Turn any Space into a Custom Home Wine Room

We’re thrilled to announce that in addition to building the custom, one-of-a-kind wine cellars we’re known for, we will now also be offering wine room design and build services.

The Northwest Wine Room

When our clients in Portland, Oregon asked us to transform an incomplete nook of their finished basement into a luxury wine storage and display room, we jumped at the chance. 

It’s no secret that we love our wine in the Northwest, and the wet winters we slog through each year are a small price to pay for some seriously drool-worthy vintages. But, when cold days and dark nights are keeping everyone inside, there's no better way to enjoy a glass of wine than by hopping down to your personal wine cellar for that luscious bottle of  St. Supéry Estate Élu. No raincoat required.

Previous homeowners had earmarked the space as a wine room, installing the glass doors, flooring and overhead lights, but never completing the project before selling the house. The unfinished space left us ample room to come in and create a style that really suited our clients' taste and decor.

The wine room we designed and built holds up to 650 bottles of wine, with space to stock large format bottles and glassware, adjustable floating glass shelves, plus additional room for wooden wine boxes down below.

Fully clad in Mahogany Sapele with raw steel racks, a display row to highlight favorite bottles, a universal cable racking system, and energy-efficient LED backlighting, the room creates a show-stopping, modern design that fits seamlessly into this stylish Northwest home. 


Interested in creating your own custom wine room, cellar or bar?

All of our projects begin with a free design consultation and are:

  • Fully customizable for your space and collection
  • Built with a universal racking system
  • Handcrafted with wood and high-quality finishes sourced directly from Northwest suppliers
  • Cooled with professional grade refrigeration 

The Best Wine Glasses for Every Bottle in Your Wine Cellar

The Best Wine Glasses for Every Bottle in Your Wine Cellar

A guide to Fine wine stemware

If you’ve gone to the trouble of collecting wine — finding that perfect bottle of Pinot Noir from your favorite AVA (in our opinion nothing compares to Ribbon Ridge in Oregon’s Willamette Valley), and storing it until it’s reached its peak — make sure that the act of drinking it lives up to all the anticipation by pairing it with the right stemware.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Does the wine glass really make a difference?

Tasting wine is a subtle art (and, for some of us, a life pursuit). For the casual drinker of mass produced bottles, glassware probably won’t make a huge difference in your experience, and you can skip right to our pick for all-around best wine glass if you don’t want to read on and nerd out. For the wine collector and enthusiast, the right glass can most definitely make a difference in the tasting experience. 

Different types of wine glasses are meant to showcase different types of wine, keep them at the right temperature while you drink, and deliver wine to the right parts of your tongue while you swirl, sip and swish.

So whether you’re a wine collecting beginner, or a long-time vintage wine collector, we’ve got you covered with our glassware guide including the glass vs. crystal debate, info on what each glass does best, plus our picks for the best wine stemware in each category. 


Which are Better: Glass or Crystal Wine Glasses?

The first thing you’ll need to decide before investing in the best wine stemware, is whether to go with crystal or glass.

Because of the higher mineral content in crystal, you'll get a thinner rim without the ridge you'll find on a lot of glass stemware. A thin rim is ideal for wine tasting because it makes sure the wine goes to the right part of the mouth, so crystal is the best choice for serious wine connoisseurs.

For those of you who bust more wine glasses than moves on the dance floor, or have a lot of large parties, opt to keep the majority of your stemware collection in glass, and consider in investing in a couple crystal glasses for special occasions and bottles.

Since this guide is focused on the best glasses for enjoying your wine collection, we've stuck to crystal, but we like the Libbey Signature Series as an affordable, everyday glass ($35 for 4 on Amazon)

 
  Crystal Stemware Glass Stemware
Thinness

Mineral content makes crystal stronger without the thickness.

Glass needs to be thicker at the rim, and typically has a ridge, which can interfere with wine tasting.
Care Vintage crystal should always be hand washed. Newer, lead-free crystal may be dishwasher safe, but always check instructions. Hand wash or dishwasher
Cost $$$ $-$$
Sparkle Factor

+++

+
Best for Serious wine collectors and tasters & special occasions/bottles Everyday wines and parties

Red Wine Glasses

Red wine stemware is going to feature a large bowl, and while there are many varietal specific glasses out there, the main two to consider for your collection are the Burgundy glass for lighter bodied, more delicate reds and the Bordeaux glass for bigger varietals like Cabernets and Syrahs. 

The main difference? The additional height and smaller bowl of the Bordeaux glass delivers wine further back in the mouth to maximize flavor, while the shorter, larger-bowled Burgundy glass aims the delicate flavors of Pinot Noir and other subtle reds to the tip of your tongue. 


Bordeaux Wine Glasses 

 

Zalto Denk'Art Bordeaux Glass

This splurge-worthy, feather-light mouth blown crystal showcases wines like no other glass we've experienced and we love the elegant angles and proportions. 

Riedel Veritas Cabernet/Merlot Glass

These reasonably priced, machine blown crystal glasses do a great job highlighting the nose and nuance of big reds without breaking the bank.

 
 

BURGUNDY Wine GLASSES

 

Riedel Veritas New World Pinot Noir Glass

The tulip shape and thin, seamless rim on these glasses make them a standout for sniffing, swirling and sipping delicate, nuanced reds like Oregon's Pinot Noirs.  

Schott Zwiesel Burgundy Wine Glass

The large, tapered bowl on these glasses is ideal for opening up lighter bodied reds, and can stand in for oaked Chardonnays as well.  

 

White Wine Glasses

In general, white wine glasses are going to have a shorter stem and smaller bowl than red wine glasses, and while they do come in different shapes for different varietals, we think the difference in the tasting experience across glasses is a bit less noticeable than it is for red wines.

