Tips for Creating the Perfect Wine Cellar

The wine cellar is a place where wine lovers go to find their favorite wines and enjoy them. Wine cellars are often used for storage of wine, but they can also be a room in the house that has been designed specifically as an entertainment space. Wine cellars are always personalized based on the owner’s taste and style; there is no “perfect” wine cellar. However, there are some key features that you should consider when designing yours if you want it to suit your needs!

Organizing your wine collection, no matter if you’re just starting your wine collection with a wine cooler or have curated 100s of bottles in an established wine cellar, will help you avoid opening bottles too soon or too late. It also helps you recognize gaps in your wine collection which can help you with buying decisions in the future!

Aging Bottles

If your wine bottle has a cork at the top, the wine should be aged on its side. This allows the cork to come in contact with the wine, which keeps the cork moist. If the cork becomes dry, it can shrink and let air inside the bottle. As you probably know – oxidation rapidly destroys wine so it’s important the bottles remain sealed properly.

Many active collectors purchase large-format wine bottles. If you recall from our recent blog post, “What is a Jeroboam? A Guide to Wine Bottle Sizes,” there are so many different sizes of wine bottles! Wines tend to remain more stable in sizes larger than a standard 750 ml bottle, so you may find magnum, jeroboam, and even larger format bottles in a serious collectors’ wine cellar.

Humidity and Temperature

Temperature and humidity are two crucial elements to storing wine. The proper temperature for storing wine is 55-59°F with 55-75% humidity.

Darkness is also a critical element with storing wine because any exposure to light will cause the wine’s color, character, and flavor profile to deteriorate. Wine cellars are typically designed with this in mind.

What Wines Age Best in a Wine Cellar?

The majority of wines today are designed for early consumption. If you want your wine to age well over several years, your best bet are the wines that have the following characteristics:

Wines with Moderate to High Levels of Acidity

Wines lose acidity with time, so the acid level needs to start at a higher concentration.

Red Wines with Higher Tannin Levels

The polyphenols in tannins are what help stabilize color and flavor in your favorite bottles of wine.

Sweetness

Just like you’ll find in jam, sweetness acts as a preservative for wine. Fine, sweet wines tend to age very well for this exact reason.

Organizing Your Wine Cellar

No wine cellar or wine collection is identical to the next. Each collector has their own personal preferences, which is what makes having a wine cellar and organizing it your own personal preference! Here are a few ways people tend to organize their collection:

  • Style
  • Price Point
  • Variety
  • Region
  • Producer

Tips for Organization

One of the best tips for organizing your wine cellar involves the grid system. A grid system will allow you to track and locate your bottles with ease, regardless of how large your collection grows over time. You can give each column of wines in your collection a letter and each row a number, similar to an Excel spreadsheet. This will allow you to note the exact location of each bottle in your collection.

Another tip is to place the bottles you intend to age for the longest period of time either out of reach or in the back of your wine cooler. On the same note, put the bottles you intend to consume soon in more accessible positions.

Ready to Organize?

We hope you found this post helpful in creating the perfect wine cellar or organization system for your aging wines! Of course, there is no one proper way to set up your wine cellar. The method might change with time as you establish a larger collection or relocate. Whatever system you land on, you’ll be happy to know your bottles are stored properly and can be located with ease. And, if you’re looking to add some Yadkin Valley wine to your collection, we have you covered. Cheers!