Wine is certainly one of the most popular types of drinks in the world. It is easy to understand why. For starters, wine is pervasive from strict and orthodox cultures to the conservative and liberal ones. It simply cuts through all cultures. But there is so much people still don’t know about wine. Like how it is classified for instance. Red and white may be the most common classification. But that is not all.
There are so many forms of wine classifications known only to connoisseurs. The same can be said about cellars. Wine lovers simply know little or nothing about the art of making and even buying wine cellars. It therefore does not make sense that wine, a drink associated with romance and love and even described as an aphrodisiac often ends up stored inappropriately by the same people who claim to love it. Read on to find out what it takes to design a nice wine cellar.
What is a cellar?
This may sound like a silly question but it isn’t. Not everyone knows about wine and how it should be stored. A cellar is to wine what a shelf is to books. It allows one to buy wine when it is still young and affordable and store it until it matures. One can then use the wine for domestic purposes or sell it later for a profit. A good cellar should retain the light and texture of wine and improve its taste for the better.
It all starts with space. There are cellars that can store just a few bottles. Others can store thousands. It depends on how one wants to use the cellar. Start by apportioning space. That is, get a room where you need to have the cellar. A standard room with dimensions of 3x3x3 meters is more than enough for anyone who wishes to have a cellar for private collection. Make sure the room’s temperature is ideal for wine storage. 18 degrees Celsius is considered ideal, given that wine matures well when subjected to extreme cold or heat.
The ceiling and floor
Often underestimated when designing wine cellars, the celling happens to be one of the most important factors. It can have a toll on the taste and quality of what comes off your cellar. Go for R-19 insulation to be on the safe side. Then there is the floor. It the cellar room has concrete or marble flooring, ditch the R-19 insulation. Stick to vapor barriers. You will need vapor barriers if you have any other flooring material apart from marble and concrete. You do not have to worry so much about the barriers. 6 to 8 mil plastic sheets should suffice. They are durable, affordable and easy to maintain.
The air quality inside a cellar matters a lot. You may have to consider back up options should the AC inside your cellar break down. That is where ice blocks come into the picture. You may also have to consider purchasing a generator if your wine collection inside the cellar is expensive. This is mainly because you cannot maintain crisp wine quality with uneven temperatures. As already hinted, you have to control the temperatures.
Then there is the humidity factor. A good AC can help you deal with the problem. If your cellar is too dry, the corks will shrink. Moisture and air can then get into the bottles and affect your wine quality. Get a humidifier as well as a good air conditioner. Note that cardboard boxes can keep humidity at bay. But that is only as far as areas with low humid levels are concerned. They hardly work in extremely humid areas. Simply go for the aforementioned humidifier.
This is yet another factor that most wine lovers with cellars often overlook. The lights in your cellar should not be extremely harsh. Keep the lights average. Too much darkness can easily prevent the penetration of sunlight whose ultraviolet rays are needed for impeccable wine maturity. Too much light on the other hand can easily result in premature wine ageing. Your bulbs should not hang too close to the racks. That is in fact why white fluorescent light is highly recommended for lighting cellars. White lights, as many people know, ae energy efficient. They also do not emit too excess heat.
Always have a clear figure of how many wine bottles you need your wine cellar to hold. You can always know this by looking at the number of parties you wish to throw at any given time. You will of course need a bigger cellar if you run a hotel or a bar. Take note the bins, racks and shelves. Then remember than wine bottles should always be stored on their sides. A good wine cellar designers should assist you make the right choice, so be sure to ask for clarification on anything you need to know.