What Makes a Great Cellar



As I’ve been discussing some of the basics of wine over the past several months, people have asked me a general set of questions regarding my wine cellar and the best conditions for cellaring. After enjoying several bottles of older Barolo that had seen the varying effects of disparate cellar conditions, I realized it was time to take a look at what constitutes ideal cellaring conditions, and what happens to a wine when one’s cellar isn’t exactly perfect.

Now my cellar isn’t exactly perfect; it gets warmer than I would like and more humid than I would like, but it seems to do a fine job maturing wines over the long term. So, what exactly are the perfect conditions for cellaring wine, then?

Well, the quality of one’s cellar conditions are simply determined by four criteria. Let’s take a look at each, beginning with the simplest.
Related links

The simplest criterion is vibration. It’s an easy one to discuss, since the simple guideline to follow is "less is more." You want to limit vibration as much as possible, though if you can’t, what really happens?

Some folks might want you to believe that the world ends, but the truth is you’ll probably just end up with slightly cloudy wine, which can be rectified by standing the bottle up for a day or two before serving it!

The second criterion to judge would be light. While the damage caused by light is subtle, there is no doubt that UV rays damage wine. It’s called light shock, and it causes damage by stimulating otherwise stable organic compounds to become things they shouldn’t.

That’s the bad news; the good news is that unless you're leaving your wine out in the sun, or under intense lights, you’ve got nothing to worry about. A few hours of light will cause no damage to your wines, and this happens to be incredibly easy to control. Turn those lights off!
The next attribute of your cellar you need to look at is humidity. Most experts recommend humidity be maintained somewhere between 55% and 80%. The higher the better, right? Well in a real cellar, and by real I mean one with wine in barrels, the higher the better is right. Wine barrels are made of porous wood and the lower the humidity the greater the loss from those barrels, frequently referred to as the angel’s share!

Not only does that translate into a loss of product, and therefore money, but it opens the door for lots of bad things to happen to the wines in those barrels. Now, in your cellar you have your wine in glass bottles, sealed fairly tightly with a nice bit of tree bark, or even more tightly by glass or screwcap closure. Things are going to have to get mighty dry for a long time before things start going south on those bottles.

Now having said that I have watched the fill in bottles in cellars go from into the neck to high shoulder in the span of just a few years. That is due to low humidity and a bad or less than ideal cork. Most corks will do just fine for 10 or 20 years without being treated to tropical humidity. Remember, while one end of that cork is enjoying ambient humidity of your cellar, the other is literally being bathed in wine.

I would recommend keeping one’s cellar above about 50% humidity, but once you get past 75% or so you’ll find that your labels will start disappearing, and if you’re using pine or untreated lumber for your racking you’ll also find mold blooms and spreads among the bottles. That’s an aesthetic issue that can make for some nasty looking cellars, but it won’t hurt the wine any!

This leaves temperature as the final aspect to be examined. Here is where we get into real trouble. Not only do we have to worry about the actual temperature of the cellar, but we also should be concerned about the rate of change of temperature should our cellars not be regulated by refrigeration units. This is actually a convenient place to take a break since both the upcoming discussions of temperature control and refrigeration units are each worthy of their own article.




This article is part of a three part series on Cellar conditions.

I.     What makes a great cellar 
II.   Cellar temperature
III.  Cellar temperature and corks


Similar Topics:

Wine Cellar Windows and Doors
Wine Cellar Ceilings and Lighting
Wine Racking Wood Choices

Mentioned in this article

Comments

  • Snooth User: nvansicklen
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    211788 549

    Good article. I live in NYC, which means I barely have room for my bed...let alone a cellar. Does anyone have any suggestions on great wine fridges? Ways to keep my reds in good shape?

    Aug 18, 2010 at 2:27 PM


  • Snooth User: dkellyassc
    512971 12

    I hate you! I read the whole article to get the temperature info.

