Starting a wine cellar can be a daunting and seemingly overwhelming task. If you don’t know where to begin, start by asking yourself these questions to decide how you’ll want to move forward with your wine cellar collection. There are a lot of decisions you’ll need to make, so let’s start with the basics:
1. How many bottles do you want to store?
The first big decision you need is just how much wine will you want to store in your cellar. Most folks start out with a modest collection and grow over time, and usually run out of room after spending money to adapt a small space in their home for storage, so choose a space that will fit your long-term needs for wine storage.
2. Are you storing wine just for personal use, or are you hoping to use wine as an investment, and someday, sell some of your wine library?
If you are buying wine solely for personal use then keeping your bottles in a cool, dark place is acceptable. Ideally, the temperature is consistently around 55°F (13°C). A cool basement room is usually a good fit if the swings in seasonal temperatures don’t vary more than two or three degrees. To avoid damaging your wines, don’t let the wine space get over 68°F (20°C) as the volatile compounds in your wines can be destroyed over time, or lower than 25°F (-4°C) as your wines will freeze. Keep your wines horizontal when storing them, so racks are ideal.
If you are buying wine to sell at some point, then storage and “provenance” are vitally important to prove that you have been diligent in keeping your wines at the optimal temperature, thus ensuring their aging has been managed precisely.
3. What space options do you have in your home?
Think back to our first question which was to ask yourself how many bottles you want to store. If the answer is a lot and you intend to be buying wines for many years, you will obviously want to choose the largest possible space available to you, and conversely if you only want a small number of bottles (less than 100) you can simply buy a wine fridge, or store your bottles in a cool, dry space.
4. How much are you willing to spend on the storage of your wines?
The next big question is how much money you are willing to spend on your cellar, and its temperature control. If your cellar is worth over $500, you should consider keeping your wines in a temperature-controlled environment.
5. How secure does your wine cellar need to be?
Lastly, do you have people who can access your space that you would rather didn’t? If you do, then you need to consider securing your wines with a locked door. Certainly, if you think of your wines as the cash you have spent on them, then their value can accrue rapidly, which is why it is a good idea to keep them safe!
Stay tuned for part 2 where we break down the options and dive deeper into the above questions. If you have any immediate questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to help!
Allen Ingram is the founder of myWinegenie Applications Ltd. and pairedclub.com and is a professional chef, as well as a Sommelier. His passion for the world’s best wine and food pairings has taken him all over the world for business and pleasure.