With the cold winter weather upon us, there is nothing quite like a cosy fire, hot meal and a nice glass of wine which brings me to this month’s topic.

For the wine enthusiast, having your own cellar is a must! Building a wine cellar is not challenging or expensive however there are a few points you need to consider when designing the cellar.

Location – The search for a location usually involves a little used area like under the stairs, in the laundry, under the house or some other type of cubby hole. Many people are now incorporating a wine cellar in their house design. These are usually designed with a glass door or wall so the wine can be visible from a room. You can now buy free standing wine cellars which come in small and large sizes.

Temperature – This is certainly the greatest concern when cellaring wine. Today’s modern homes are not at all conductive to wine storage. Room temperatures are usually in excess of 20 degrees which is great for humans but lethal for wine. The ideal temperature for wine is 10oC to 13oC but several degrees either side of this is quite safe. You want to be sure your cellar is well insulated. Some people install a high grade air-conditioner to keep the room chilled properly.

Humidity – Other than temperature, the only characteristic of a cellar that is of great concern is humidity. It can destroy wine labels due to mould etc. Installing an air-conditioning unit will help eliminate this problem.

Light & Vibration – Darkness is ideal for a cellar as ultraviolet light destroys wine which is one of the reasons wines are traditionally bottled in coloured glass. Consequently it makes sense to store wine away for potentially damaging effects of light exposure. 

As wine needs to sleep, and frequent disturbance of wine will agitate it. Try and build your cellar where is will not suffer the effects of vibrations.

So if wine is your passion and you are looking at starting a collection, installing a wine cellar is not only functional but fun too.