionate vino lovers will want to focus exclusively on a cellar or cooler. Do some research on the best conditions for storing wine, and be sure your space mimics those conditions. Finally, turn your storage space into an entertaining haven by adding appropriately themed decor. 

What should I include in my wine cellar?

When planning your cellar, think about the size of your wine collection — or the size you hope it becomes. A serious collector probably should invest in a walk-in cooler with large wall-mounted racks or several tall wine fridges to ensure that space isn’t an issue. For the amateur or beginner, a home bar with a wine fridge and small rack should be sufficient. Creatively mimic your favorite winery by turning it into an entire tasting area. Add a dining table, bistro table or bar nearby, and be sure to keep handy accessories, like wine glasses and corkscrews, on hand. 

How should I store my wine?

Of course, storing wine at the right temperature is a key function of a wine cellar. Kept in a room that’s too warm, your wine may age faster, oxidize and lose character and flavor. If your cellar does not naturally maintain a consistent temperature, you may want to invest in temperature control methods or several wine fridges. Your architect or wine cellar design specialist can help you create the ideal conditions for your home collection. 

How should I decorate my wine cellar?

Although mediterranean cellars are common, changing up the decor is an easy way to create your style space. Ornate wood and stone are common traditional materials, while metal and glass finishes are more trendy. You can immerse yourself in Italian culture with mosaic tile murals, barrel ceilings and archways, or you can go modern with sleek lines and minimal decorative displays. Regardless of your style, be sure all your materials, furniture and decorative accessories support each other; a mismatched space can lead to decor confusion and an incoherent, incomplete room.

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