A wine cellar is not just somewhere you keep wine. It is the wines' home where they should be able to flourish and age well. As well as providing optimum storage conditions, every oenophile will want to express their love of wine in their own way. The market has spotted the demand so there are thousands of systems available to cater to every possible taste, scale and budget.
Wine cellar tips
- Every wine cellar should have a thermometer and a hygrometer. A thermometer measures the temperature, while a hygrometer measures humidity.
- Avoid leaving wines in cardboard boxes as these are made of cellulose fibres that absorb humidity.
- As wines quickly pick up smells, it's important to keep a wine cellar well ventilated.
Bricks and mortar
This sort of rustic set-up is only possible if you own your own home and have a lot of space available. Rounded arches and walls are often individually hand-built. Floor tiles should ideally be laid on a bed of sand. You can even fit antique tiles or chandeliers to add a touch of individual charm.
Tuffstone consists of natural volcanic ash and has excellent humidity-regulating properties. It is available in a wide range of sizes and designs.
Robust steel drawer systems are a great solution for storing original cases and individual bottles. Every bottle and case can be easily accessed. Any number of individual racks can usually simply be clipped together. An expensive, but very practical and robust solution.
With wooden racks it is vital to ensure that the construction is solid and that the wood has not been treated with any preservatives. If mould ever develops in a cellar that is too damp, it is still possible to treat the wood at that point. An infinite variety of practical and light wooden racks are available.
Plastic crates are good for both transporting and storing wine. They can be easily stacked and have flaps at either end so bottles can be inserted and removed in situ. Dismantled, they also take up next to no space when not currently needed.
Stable, practical and easy to take with you if you move house, metal racks are great for beginners to lay the foundations of a great wine collection. All sizes of bottles have their own bed to lie on. Metal racks are inexpensive, space-saving and clearly laid out.
Air conditioning units
Wine cellar air conditioning units are available with capacities ranging from 1 to 50 cubic metres and beyond. Even if you do not have an actual cellar, these units can be used to transform any space (under the stairs, in the loft, etc.) into storage for wine. The ideal ventilation, ambient temperature and humidity levels can be set individually. Get your own personal wine cellar with air conditioning units from our partner Fust.
Air-conditioned wine cabinets do not usually have a motor so they can run vibration-free. The set temperature is constantly maintained. Ensure the cabinet has a drawer system that allows any bottle to be taken out without disturbing others. Units with multiple temperature zones allow different wines to be stored. Wine cabinets are available in a variety of designs, from stainless steel to the finest rosewood.
Every oenophile's dream: an elegant, optimally zoned wine cabinet with air conditioning.
Rented cellar space
Many wine merchants also rent out cabinets or small cellar areas that provide ideal conditions at reasonable prices.
Any confident DIYer will enjoy setting up their own wine cellar and building racks themselves. There are three basic options: the simplest is to use a ready-made wine rack, the cheapest is to repurpose existing shelving, and the third and most challenging is to build a wine rack from scratch.
A rhombus or diamond design provides the most space for wine bottles with optimum utilization of the many individual slots. Follow these guidelines:
- The two diagonals are axes of symmetry
- Opposite sides lie parallel
- The diagonals are perpendicular to one another and intersect at the midpoint
- Opposite angles are the same
- Adjacent angles add up to 180°
- Every internal angle is halved by a diagonal
- Each diamond has an incircle
- The sum of the internal angles is 360°
Discover a wide range of DIY tools and materials for your custom-built wine cellar at our partner Coop Building & Hobby.
Text: List Medien AG/Belinda Stublia