How Do You Make a Basement Wine Cellar?

Your basement may be the best place to store your wine if you are looking for a passive storage solution (one that does not require a cellar cooling system or wine refrigerator).

Basements stay cool and damp naturally, two conditions wine needs for aging. Still, if you decide to keep your wine in the basement, you should measure that space's temperature and humidity before moving in your wine. You will likely find that you need to update your basement to maintain a consistent environment. Here are some tips on what to do and what you need to know to ensure your basement is wine-friendly.

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Why Do You Need to Store Wine in a Wine Cellar?

Wine needs specific conditions to age properly. The temperature inside a wine cellar should be between 40 to 65◦F, with 55◦F being the ideal temperature. Try to avoid temperature swings greater than 1 to 3 degrees as they can negatively affect the wine. Humidity inside a wine cellar should be around 70% RH. Proper humidity allows the cork to maintain a tight seal and prevent oxidization. As wine ages, it should sit undisturbed. Movement or vibrations can kick up the sediment inside the bottle. UV rays should be avoided. White wines, in particular, are susceptible to becoming lightstruck, which causes the wine to have an undesirable taste and odor.

Tips for Converting Your Basement into a Wine Cellar

1. Know the dimensions of your room: You will need to know the room's exact width, height, and depth so that you can maximize your bottle storage capacity and select the proper cellar cooling system.

2. Avoid vibrations: Select an area of the basement free from constant foot traffic or other vibrations, such as the movement of a washer/dryer.

3. Flooring is essential: If you are keeping your concrete floors, they will need to be sealed. Any tile or other flooring will also need to be sealed.

4. Creating a proper seal: Your wine cellar should be properly sealed to avoid temperature and humidity fluctuations. You will need to install proper insulation and a vapor barrier. Fiberglass, foam, or blown-in insulation can be used with a minimum requirement of R-13 for the walls and R-19 for the ceiling, R30 preferred.

5. Door: Select an exterior grade door that is a minimum 1-3/4" thick. If you prefer the look of glass, select doors that are tempered, double-paned, or triple-paned. Weatherstripping and a sturdy threshold will also be necessary to prevent leaks and ensure a good seal.

6. Painting the walls: Select a paint that is listed as no VOC or water-based. Avoid any paints or finishes that have a strong odor. These odors can penetrate the cork of a wine bottle and affect the taste of the wine.

7. Add a Cellar Cooling System: The cellar cooling system is the workhorse of the wine cellar. It will maintain a steady temperature and humidity inside the wine room.

8. Add wine racks. The wine racks you select should be able to withstand the cold and humid environment of your wine cellar. They should hold bottles horizontally to keep the cork moist.

Turn Your Basement into a Wine Cellar

Are you ready to convert your basement into the wine room of your dreams? Vinotemp has wine racks, cooling systems, and more to help you make a wine cellar you will surely enjoy for many years. Contact us with our Contact Form.