    Aug 18, 2010 at 2:30 PM


  • Mmm, hate is a strong word but yes I was disappointed when the temp info wasn't there...(hint hint... get it out there soon!)

    Aug 18, 2010 at 2:53 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 205,744

    What did you want dkellyassc? I'd be happy to answer your questions, and will be following up with a full suite of articles on this topic. Nvansicklen keep tuned for some great follow up info on wine fridges!

    Aug 18, 2010 at 2:54 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 205,744

    Zard, I'll have the temperature info up this week!

    Aug 18, 2010 at 2:55 PM


  • Snooth User: Don47
    68489 7

    Good points and certainly ones you should consider. It's not just about the temperature, which I'll assume is the most important factor in storing your wines properly. I, like others, am waiting for your insight on temperature-controlling the storage of your wines.

    Aug 18, 2010 at 3:10 PM


  • Snooth User: mamafuzzy
    517597 7

    I am holding 10 bottles of sparkling riesling for an October 2011 wedding. (Small upstate vineyard:great wine) Do all of these rules apply to this type of wine as well? (Please say yes...)

    Aug 18, 2010 at 3:25 PM


  • Snooth User: dg90210
    72737 3

    Interesting and informative, but get the temperature info up to make it a really worthwhile article.

    Aug 18, 2010 at 3:27 PM


  • Can you help me find Franzia White box Rhine Wine?

    Aug 18, 2010 at 3:30 PM


  • Snooth User: jvoytko
    449822 4

    Good high level article. My company Sensor Management Group provides wireless temperature monitoring for wine cellars and the most common issue our clients worry about is extreme high temperatures. Most of the time this is caused by refrigeration equipment failure or extended power outages. A temperature alert system can warn you well in advance so you can take corrective action for the above cases.

    As the article indicates it is the wide temperature fluctuations that should be of concern not the 1-2 degree fluctuation you might see with a refrigeration unit. We have seen some poorly conditioned cellars fluctuating more than 10 degrees over a 24 hour period; often without the knowledge of the cellar owners.

    While not the focus of this article, our collector clients are also concerned about providing a temperature history log for their investment wines. A history log also helps reveal temperature trends and help plan refrigeration maintenance.

    Aug 18, 2010 at 3:38 PM


  • nvansicklen -- we have 2 wine refrigerators - one for whites and one for reds - and neither have a name on the unit. Both work well and I don't think either cost over $300. We just looked around at appliance stores and when we found the size, (number of bottles it would hold) we bought it!

    Aug 18, 2010 at 3:40 PM


  • Snooth User: dkellyassc
    512971 12

    Hate probably was it little harsh. But it got your attention!!

    Aug 18, 2010 at 3:41 PM


  • Snooth User: Iboboy
    111231 44

    I have the Danby 34 bottle wine cooler - it fits into a small space and has caused no problems over the last 3 years

    Aug 18, 2010 at 3:42 PM


  • Snooth User: bweymouth
    260744 34

    I'm ready to learn about the temperature. Great article!

    Aug 18, 2010 at 3:51 PM


  • Good article and great topic .. unfortunately the modern age solutions gives no guarantie of keeping like 200 years ago dark and wet cellars .., it is true that wines are not the same ... Anyway , if you've an old cellar you can go to sleep ! Be sure that you'll not have a problem with temperature measurement ...

    Aug 18, 2010 at 3:59 PM


  • Although I, too, was eager to read about the temp, I was glad to know more about humidity. My cellar is in the 6.5 ft deep basement of a 17th century house with a fieldstone foundation. Yes, it's very humid, yes, it affects the labels, and yes, there's mold. There's a dehumidifier but I run it rarely because it does raise the temperature 4 to 6 degrees. For the sake of the structural timbers, I've considered a basement ventilation unit (cost about $1k) that's essentially a low-speed fan with a humidity sensor. It very slowly exhausts the basement air, drawing drier air down from the living spaces. I can't decide whether this would raise the basement temp as much as the dehumidifier does, and I know this depends on several factors. Temp in winter hovers around 57 F but has risen to high 60's during this very hot summer. We have central air, and I could install a vent into the basement, so long as I remember to close that vent in September, but I'm unsure how much temp fluctuation might result daily. The joys of opening a perfectly cellared bottle of Chateau Margaux may compensate for any expense, but there's also joy in knowing I've solved a problem in the most intelligent way. Thoughts?