If you favor higher acidity whites, like Pinot Grigio, select a more narrow bowl like our picks below. If you're a fan of fuller bodied whites, such as oaked Chardonnays, opt for a glass with a wider bowl like the Schott Zweisel Burgundy Glass above. 

 

Riedel Veritas Riesling/Zinfandel Glass

The tall, narrow bowl of these glasses make it a good choice across lighter-bodied whites, with the added bonus of feeling great in the hand and creating a sophisticated look on the table. 

Schott Zwiesel Sauvignon Blanc Glass

The small bowl and angled shape of these glasses is perfect for releasing aromas and highlighting tasting notes of higher acidity whites and Rosés. 

 

Sparkling Wine Glasses

Flutes are ideal for drinking champagne because the narrow width exposes less of the liquid to the air, which will keep your Bubbly bubbling for longer. The height also highlights the complexity and nose of sparkling varietals. 

 

Gabriel Glas Champagne Flutes

We prefer a tapered shape for our flutes to better showcase the nose on sparkling wines. These sophisticated and airy flutes show sparkling wines beautifully. 

Riedel Vitis Champagne Glass

The slightly faceted shape of these flutes lends an extra sparkle factor, while the tapered bowl allows you to fully experience the nose and flavor of your favorite Bubbly. 

 

Best All Around Glass

 

Riedel Veritas Cabernet/Merlot Glass

If you’re just getting started with wine collecting and looking for one stellar glass for all of your wines, we recommend this one. The bowl is big enough to bring out the complexities of bigger reds, it’ll do for a Pinot in a pinch, and can stand in for white wines as well.

Zalto Denk’Art Universal Glass

If you like the simplicity of a single glass, but you're ready to upgrade from Riedel, you can't beat the feel, elegance and thinness of the Zalto Denk'Art. 

 

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6 Tips To Design Your Perfect Custom Wine Cellar

A wine collection is a thing of beauty that you’ll appreciate for years to come, and the same should be true of your wine storage. Whether you’re stashing a few bottles, or a few hundred, here are our top tips for creating your perfect home wine cellar.

1. It’s all about temperature control

Our number one tip: If you’re storing wine for any length of time, you want to control temperature and humidity to protect your wine until the moment you open it. The ideal environment for long-term wine storage is protected from light, with a temperature from 55°-58° F and enough humidity (50-70%) to keep corks from drying out. The single worst place in your home to store wine? In the kitchen.

 Control temperature and humidity with a unit like the CellarPro technology we use in all of our cellars. 

Control temperature and humidity with a unit like the CellarPro technology we use in all of our cellars. 

If you don’t have access to an underground wine lair (or, you know, a basement with a steady temperature) we recommend investing in a wine fridge or a temperature-controlled wine cellar, depending on the size of your collection. 


2. Consider your collection

Size matters when it comes to wine storage, and you’ll want to invest in enough space to house a growing collection vs. maxing out wine racks instantly. We suggest leaving room for 25-30% growth, so if you generally have a couple cases on hand, plan to be able to store an at least an additional half case. If you’re already into hundreds of bottles, leave room for another 50-100. Also think about the bottle formats in your collection — if you invest in large format bottles, make sure to use a universal racking system that will accommodate them. 

 Design your wine cellar with room for your wine collection to grow. 

Design your wine cellar with room for your wine collection to grow. 


3. Size up your space 

If you have a lot of space, and a big wine collection, you might consider the ultimate luxury of a fully dedicated custom wine room, but you don’t need a 5,000 square foot home to invest in wine storage — we work with clients all the time who need to design around narrow spaces, angled rooms, low ceilings, stairways and other obstacles

Two simple ways to deal with small spaces are to build wine storage into your existing cabinetry, or to invest in a piece that can double as furniture, like a credenza wine cellar.

 Wine storage doesn't have to be an eye sore. Creating a wine cellar or fridge that can double as a beautiful piece of furniture means you can maximize space and style.

Wine storage doesn't have to be an eye sore. Creating a wine cellar or fridge that can double as a beautiful piece of furniture means you can maximize space and style.


4. Decide if portable or built in wine storage is best for you

If you’re renting, or living in a house that you know isn’t your “forever” home, going with a stand-alone piece means that when you move you can take your wine cellar with you. On the other hand, built-in wine storage, whether it’s a wine fridge, wine cellar or custom wine room is an investment with a good return that can set you apart from other properties when it’s time to sell. 

 Freestanding or built in? Decide which is best for you based on your space and how long you plan to stay in your home.

Freestanding or built in? Decide which is best for you based on your space and how long you plan to stay in your home.


5. Express your style 

Making the up front investment in a wine cellar that suits your style and fits seamlessly into your home means you’ll keep it for much longer than one you don’t love or that’s not quite “you.” Whether you’re matching finishes to existing cabinetry, or creating a stunning piece of furniture that doubles as wine storage, consider whether you want a modern, rustic, decorative, or industrial look — when it comes to finishes, the sky is the limit and these are the details that will really set your cellar apart. 

 A modern, rustic look creates a show stopping look in this wine country estate. 

A modern, rustic look creates a show stopping look in this wine country estate. 


6. Give it a story 

For something truly unique, consider using materials that matter to you — whether it’s wood from a family barn or hardware from a family heirloom, you can work it into your design to create a truly custom home wine cellar. 

 This custom wine bar and cellar was crafted from wood we hand harvested from a 100-year-old barn on our client's property. 

This custom wine bar and cellar was crafted from wood we hand harvested from a 100-year-old barn on our client's property.