Build Your Own Wine Cellar

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 at 12:00 am

wine cellarYou might think that this project is a little ambitious, however, believe it or not this project is taken seriously by more people than you think. The purpose of a wine cellar is to properly control the wine aging process. It is essential to store bottled wines in order to maintain a continues environment where it could mature into something more sophisticated, elegant, or even unique.

When storing wine, an place where temperature and humidity can be controlled is the most ideal. Those who are a little fortunate, can use their extra room to serve as a wine cellar. At times, the basement would be sufficient to serve such a purpose. But most of the time, ordinary people have to contend with small, extra spaces like the one under the stairs, cubby-holes, a freestanding cupboard, or even the wardrobe.

Now, if you don’t have such spaces to spare, the next best thing really is to purchase a temperature controlled wine cabinet. There are different kinds and sizes of these wine cabinets and prices can be affordable. They can properly control the temperature for wine storage and the only problem you could encounter is that you might not have sufficient capacity for your needs.

There are also professional wine merchants that offer wine storage facilities for a fee. Again, this will depend on your storage capacity and availability of funds. If you have a large enough collection and sufficient financial backing, then you should consider a proper location where you can store your wine for the long term.


Your second important piece of equipment is a thermometer. Since you will be closely monitoring the maximum and minimum temperatures, you would need a sturdy one. Just a small tip when choosing above-ground wine cellar storage facilities: choose a location where the outside wall will usually be cooler. Because heat is transmitted through the wall and to the air inside the cellar, it is important that the outside environment should maintain a relatively cool temperature. You could also insulate the inner walls of the wine cellar to slow down heat transmission.

Wines should be stored in place where a constant temperature of about 52 degrees Fahrenheit. This is probably the best temperature to allow your wine to preserve and age itself.


The next element to consider is humidity. Having low humidity is not a problem for wine storage and aging. The problem is when the air inside the cellar is very damp causing paper, cardboard and similar materials to acquire molds and eventually disintegrate. These would include wine cardboard boxes and even wine labels. The latter is more problematic since without the labels you can’t identify which is which. And also, by losing the labels, the resale value of the wine is greatly affected.

Room humidity should be kept at the 70% range. Maintaining the humidity at this range will keep the corks from drying out. It will also help the bottle stay airtight and prevent mold growth on the labels.