    Aug 18, 2010 at 4:07 PM


  • Here's to happy angels in Colorardo wine cellars! Looking forward to your article on corks! DDB Bearberry B&B
    P.S. Referral for the wine loving software developer:
    D. Nielson, Colorado Springs, CO

    Aug 18, 2010 at 4:12 PM


  • Snooth User: pplants
    105989 38

    dkellyassc short term (<1 year) no sweat, 70 ish or under ok. If ya want to join that crowd that takes a really good bottle of wine (in a year or three) and wants to bring it out 15 years or so in an attempt to gain a better bottle of wine, though more times than not it won't be, then keep the bottle in the upper 50's. If you want it to mature so slow so that your ancestors will possibly enjoy it, keep it around 55.
    PEter ;-)

    Aug 18, 2010 at 4:14 PM


  • Snooth User: mbhes
    132989 10

    About two years ago I broke down and built a wine cellar in my basement. Prior to that I had been using a wine "refigerator" which held about 250-300 bottles. I had clearly outgrown that as my collection is much larger now. The room is about seven by seven foot square with insulated walls six inches thick and an insulated door. I used four LED lights (60 watts each of equivalent power) in the ceiling. The racks are all made from untreated natural rosewood and hold about 750+ bottles. Most of the racks hold 19 bottles vertically which are labels A thru Q much like ones you may have seen in wine stores. Others are designed to hold cases. The rack on the far wall from the door is a diamond shaped one. Each diamond "bin" holds about 15 bottles. It is impressive when you open the door to the room.

    I have a chiller installed in one wall with a temperature sensor corded to a bottle filled with water. In this way the temperature of the wine bottle contents are kept at 55F. I also have a humidity meter which I bought from MBH Engineering Systems. Periodically I run a humidifier in the room to increase the level to at least 60% RH.
    I have the columns organized by country and type for American wines. I have about 60 bottles of white and the balance red. The white inventory mostly depletes in the summer months.

    The interior and exterior walls of the room were built with maghogany and finished with Tung Oil as a preservative. I put a rubber lined red rug on the concrete floor for aesthetics. All in all the project worked out very well. I started by making a well thought out blueprint with exact dimensions. Once the walls went up, the racks had to fit inside with very little wiggle room for errors. It took me a few months to build it including all the finish work and electrical wiring. The house is old with a field stone foundation. Walking along a stone corridor to reach the cellar is very cool. Now using a row of LED spotlights mounted on a ceiling track outside the room to illuminate the door and front wall makes a very dramatic first impression.

    Needless to say, the cellar is my pride and joy.

    Aug 18, 2010 at 4:18 PM


  • Snooth User: annhird
    348939 16

    I also would like to know how to pamper my reds when I cannot have a "cellar". Living in Las Vegas temperture is my enemy.

    Aug 18, 2010 at 4:26 PM


  • Snooth User: cosmoscaf
    256062 54

    While it is good to know the ideal, and I appreciate the article a lot, many of us must do with the hopeful. My own limited experience has implied that consistency is the best thing - keeping temp changes gradual and limited rather than counting upon a solid ideal temp. Those who can afford ideal, though, should by all means go for it. I have a smallish wine fridge where I keep my better stock I hope to sip five to twenty years out.

    I recently opened a bottle of R Mondavi Cab (inexpensive Private Reserve) from '96 which had a checkered past before it got to me. It had evolved into one great Cab ever even though it had been roughing it. Then, last winter, a friend brought out a bottle of Cordon Bleu Cognac that had lived in places of ill repute and bad habits with even more random people about. That was the best bottle of anything I ever tasted.

