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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.