By Jamie Spence | Contributor
People have obviously been spending more time at home since the Covid-19 crisis began. As a result, many a “Honey Do” list is getting completed and a lot of “someday projects” have become current projects. There’s never been a better time to take some ideas from your wish list and convert them into reality. One such wish list item is wine storage remodeling.
An attractive wine storage solution benefits you whether you are storing a handful of bottles or a hundred.
If you have invested in a great wine collection, showcasing it with beautiful wine storage allows you to enjoy it twice. It lets you appreciate the beauty of your wine while it is being stored, as well as enjoying the taste when you bring out a bottle for friends or family. An attractive wine storage solution benefits you whether you are storing a handful of bottles or a hundred.
While not all of us have an extra room to convert into wine storage, most people do have an extra space of some sort that could be utilized for wine. A custom wine wall with glass enclosure or under-the-stairs wine alcove is an architectural focal point that adds visual appeal and value to your home. Consider the following options:
- A rarely-used spare bedroom
- Under-stairs space
- An under-utilized closet
- Empty space in an office or garage space
Space can be created in a variety of places, but creating the right environment for your wines while making it a beautiful addition to your home? That kind of function + aesthetic challenge is difficult for most homeowners. Hiring a reputable professional contractor with experience will save you frustration and money in the long run. A professional can guide you in designing a home wine cellar or storage design that will work for your available space, your wine collection, and your budget.
Wine Storage 101: Climate Control
Because fluctuations in temperature and humidity can negatively affect the quality of your wines, your first priority will be to control the temperature of the environment in your storage environment. Keeping consistent temperature levels in your storage is key to maintaining your collection’s quality. A good temperature is around 55 degrees F. With the heat extremes we see in Texas periodically, a storage area that depends on the ambient temperature, also known as a passive storage environment, may not be your best bet. Temperatures as low as 80 degrees can be detrimental to wine, so it’s important that the environment is temperature is controlled. You don’t want to store wine at room temperature or warmer for an extended period of time; not only will the wine age too quickly, it will likely lose flavor and aroma.
Actively cooled wine storage utilizes cooling units and insulation to control the conditions of the environment. It is, in essence, an area with its own private air conditioner. It is necessary to include proper insulation, a vapor barrier, and a cooling unit that is sized appropriately for the space when constructing your storage in order to best maintain consistent temperatures and humidity levels. Large fluctuations in these conditions are the number one enemy of wine quality!
Different types of wine require different ranges of temperature.
If you plan to build your collection around one type of wine only, then focusing on the needs of the other is unnecessary. If you are collecting both red and white wines, 55 degrees F is generally the recommended temperature that will meet the needs of both types of wine. Some people opt to store white wines in a kitchen refrigerator. However, a standard refrigerator is substantially cooler than a wine refrigerator and white wines stored in one for an extended period of time will be at risk of tasting flat and flavorless.
Humidity is another environmental factor that can negatively affect your wine. The ideal humidity range in wine storage is 50 to 70 percent. A humidity level in this range will allow the moisture to remain inside the wine bottle instead of working its way into the cork and eventually evaporating.
While you may have ideas about what kind of materials you wish to use for your dream wine cellar floors and walls, remember that your top priority is maintaining a controlled environment for your wine. Because it can withstand high humidity levels without being damaged, wood makes an ideal flooring, wall, or accent material. Whether you want your space to have a cozy, traditional look or a sleek, modern design, there is such a wide variety of wood types and shades that one can be found to enhance any design style. Redwood, mahogany, walnut, alder, pine, or white oak are strikingly different, but all can add a luxurious, elegant feel to an endless number of designs. When combined with your choice of color palette, using wood can help create a space that is distinctive and reflects your personal style.
Glass-enclosures for wine storage are impressive for multiple reasons. Glass is unique: it spotlights the beauty of your collection and the storage environment while not detracting from the visual space available. It can be utilized almost anywhere in your environment, instantly turning any storage in a main living area into a focal point of the room. When combined with gorgeous lighting fixtures, wood, stone, or metal bar accessories, you can create a stunning setting for your collection.
Key design elements to consider:
- A beautiful glass wine enclosure
- Wine racks, shelving, or custom cabinets
- A wine glass caddy
- Attractive and functional lighting that will not damage your wine collection
- Bar accessories such as corkscrews, glass decanters
- Flooring and wall materials
Ideal wine storage conditions place bottles horizontally in a dimly-lit, cool and humidity-controlled environment isolated from any mechanical vibrations. The way in which a wine collection is stored can dramatically affect aroma and taste. It’s also important to plan for the future: if you are a wine lover, chances are good that you will need space for your inventory to grow!
For more information about Liberty Glass & Mirror, click here or call 972-540-1555.
Photos courtesy of Liberty Glass and Mirror