    The point is, variation can deliver, too, though I'd never trust a truly promising bottle to it deliberately.

    Aug 18, 2010 at 4:50 PM


  • Snooth User: dvogel001
    442684 8

    I used to be worried about hummidity, but unless you are keeping wines over 25 years, most corks will be just fine in a tempurature controlled cellar, my hummidity is at the low end (around 50%) but the tempurature is a constant 57 degrees and I have not had a cork dry out yet, especially with good caps on them for the high end wines.

    The higher end of wines usually come with better quality corks and caps which prevent drying out for a long time.

    Aug 18, 2010 at 5:02 PM


  • Will a Riesling go "bad" if I keep it unopened in my fridge for a couple of days?

    Aug 18, 2010 at 5:16 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 205,744

    Hi Melissa, you're Riesling will be just for a few days in the fridge, even a week, so don't worry and enjoy!

    Aug 18, 2010 at 5:25 PM


  • Snooth User: diogenes
    475429 1

    Perfectly timed. I have claimed and dug out a part of our bare dirt crawl space to build a stone below grade wine cellar. I'll be waiting for your follow-up articles with bated breath.

    Aug 18, 2010 at 7:14 PM


  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 7,147

    Cute one, thumper 666. Hadn't really considered the issues of aging bag-in-a-box wines! ;-)

    Greg, good start, and I, too, am looking forward to more. Just would like to say that cloudiness is not the only issue vis a vis vibration. Some experiments, small and large (one of the small ones posted in the Snooth Forum), have convince me that bottle shock does only bad things to wine, even over time.

    I know that the 'sound-bite'-influenced school of internet publishing practices thinks that short articles are all that can keep the attention of larger groups of readership, but I think there's nothing wrong with a second page of real, pithy content. In the long run, Snooth will get the best good will, and most return readership, with good, solid content. Rather than waiting for a basic discussion like temperature, I also think it would've been good to see temperature issues at least covered broadly in this piece. Plenty of other details to discuss in followups.

    That being said, I always look forward to the non-paid-advertising portions of Snooth content, especially your articles, Greg.

    Aug 18, 2010 at 7:59 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 205,744

    Thanks DM.

    The other two part of this piece will be attached shortly.

    Hopefully by the end of the week!

    Aug 18, 2010 at 8:10 PM


  • Snooth User: jamessulis
    Hand of Snooth
    426220 1,486

    Great article,
    I promise to keep all of my Layer Cake Malbec in the dark and tiptoe past the bottles as if they're sleeping.
    Thanks for the wonderful information
    A Snoother,
    Lefty - The Great Pacific Northwest

    Aug 18, 2010 at 8:12 PM


  • Snooth User: lingprof
    Hand of Snooth
    155607 1,108

    GDP: This was fun to read. Even though I just have a wine fridge and no cellar yet, hey, it could happen someday. And it made me feel better about tiny bits of light potentially creeping into my house. I mean, not that I had the windows blacked out or anything.... yet. ;-)

    @cosmocaf: I love your stories of bottles with "checkered pasts" that had hung out with a bad crowd....

    Aug 18, 2010 at 10:04 PM


  • Ok I have a Question for you...I recently bought my retirement farm place in Oklahoma, long story short, great area and soon to be starting a vinyard with the help of OSU once I return from my last deployment to Iraq Im currently on...BUT...I have an old Storm Cellar, complete Concrete bunker basically, 18x20 with 9ft Ceilings and its underground, Insulated door, has a pump drainage system and electrical/lighting. I am wanting to convert it into an awesome wine cellar. Are there advantages and is this an ideal cellar? It averages about 65 currently in the 110+ temps, and in the winter, if the insualted door stays closed it only gets to about 40, but i have a floor ac/heat unit to maintain it at the desired temp. I am thinking this is an awesome idea, but my wife is sceptical. Any thoughts?

