Laying Down Young Wines: Why You Need A Wine Cellar

“Laying Down” wine poetically describes the aging or maturing of your collection.  To do this properly, you need a wine cellar.

There are many wines which require maturation in order to become a pleasant tasting experience.  These wines are the antithesis of the pop-and-pour everyday wines.

Many cultures follow the tradition of laying down wines for special occasions.  Whether it’s the birth of a child, an anniversary, or some other notable event, laying down bottles of wine in commemoration is a long-standing custom.  These wines may take decades to mature.  If you’re facing an event of this sort where do you store them?


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Storage for Proper Aging

I’ve known people who had chosen to store their precious wines in a box in the bottom of their closet awaiting the day they would finally remove the cork!  Years pass and their thoughts returned, each year, to the future opening of the treasure.  Then, on that prestigious day, discovered the wine had been cooked or oxidized.

*Shudder*  We definitely want to avoid the above scenario.  Closets are for skeletons, not a wine collection.

This is where wine cellars come into play.

What Is A Wine Cellar?

A wine cellar is different from a wine cooler in that it is designed for long-term storage of priceless collections.

Wine coolers are primarily for short-term storage and flawless serving temperatures.

Wines which require being laid down also require specific temperature controls and precise humidity levels in order to survive the maturation process.

In order to keep your wine alive, you also must shelter it from light and protect it from vibration.

Many wine cooler manufacturers will call their products “wine cellars” but be aware if they don’t have stellar temperature and humidity controls they are just coolers.  And that’s okay, but we must know the differences.

Wine cellars can be elaborate ‘wine refrigerators.’  But they differ from our everyday wine service coolers in a few ways.

A cellar can also be a room in your home which has been remodeled to accommodate your collection while it rests.

Let’s take a look at the two options.


Elaborate Wine Coolers

An example of a wine cooler which is actually a cellar would be the EuroCave Premiere M Wine Cellar.


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Some say this modern attractive cellar is France’s most guarded secret.  Designed to replicate the conditions of a natural or passive cellar, this product protects your collection against all external factors.

The efficient temperature controls produce a more consistent environment than most wine coolers. Wines which you have lovingly laid down are allowed to mature under peak temperature and relative humidity conditions.

The Premiere M Wine Cellar has the ability to automatically heat or cool to sustain idyllic temperatures.  The unique warming feature means external environmental changes in ambient air will not affect the cellar.


Wine Cellar Rooms

Not only does the addition of a wine cellar protect your investment it may also greatly increases the value of your home.

While a cellar (or wine closet) can be installed in nearly any room of your home, professionals will explain why cooler more humid locations are preferred.  Namely, it has everything to do with your choice of cooling unit and ease of maintenance.

However, it is important to note the chosen space must vent into an adjoining air-conditioned room, never to the outdoors.  Rooms which maintain a higher average temperature (such as a laundry room) is not a good anteroom for your cooler.


Things to Consider

First, in making your selection of a wine cellar cooling unit, the size of your vault plays heavily in your choice.  A cooling unit which is too small will run continually and will struggle to maintain a consistent temperature.  Fluctuating temperatures negatively affect the maturation process.

Secondly, a unit which runs constantly will dry the air, lowering the optimum humidity for storage.  When this occurs your collection becomes susceptible to oxidization when the corks become too dry.

Another thing to consider is having a cooling unit which is too large.  If you cool a room too fast you prevent sufficient dehumidifying.  Too much humidity can cause condensation, peeling labels, and even the growth of mold.

In conclusion, ensuring your wine cellar cooling unit is sized correctly is vital for the preservation of your cherished collection.


Wine Cellar Cooling Unit Options

As with wines, wine cellar cooling units also exist in a great many options.


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Remember the size of the space will begin the rules you must follow to buy the right cooling unit.  If your space is 20 ft2 you will need a unit that can cool 90 cubic feet (90 ft3).

Other factors which will influence your choices will be

  • proximity to outside walls,
  • the average yearly temperature of the space,
  • average humidity of the space,
  • openings such as windows, doors, etc.

Anything which could affect temperature and humidity is to be considered.


A great example of a wine cellar cooling unit is the Koolspace koolR PLUS wine cellar cooling unit.


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The Koolspace unit will cool up to six hundred cubic feet of space (that’s a room which is roughly 8’x9’).  And it can be installed above the door so long as there are wooden studs between which it will fit.

The koolRThis boasts a lighted display which allows you to view your wine cellar temperature from outside the room!   This is a wonderful feature.  It keeps you from having to enter the cellar in order to check the temperature.  Each time you open the door you lose a bit of cool air and humidity.

The digital sensors within this state-of-the-art unit constantly monitor the interior conditions of your cellar.  It also automatically adjusts power levels so you don’t have to.

The insulation in the koolR is both acoustic and thermal.  This ensures it will run quietly and efficiently.

If for whatever reasons, the temperature in your wine cellar gets too high, the koolR is equipped to sound an alarm.  It has another alarm if the humidity becomes excessive.  Always ensuring the protection of your collection.

As you are able to see, there are many considerations for making the right choice.  The size of the collection, available space, alarm systems, no matter what, there is a system out there which will fit your needs and desires.

Whether you need a small electric cellar or are converting space in your home to accommodate your treasures is a terrific place to begin your shopping experience.

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