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Qualities of Good Home Wine Cellars


A home wine cellar is a wine storage room for wines that are in barrels or bottles and is normally built underground. Some environmental factors have to be put into consideration to ensure that any wine stored in a wine cellar maintains its freshness even after many years of storage.

The humidity and temperature of a wine cellar should be carefully monitored in order to guarantee that the wine remains fresh in the cellar. If a cellar is built above the ground, it is called a wine room and if it contains less than 500 bottles, it will be called a wine closet.

Building a home wine cellar mainly ensures that wine is protected from heat and light, which will compromise the quality of the wine. Wine is a perishable food product that should be protected from fluctuating temperatures, heat and light as well as vibrations and light. With proper storage, wine not only maintains its freshness but also improves on the quality of its aroma, complexity and flavor.

Therefore, a good wine cellar should not only maintain the freshness of the wine but also improve it. 5-18 °C is the right temperature in a good wine cellar with variations also should be avoided. If the temperatures changes, it should change by less than 10 °C or less.

The French stored their wines in caves of these temperatures and therefore people knew that those were the correct temperatures for wine cellars. When the temperature of a wine cellar is too high, the wine will mature faster than it should and therefore miss out on some steps that give it the qualities of a well matured wine. Wines that mature too fast will taste more like vinegar and not have the sweet and savory taste that good wines normally have.

A wine cellar can be actively cooled or passively cooled. Proper insulation and professional work should be done if a wine cellar is to have active cooling systems. In order for the humidity and temperature of a wine cellar to be regulated, special wine cooling systems have to be installed.

Unless the weather is too hot, most people do not use the active cooling systems for their home wine cellars. Areas that are naturally very cools are the best areas to have a passively cooled wine cellar. Passive cooling does not require any energy to work and is used mainly in basement wine cellars. They are therefore cheaper albeit unreliable sometimes.