cellars add aesthetic value to any home, such as this one
designed by Pam Kopp.
The size of
one’s wine cellar isn’t necessarily indicative of one’s passion
for wine. "(A wine cellar) can be as simple as a converted
walk-in closet in the basement to more elaborate spaces like building
a whole new room," says Jim Hackbarth owner of Sonoma Wine
Galleries in Menomonee Falls.
without cooling systems are considered "natural" wine
cellars. They are often located in the basements of older homes and
are isolated from anything that could drastically change the
temperature like a furnace or windows. Because temperature and
humidity should be regulated and maintained (temperature between 55
and 65 degrees and a humidity level of 60 to 70 percent), insulation
and cooling systems can be installed in most custom cellars.
Pam Kopp, a
designer for Chicago’s Wine Cellar Innovations, has installed
numerous cellars in the Milwaukee area. "If you are an informal
collector, wine can be stored in your pantry or basement. However,
once the bottles grow in number and there is no longer extra room for
storage, a wine cellar will keep them intact. Custom cellars not only
provide storage for your wine bottles, but also give aesthetic value
to your home," Kopp says.
Hackbarth and Kopp recommend redwood or mahogany for racking.
"These woods are very durable. Raised in the cool, damp forests
of California, redwood is naturally resistant to the cool, humid
atmosphere desired for long-term wine storage," Kopp says.
"It resists rot and mildew, shrinking and warping. Mahogany also
resists warping, swelling, moisture and decay and can be stained to
keep it from mildew and deterioration due to temperature
changes," she says.
economical choice of racking wood is pine. It can be stained to match
any décor. However, because it is soft, it cannot be used for
temperature-controlled cellars. Be sure to use stains and finishes
that are water-based to avoid odors and vapors that can contaminate
West Bend wine cellar, a project by Moore Designs Inc.,
features family members in the mural giving the space a
additional tips for storing wine:
1. Keep the
area cool and dark.
2. Make sure
there is no vibration.
bottles on their sides.
4. Devise a
system to track aging and keep the area organized.
comes with single or double-deep storage. Take into consideration
spacing for wine, champagne, unusual bottle sizes and wood wine cases.
is important. You need enough light to read the labels, but too much
light can damage the wine.
should be sealed and insulated to ensure that moisture and temperature
are kept consistent. Use either wood or glass doors.