    Aug 18, 2010 at 11:28 PM


  • Snooth User: Akabom
    535265 13

    nice article. keep it up

    Aug 19, 2010 at 3:23 AM


  • Calling all snoothers with cellars: I just bought into a 4 story brickface in Brooklyn. The basement is common area in which I plan to build a wine cellar. Brief details: West wall is below grade. North and South walls are party walls. East wall is above grade leading out to the back.

    I'd love to get into a nitty gritty discussion with any of you who have cellars in basements, especially city basements. Here's the catch: I'd like to do it as passively as possible. ie, no electricity consumption. I've had thoughts about running the incoming cold water supply from the city through a heat-exchanger in the cellar to at least pacify the temperature swings.

    Also have read Richard Gold's book which is great re insulation, but he has no useful tips for passive cooling.

    To anyone who is interested in talking about this, please PM me.

    Thx FD

    Aug 19, 2010 at 4:08 AM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 205,744

    Hey flying designer. I've helped install two passive cellars in Brooklyn. Gold's book is the bible for construction so you've gotten good advice there. Your thoughts about harnessing the cooling power of the municipal water supply are pretty good, but you might need a pretty big heat exchanger for it to make a difference.

    What are the temperatures you've found down there this summer?

    Aug 19, 2010 at 10:03 AM


  • Is there something other than a conventional room AC unit that I can use to cool a basement room in my house in the summer? The passive cooling using tap water sounds interesting but I would prefer something a little easier to implement.

    Aug 19, 2010 at 11:22 AM


  • I live in a house built in the 1890s, which has a stone foundation. I selected a corner basement room with a small, high basement window to be my cellar. I installed a door, insulated the celling and installed a small 100v window unit ($120) which keeps my 500 bottle cellar at a constant 62 degrees. The window unit eliminated any sunlight and the humidity is around 55%. This turned out to be cost effective and created a consistent environment.

    Aug 19, 2010 at 11:46 AM


  • Snooth User: Vinbansal
    430551 5

    I would like to build a wine rack for my cellar, does anybody know where to get the rack plans for say 200-300 bottles? Thanks!

    Aug 19, 2010 at 11:51 AM


  • Wines cellars need to be maintained at an ideal temperature and humidity. Wine coolers are a very essential part of a wine cellar, In fact, a wine cellar is considered to be of no use without an adequate cooler. Wine coolers can be either free standing, built in with the wine cellar or can be hidden under the counter.
    Kind Regards, http://8bottlewinecooler.org -> wine coolers

    Aug 19, 2010 at 3:26 PM


  • Snooth User: Pete W
    559568 1

    Gregory -

    When you write your temperature column, could you include something for me? I recent built a 1,000 bottle in my basement and got it as perfect as I could (humidifier, refrigeration, etc), but one problem I have is that there are only 500 bottles of wine in there now, so it's half empty. It's been suggested to me that I take used wine bottles and fill them with water and the put them back in there to add more liquid volume and help the refrigeration unit more adequately maintain the tempurature. But others have said all that does is make the unit eat more power, work harder and wear out faster. Which is correct?

    Aug 19, 2010 at 5:05 PM


  • Snooth User: gnnmartin
    373847 8

    I'm still learning how these Snooth threads work. I want to comment on the lead article, but also on mdhes's post on Aug 18 at 4:18 PM.

    To mdhe, I strongly recommend not storing the wine upright. The cork only works as it should if it is kept moist by contact with the wine. If you store wine upright for several months you might well find you have a few disappointing bottles. I guess that with a screw top bottle it doesn't matter, but with a cork, it does. And just in case there are some readers who assume screw top means cheap wine, look at Hill of Grace http://www.henschke.com.au/wines/?w... I remember Stephen Henscke saying "If you want a really good cork, use a screw top".

