When one hears the term “wine cellars”, the first thought is of a room underground where supplies of wine are kept. This is true of places where large quantities of wine are stored, such as in hotels, restaurants and wineries. There are smaller domestic wine cellars for those who enjoy a glass of chilled wine and like to keep bottles of wine on hand. The increase in people making their own wine has led to an increase in the demand for wine cellars suitable for home use.
Wine cellars can actually be built into your kitchen design and can be full length or as small as 15 or 24 inches wide and fit under the counter. The full length cellar has room for storing up to 150 bottles of wine and has three separate temperature zones so that each wine will be chilled to perfection at their best serving temperatures. These wine cellars have pull out shelves that give you easy access to all the bottles. The 24 inch model can store up to 54 bottles and the 15 inch model stores 24 bottles. In the smaller models, wine bottles are stored in a horizontal position. There are many different types of wine cellars because many people have different tastes in where they want to have them placed. Some collectors like to have a piece of furniture so that they can display all the bottles of wine they have. Others just need a small place, even a closet, where they can keep the wine for their own use.
If you want to have a genuine wine cellar, there are certain criteria you have to keep in mind to keep the wine from becoming sedimented:
A constant temperature of about 12 degrees Celsius should be maintained at all times.
The hygrometry should be sustained between 50 and 70%.
It is important that there is no vibration.
The wine has to be protected from the light.
Some of the modern wine cellars on the market today allow you to key in the temperature you want to have the cellar start to self-regulate. It will produce hot or cold air as you wish and take the external temperature into consideration to keep the wine perfectly preserved. A large size fin package will prevent ice from building up, so the cellar will never need to be defrosted. The natural circulation in the wine cellar picks up condensation humidity as it passes through the fin.
If the wine cellar is located in the kitchen, the odors from cooking may actually harm the wine. This is why cellars designed for under the counter also contain carbon filters that act as a barrier and keep the odors out.
You may wonder why you need to have a wine cellar if you have a lot of wine. The reason is that wine is a perishable product. If it is exposed to light, heat and changes in temperature, it will spoil. When it is stored properly at the right temperature, it will retain its flavor and aroma.
Wine cellars need to have the proper level of humidity to keep the corks in the bottles from drying out. If you have too much humidity, though, mould can form on the bottles and the labels will be ruined. The bottles should be stored on their sides in order to let the humidity reach the corks. Various types of racks suited for the size of your wine cellar will help you store the bottles correctly. If you purchase a ready-made wine cellar, the racks will be included.