It started with a single wine bottle, then another one, and another after that. Now, you own multiple wine bottles that require ideal storage to preserve their original flavor and aroma. At this point, a home wine cellar becomes necessary. Here, we enlighten you on building a DIY home wine cellar to help you preserve and age your wine collection correctly. For better results, make sure to follow the following steps:
Choose A Room
You can turn any available room in your home into a wine cellar as long as it’s well insulated. While cellars and basements are ideal for wine storage since they’re already cooler compared to other parts of your house, you can also convert an unused bedroom or closet into a wine cellar. However, when choosing a room to turn into a cellar, you should first consider the amount of wine you want to preserve. Also make certain that the room is not exposed to sunlight as light and heat could affect the quality of your wine.
Ensure Adjacent Room Has Enough Ventilation
To turn an ordinary room into a wine cellar, you need a cooling system pumping warm air into the next room. See to it that the neighboring room has at least a door and a window or is well-ventilated so that warm air leaves the room. Since most cooling systems offer a 30 to 50-degree temperature differential, the neighboring room’s temperature should range between 29 to 38 degrees Celsius to ensure the cellar’s temperature stands at 10 to 13 degrees Celsius.
However, if your wine cellar will be in the basement, there’s no need to worry about ventilating other rooms since the warm air will be dispersed outside.
Install A Wine Cellar Cooling System
A wine cellar cooling system is designed to keep your wine cellar at the optimum temperature, emulating the original wine storage solutions, which were deep caves in France. If you’re incapable of installing a cooling system yourself, consider hiring a professional for better results.
Temperature between 10 and 13 degrees Celsius is ideal for the preservation and aging of the wine. If your wine cellar is too warm, your wine will spoil fast. On the other hand, if the cellar is too cold, your wine will likely age slowly, affecting its flavor. It’s critical to regulate your cellar’s temperature to preserve the wine’s flavor.
Place A Vapor Barrier
After measuring the walls and ceiling of the wine cellar, cut pieces of waterproof 6mm plastic to cover the entire room. Each piece should be stretched well to cover the room adequately. Consider using foil-baked tape to ensure the vapor barrier stays in place.
A vapor barrier is important because it helps keep off unwanted moisture that might interfere with your cellar’s humidity levels.
Install A Wood Joint Frame
Use 2” x 6” boards to cover the height of your wine cellar. Position these boards vertically along the cellar’s perimeter with a space of 16 inches from the vapor barrier. Secure the joints with nails at both ends. Repeat this for the ceiling using 2” x 8” boards.
Framing is essential because there should be enough distance between the outer walls and the room’s interior for an extra insulation layer. This helps maintain the ideal temperature for better preservation of your wine. However, if the room is constructed with concrete, it might not be necessary to frame the ceiling.
Use Insulation Material
Fill the gaps in the frame joints with 15 inches of high-efficiency insulation material such as fiberglass or foam batts. However, you might consider using shredded fiberglass for easier installation for smaller spaces such as closets. For better insulation, experts recommend at least R-19 insulation for wine cellar walls and at least R-30 for ceilings, meaning that your insulation should be at least 5.5 inches thick on either side and 10 inches thick on the ceiling.
Cover The Frame With Drywall
After you’re done with insulation, hang drywall to finish the room’s basic structure. Make sure that your sheets fit well and fasten them to the joints every 12 inches with drywall screws. It’s advisable to use about six screws for each sheet.
Use Waterproof Paint On Walls
Apply two to three layers of waterproof paint on your wine cellar walls. When painting your cellar, wait for each coat to dry before applying another coat. Also, it’s advisable to use polyvinyl acetate (PVA) paint for durability. Such paints result in a smooth finish and are ideal for moisture prevention.
Install A Humidifier
If you’ve selected a room with a lower humidity level, it’s necessary to invest in a humidifier. Place it in a corner of the wine cellar. The humidifier supplies the wine cellar with enough moisture to keep humidity at the optimum level of 50 to 75%.
Construct Wine Racks
Wine racks allow easy storage and let you show off your collection.
Research the latest and stylish wine racks to suit your DIY wine cellar. If you’re skilled at woodworking, you can build your own wine racks, customizing them to fit the space in your cellar. But if you find this daunting, you can opt for ready-to-assemble racks. Another alternative is to repurpose available materials such as a wooden crate or chest of drawers to hold your wine bottles.
Install The Correct Door
The ideal wine cellar door should be at least 1.75 inches thick. This size is ideal for maintaining the cellar’s temperature and blocking warmth from other rooms from entering the cellar. However, if you’re using a glass door, the panel should be double-paned, and the glass should be the tempered kind.
Create A Wine Tasting Area
If your wine cellar is spacious, you may consider setting aside a corner for wine tasting. Place a small table and a few chairs in one corner to add glamour to your cellar. This way, you can invite a friend or two to taste your wine collection while showing off your finest wine.
Building a DIY wine cellar at home is a satisfying project for wine enthusiasts. While it can be costly, the project is worth every penny since it will shelve your wine collection properly and with style. The essential element is to build a wine cellar that meets wine preservation thresholds to preserve and age your wine correctly.