Wine Cellar

Most people have probably only seen a wine cellar in a movie or television program, but they really do exist. Many wineries and wine aficionados have wine cellars, although personal wine cellars are usually fairly small. While wine cellars are usually belowground, there are aboveground versions that are usually referred to as a wine room. Small wine cellars (those that can hold less than 500 bottles of wine) are often referred to as wine closets.

Wine cellars are used for storing wine in both bottles, barrels, and, in rare cases, other types of containers. Why are these alcoholic beverages stored in special cellars? Well, mostly to protect the beverages from external influences that can cause them to go bad. This can include bright light and varying temperatures. Often, if wine is exposed to humidity, heat, light, or even vibrations, it can spoil. Also, storing them in a constant temperature and in the darkness can actually improve a wine’s taste and smell.

There are actually two types of wine cellars: active and passive. Active wine cellars include extensive climate control systems that regulate the temperature and the humidity of the cellar. Active wine cellars must be built very specifically. The climate control system must be very sensitive to changes, and the walls have to be insulated. In fact, there are some cooling systems specifically built for use in a wine cellar. These systems may be even further customized for specific areas. A wine cellar in a dry climate, for example, must include humidifiers to keep the air from being too dry. To truly keep wine as it should be kept all aboveground wine rooms and wine closets must be actively controlled.

Passive wine cellars, on the other hand, do not contain any climate control system. They’re almost always built underground in a naturally damp, cool area. Passive wine cellars are only really possible in areas where there are few temperature fluctuations, such as in a temperate zone. There is more of a risk with using a passive wine cellar because a sudden, unexpected temperature shift could cause the entire stock of wine to go bad. However, passive cellars do not have the expensive costs that active wine cellars do, making them more affordable.

Most active wine cellars are kept between 7 and 18 degrees Celsius, and many believe that 13 degrees Celsius is the optimum temperature since that is the temperature of the caves in France where some of the best wines are stored. However, wine does mature differently and more quickly at higher temperatures. Anywhere between 10 and 14 Celsius is considered “normal.”

Wineries and wine experts don’t always agree on how much humidity wine needs. Some believe that low humidity can cause naturally organic corks to dry out, while others are not concerned by this possibility. In most places, covering the floor with gravel and regularly spraying it down with a bit of water is enough to keep the wine cellar humid. Only those with wine cellars in very dry locations really need to worry about humidity.

Most private wine cellars contain wine racks for storing bottles. Some racks store wine at an angle, although most bottles are stored on their sides with the label up. In large wine cellars, especially those at wineries, large barrels of wine may also be stored in the cellar. These large wine cellars may also include a small table and a few chairs for wine tasting. Many wine cellars feature rustic, aged wood and other accoutrements to create an atmosphere, although some are very modern looking.

This Wine Cellar Review is Written/Updated on Jun 11th, 2009 and filed under Kitchen Appliances. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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