For those who appreciate a glass of wine like we all do, having the right storage makes perfect sense but in Brisbane that can be tricky considering our sub-tropical weather. A wine cellar will provide you with a place to organize your favourite bottles for easy access and be organized so you’re not grabbing that special bottle blindly at 1 am. So, before you can celebrate this new addition, it’s important to decide what type of cellar you want, what you can achieve and suit your budget. Whether it’s a secret stash of wine in the kitchen cupboard or a custom-built space, you need to pick a spot where your wine will be stored. Think about the location, functionality and aesthetics of your new wine cellar to help you design the right spot. Read on for some tips that will help you create the perfect wine cellar at home.
Location, location, location.
I’m sure we would all love something with all the bells and whistles but for most of us, it’s just not realistic. Once you decide that a wine cellar is right for you, there are a few key things to consider. First, think about the location of your wine cellar and how much space it will take up in your home. If you’re limited on space, you’ll need to find a designated part of your home where you can store a few bottles. As our homes become smaller and smaller the options are pretty limited, but you can be creative. You can even use the space under a staircase for unique wine storage as above. Make sure you take the location into consideration by choosing the coolest area of your house or unit and with little sunlight. If the new wine cellar will be a major addition to your home, take the scope of the project into account so if you’re adding onto your home, think about the structural changes needed and your budget will certainly come into play.
What to consider before you even start.
Once you’re ready to build your wine cellar, there are a lot of crucial things to examine before you commit. Here are some key considerations to think about before you start designing your new cellar:
- How will you use the wine cellar? Will it be a place where you can entertain friends or just a storage space for your favourite wines? Make sure you declutter the space and clean it thoroughly before you work on adding new elements to the structure.
- Understand how to store and maintain your wine properly. Without the right storage conditions, wine can go south pretty quickly which means your treasured bottle of Mouton for your children’s 21st will soon turn into vinegar.
- Look into adding specific components like the right insulation, vapour or moisture barrier and find ways to ensure that your wine cellar has an airtight seal.
- Think about the materials you plan to use for your wine cellar. Glass may look nice, but it’s not a good insulator. If you have your heart set on a glass door, make sure it’s double glazed or that it features an argon-filled portion between two panes to keep the room insulated. Use plywood to cover existing walls or to build new walls since it can withstand moisture.
- Invest in a good, high-quality cooling unit to keep the temperature at an optimum level. While this may cost you a bit more upfront, it’s wise to invest in something high-quality to save you money in the long run. I think we can all agree Brisbane tends to get pretty warm and humid.
- You can build your own custom wine rack or choose a prebuilt rack that will accommodate your desired number of bottles.
- Wine bottles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so don’t forget to install racks or shelving that are adjustable or that feature different designs to fit different bottles.
- Make sure you plan your budget in advance and try not to go over your limit. Talk to several chippies and get a few estimates if you don’t think you can stay within your budget by doing things DIY.
Maintaining your investment.
While you definitely want your new wine cellar to look fabulous with some chic décor, it’s also important that you maintain it, so your bottles of wine remain in good condition. Here are some tips to ensure that your wine cellar is taken care of the right way:
- The temperature and humidity levels need to be consistent for wine to stay fresh, so invest in a good digital thermometer and hygrometer. A hygrometer reads the humidity levels in the air to help you monitor the conditions in your wine cellar. Look for new products that feature wireless capabilities so you can check the status of your wine cellar from your phone.
- Keep your wine cellar clean and don’t let dust accumulate on the bottles. If a bottle breaks or something spills, clean it up immediately to prevent pests from making your wine cellar their home.
- Install some soft lighting in your wine cellar so you can see everything clearly. Choose lightbulbs that emit a soft, warm light and avoid harsh ultra-bright lights that could compromise the integrity & flavour of your wine. LED lights are a good option since they don’t produce a lot of heat.
Wine Storage Guide
Maintaining your wine cellar is important, but you also want to make sure that your wine is stored properly.
- If wine is exposed to sunlight, it can oxidize and change its flavour. Keep your wine in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight & away from fluorescent lights. White wine is especially vulnerable to sunlight since most wineries bottle it in clear glass. Smell your wine when you open it & look for any unpleasant smells which could mean that it has already become oxidized.
- Store wine bottles with corks on their side instead of upright. This will slow down the oxidation process and keep the cork moist, so it doesn’t rot or fall apart. You can store stelvin bottles upright, but ideally, all wine should be laid in racks horizontally.
- Once you open a bottle of wine, it doesn’t typically last more than a day or so, especially in Spring / Summer. White wine and rose can last about four days in the fridge if it’s re-corked. Red wine should last about two days if you replace the cork and store it in a cool, dark place.
- You may be surprised to learn that wine can actually absorb strong odours. If wine is exposed to things like onions, those odours can invite themselves into the cork and get into the wine over time. Avoid exposing your wine to strong odours by keeping it separated from everything else in your home. Adding a door with an airtight seal will help to keep unpleasant odours from seeping into your wine cellar.
- Your wine racks can be made of anything you like including solid wood or metal. It’s easy to make DIY wine racks yourself if you want to save money. You can even choose your favourite type of wood and finish it in your desired colour for a custom look. Just make sure you make enough racks to hold plenty of bottles with room to spare.
Store and Care for Your Wine in Style
A custom wine cellar is a great way to keep your wine safely stored. Look for some unique inspiration online to add décor and lighting to this space, especially if you plan to use it for entertaining or tastings. You can create your wine cellar DIY or hire a chippy if you’re planning to make major changes to your home. If you’re just choosing a small space like an area under a staircase, creating your own wine cellar DIY should be a fairly easy process. Make sure you follow these tips about how to store your wine properly so that it lasts for many years until you’re ready to open it.
Creating a custom wine cellar in your home is a great way to enjoy your favourite bottles of wine while keeping them protected. Look for unique design ideas inspiration and keep wine bottles out of direct sunlight, check the air temperature/humidity levels regularly to ensure they’re always at a consistent level.
Worse comes to worst.
Have a guess where I first started storing wine, in polystyrene foam boxes and esky’s in my cool and dark garage. I actually took my cues off my dad who would wrap his bottles of Lindeman’s Hunter Valley Shiraz & Wyndham Bins in the newspaper, put them into fruit and veg boxes then seal with gaffer tape. I’ve come a bit further with my collection now in several wine fridges which, to be honest is probably the best option most people can hope for when you take into consideration space and budget. Most are designed with our climate in mind & can easily fit into a lot of nook and crannies. More expensive brands don’t necessarily mean the best, several leading brands which I won’t name are owned by the same company, they share parts but do not pass on the savings when services are required. Also, don’t be afraid to check out the secondhand market, most of mine come from this sector & haven’t missed a beat. By the way, my very first wine fridge came from Aldi.
The Top 7 Rated Wine Fridges in Australia.
Below are my top 7 rated wine fridges in Australia. Do you have one you prefer? Let me know by sending me an email at Manager@Baedeker.com.au
- Devanti 12-Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler. …
- Devanti 28-Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler. …
- Devanti 70L Bar Fridge. …
- Heller HBC115B Black Beverage Cooler. …
- Heller HBC98 Black Beverage Cooler. …
- Grand Cru 320 Wine Fridge. …
- Grand Cru Pro 194P
Want to know more? For more information on our storage suggestions or our retail wines, we are here to help. Contact us to discuss your specific needs!
Venue Manager, Baedeker
t: 07 32574482