For ages, wine cellars have been dark, windowless spaces with bottles stuffed into cubbies that are more function than form.
Traditionally a wine cellar was thought to be anything situated below ground, but today, with modern construction materials and techniques, that distinction is less applicable and does not suit a new generation for whom wine collecting is as much a social hobby as an investment.
At its core, a wine cellar is simply any place designated to store a collection of wine. Wine cellars come in various sizes, from compact under-the-counter units to full-height, built-in cellars designed for large wine collections.
People who are more than occasional wine drinkers know that they need more space for wine storage than a normal refrigerator can offer.
A wine cellar can benefit its owner and their collections in many ways. Building a custom wine cellar even enhances a connoisseur’s experience.
A cellar protects your collection from deterioration caused by heat, light and vibration. Its cool environment allows your wines to age properly, which maximizes your investment, while its high humidity keeps your corks tight.
Cellar owners enjoy the experience of cultivating their personal wine collection and have the perfect stage to showcase their finds.
While the ultimate purpose will always be to store wine, a cellar can also be a place to entertain guests, a beautiful object of desire to show off, a protective sanctum for a valuable investment, or any combination thereof.
Unique wine storage ideas allow you to make your home different from others. The way you store and display your wine not only saves space and time, it can help add style and class to your home that creates a unique and enjoyable ambiance.
Whatever uses you might intend for your cellar, it is important to keep in mind that wine is a perishable product, and its protection should always be paramount. Designing an aesthetically pleasing room with wine racks is one thing. Making a stunning cellar that is also fully functional is another.
You will likely be investing as much in wine as you are on your cellar, so it makes good economic sense to take efforts to protect both investments. When properly stored, age-worthy wine not only maintains its quality longer, but as it matures, its aroma, flavor and complexity continue to improve.
Tatiana Clark, M.S.I.E., is the Lead Designer of Winslow Design Studio, Hilton Head Island, www.winslowdesignstudio.com.