Wine cellars bring homeowners a ton of value. Wine cellars are visually striking and add a ton of character to a home. They also allow wine owners to save money by buying wine in bulk, and by allowing them the opportunity to age wine, which increases the wine’s value. There’s no shortage of additional benefits to having a wine cellar from the perspective of a homeowner, but what value does wine cellar provide the wine itself?
By storing properly storing wine in a wine cellar, you’re getting the most out of your wine. This post will provide you with an overview of the 4 ways that wine improves when stored in a cellar.
A wine cellar should be constructed so that the bottles do not receive any direct sunlight. If built into a room with a window, dark drapes should be pulled to prevent any of the light from coming in. Sunlight, or light from incandescent bulbs, harms wine.
The light causes a negative reaction from the phenolic compounds that are in wine. Whenever these sensitive compounds are compromised by unexpected and outsides forces, the taste and flavor of a wine as designed by its creator is also compromised. This is especially true for light-bodied wines, which is why they are typically bottled with a dark tint of glass.
A wine cellar creates an atmosphere where the humidity can be controlled. Controlling the humidity allows for homeowners to protect the corks of their wine. Humidity can cause corks to dry out, which can deteriorate the wine’s quality. Corks that are exposed to too much or too little humidity can crack, which allows oxygen to enter the bottle and contaminate the wine. Sometimes, the cracks can cause the wine to spill out of the bottle and create a mess in your beautiful wine cellar.
Ideally, wine cellars should maintain a humidity range of 50-70%.
Controlling the temperature of your cellar can be the difference between a fully developed bouquet and a mouthful of swill. For wine to best maintain its taste, color, and quality, it needs to be stored at a consistent temperature. If wine experiences shifts in temperature, it will cook the wine and give it a raisin-like taste and aroma.
Some wines are more robust and hold up better under shifting temperature conditions than other delicate wines, but it’s always best to control the temperature.
The ideal temperature is about about 55 °F, however, consistency is more vital than temperature. So long as the temperature is consistent, anything between 55 °F and 70 °F works.
Wine cellars need to have a storage system that allows for wine to be stored on their sides. Why do wines need need to be stored on their sides? Oxygen.
When oxygen enters a bottle of wine, it reacts with the chemicals in your wine, which changes the flavor compounds. It’s through that process that wine ages and develops greater quality and flavor over time. However, while wine requires the presence of oxygen to age and preserve its flavor, too-much oxygen can spoil the wine. Too-much oxygen reacts with the alcohol in wine to form acetic acid, or vinegar, which as you might imagine will spoil the taste of your wine.
By keeping your bottle of wine on its side, the wine cork is able to stay in contact with the wine, preventing itself from drying out. When a cork dries, it changes size and lets too much oxygen seep into the wine. When it remains moist, the only air coming is is the desired amount through the tiny pores in the cork.
Ready to take advantage of these four benefits of storing your wine in a wine cellar? You’re in the perfect place! At Harkraft, we’ve been transforming homes in the Twin Cities for over 50 years, including building custom wine cellars.
Whether you’re looking to store 20 bottles of wine, or 5,000, we have the experience to create a quality wine cellar that you’ll love. Learn more about our work building wine cellars.