Wine Cellars

Upgrade your basement with custom wine cellars

A wine cellar is a cool, dark -- preferably underground -- space dedicated to the storage and aging of bottles of wine; so, in the most rudimentary terms, if you have a department store wine rack in the corner of your basement, you have what could be considered a wine cellar. However, if you are a genuine appreciator of good wines, you are going to want something a little more sophisticated and tailored to keeping your vintages in peak condition until you are ready to enjoy them.

Advertiser Links for Wine Cellars

In a wine cellar refrigeration occurs naturally from the coolness of the underground space. Unlike wine fridges, which are meant for the more intense short-term cooling required to get a bottle of wine to its ideal drinking temperature, a wine cellar should keep wines at a temperature conducive to their long-term storage.

Besides holding bottles in the right temperature range, a wine cellar should also keep the bottles from being exposed to light. The conditions of the basement determine if the racks of home wine cellars can be left open, or whether it is preferable for them to be at least partially enclosed for better control of temperature and light exposure.

Wine Cellar Design: Custom and Kits

Except for those whose homes came with a built-in wine cellar of some sort, most people acquire a wine cellar either by building one themselves, or by having one professionally built for them. For wine cellars built from scratch, there is plenty of room for customization. And if you build your wine cellar using a kit instead, you can choose from so many different styles that your wine cellar will still feel very much customized to your preferences.

Some of the features that differentiate custom wine cellars from one another include:

  • Rack size. The size of the racks in your wine cellar can vary from a single-column rack that holds 10 bottles, to mammoth storage racks that hold hundreds.

  • Rack shape. Your wines don't have to be arranged in plain horizontal rows and vertical columns; many other interesting options are available, including diagonal, diamond-shaped, spiral and cascading arrangements of bottles.

  • Cellar shape. Will the cellar be open or enclosed? Will it be against one wall, two walls in a corner or three walls like a walk-in closet?

  • Material. Wine cellars are most often made from wood, but they can also be constructed from other materials, such as wire mesh.