    Back to the lead article, I'm pleased that you downplay the importance of absence of vibration. I posted some time ago that I thought the vibration you are likely to get in your store is not likely to be a problem and may even be beneficial, and several people posted in disagreement. But (pace dmcker) I find it hard to imagine a store that will get enough vibration to cause the sediment to mix into the wine. Of course, if you transport the wine it will might take a month or so for the sediment to settle and even then the bottle will need careful handling while decanting. I live next to a railway line which runs in a deep cutting, and my cellar gets a gently vibration 2 or 3 times an hour. The sediment in a bottle forms a firm crust on the bottom of the bottle, and it is a point of pride that I can decant the wine leaving all the sediment and losing only a teaspoon of the wine.

    I notice that the lead article is accompanied by a picture of wine stored on wire racks. While that looks good, it is not as good for the wine as keeping it in wooden or cardboard boxes. I have shelving racks with cardboard boxes on their side, which keeps the bottles and labels cleaner, and insulates the bottles even further against temperature change and light.

    I can't resist adding another story, which perhaps shows that I still don't really understand wine. When my father died in 1989, I was lucky enough to inherit a few dozen delicious 1976 Burgundies. In 1976 the Burgundy crop was very large and very good. There was (and is) a limit to the amount that the vineyard could sell as Corton or whatever, and UK wine merchants bought up the excess and bottled it and sold it as (for example) Avery's Diamond Jubilee Burgundy 1976. While my father's estate was sorted out, the wine had to spend a few months stored in a garage and I was nervous that it would be spoiled, but it was still delicious in 1991. However in 1993 or so (without looking it up I'm guessing) we had some major work done on the house which meant moving the wine from the cellar into a ground floor room for several months. To my great surprise the '76 Burgundies were very badly hit. Perhaps that was the bottle shock dmcker mentioned. Fortunately (I suppose) we only had a few bottles left anyhow.

    Aug 19, 2010 at 5:39 PM


  • Snooth User: winecave
    411553 201

    sure visit us on-line @ http://winecave.ca
    I am sure you can find something for your condo.
    Cheers!!
    Dave
    P:S Although we are in Toronto however we serve a lot of NY customers.

    Aug 19, 2010 at 7:45 PM


  • Snooth User: 58jaz
    355213 24

    Thank you for presenting this article. I have a great setup in my cold cellar. Temperature through out the years is about 68 degrees, humidity is at 60%. I have two wine racks which hold 144 bottles. I've yet to have a bad bottle come out of it.

    Cheers,

    Aug 19, 2010 at 10:23 PM


  • 58jaz -

    I have a similar setup in our sub-basement (10x10x30') with 500 bottles in storage. The temp varies seasonally, but stays within a range of 52-62 degrees and the rate of change is very slow. The humidity also varies in a range, but centers around 50-60%. We've had many fine bottles from this cellar, even after 10 years of aging (CdP, Pinot, Barolo, Napa Cabs - all seem to do quite well).

    I've considered (as Duckofchard mentioned above) "fixing" the cellar with better temp or humidity control, but I think that would be throwing money at a problem that really doesn't exist. Could the space be better? Certainly. Is it worth the expense? Not to me - but perhaps to others. I don't have $1000 bottles in my cellar and I don't store wines for resale or auction (I drink them!), so it's really about whether or not the setup is hurting the wines I enjoy daily or on special occasions. So far, so good.

    Aug 20, 2010 at 5:16 PM


  • Snooth User: Amantivino
    400043 11

    Great article. I look forward to reading the followup on temperature. As retailers we must strike a delicate balance between keeping the wines cool enough and not freezing our customers out of the store. We find this balance to exists between 62 and 64 degrees.

    If you ever walk into your local wine store in the dead of winter to find the heat blasting you should only hang out long enough to thaw out a bit. A store that is too hot will be full of cooked wines that lack freshness and have stewed fruit flavors.

    The other important thing for retailers is turnover. Winery cellars and distributor warehouses generally exhibit optimal conditions, like those described above. Even the most conscientious retailers can't keep their wines in dark, humid caves. The less time the wine sits of the shelves, the better. Better stores, will have separate storage units for high-end, collectible and older wines.

    I am happy to report that we turn our inventory over about 10 times a year (more than twice the industry standard).

    Happy Drinking!!

    Aug 21, 2010 at 12:58 PM


  • What about proper insulation? Without a well thought out insulation and vapor barrier (which varies based on your geographic location), many of your efforts are lost. So, if you'd like to turn a room in your basement into a nice home for your wines, don't underestimate the importance of insulation/vapor barrier. I'm surprised nobody has brought this up yet in detail, though it might come forward in the follow-up article. On the other hand, I realize this isn't an article on how to actually build a wine cellar, more of the general overview on what makes a great cellar. Cheers!

    Aug 22, 2010 at 8:50 AM


  • Snooth User: jabrn67
    258078 51

    Nice article! I live in AZ = hot! No cellars here. I have a wine fridge and have 2 shelves designated "Do Not Open"! I don't plan on saving these wines for longer than a few years, mainly to experiment with how they tasted now and several years from now. My question is, is a wine fridge sufficient for a few years of "cellaring" and does higher-priced wine = better cellar results? The wines I"m saving are $40 and up.

    Aug 24, 2010 at 10:20 PM


  • Snooth User: habap
    231854 12

    Good point, GMW. I burned out two chiller units over a few years because I hadn't adequately insulated. Our cellar was an unfinished bathroom, which sits next to the furnace room. Being a fool, I didn't insulate between the two rooms. After the first burned out, I insulated the open wall, but didn't worry about heat coming through the ceiling. Somehow, I forgot that heat rises. So, now I have insulated the furnace room more completely and our chiller is working like a champ. (It's actually the second chiller unit, rebuilt by our HVAC guy, with a valve added so he can recharge the freon if needed.)

    For our vapor barrier, we only used topside boat paint, but have had no problems in five years.

    Aug 25, 2010 at 3:36 PM


  • Snooth User: spothead
    571572 1

    Have read a bit on cellar temperature, but never any mention of adverse effects of drawing oxygen into bottles when first brought into a 55 degree cellar from a 75 degree wine shop. It contracts the level of wine enough to effect the size of the air bubble. so isn't it introducing enough oxygen to offset months or years of cellaring? Ie: if you buy an old gem that's at it's peak or beginning to fade, wouldn't it be wiser to keep it at it's present temp even for months to keep new oxygen out?

    Sep 04, 2010 at 4:53 PM


  • Within the last year I finally completed and stocked my wine cellar (a free standing "building of no consequence" - 10' X 12' X 9'). By virtue of it's size, this building with an interior space of 120 sq ft, requires no permit to build. It has cement walls up 4 1/2 feet up from the ground with a dirt berm against that, and R-60 in the remaining 4 1/2 feet up and in the ceiling, and a comp roof. It is temperature controlled via a WhisperKool 4000 Extreme with temperature probe that goes into a wine bottle full of water maintaining the constant 55 degree temperature, even when it's 110 degrees outside.

    I have come to apppreciate being able to bring a bottle from the cellar to my kitchen at 55 degrees, open it up, and enjoy it as it comes up to the ideal
    temperature. This is especially true of finer Pinot Noirs, but even better with
    the more full bodied reds, so I'm a real believer in 55 degrees for long life storage, and for being able to enjoy a wine quite before it gets to that mythical "room temperature", that even most restaurants miss by a country mile.

    Sep 23, 2010 at 5:14 PM


  • Snooth User: transito
    1045041 0

    Transito Antonio Duarte Diaz

    Feb 24, 2012 at 1:05 PM


  • Snooth User: transito
    1045041 0

    Nicaragues

    Feb 24, 2012 at 1:05 PM


  • Snooth User: transito
    1045041 0

    sordo mudo

    Feb 24, 2012 at 1:06 PM


Add a Comment

Search Articles


Best Wine Deals

See More Deals »

Take the "Wine 301- Cellar Humidity" Quiz

How cellar humidity affects your wines and what is ideal.

Test your wine knowledge!







Snooth Media Network