Wine Rooms: For Storage and Showing Off

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Apparently residents as well as visitors drink a lot of wine in Las Vegas.

April 01, 2003

 

Christopher Homes' version, designed mostly for entertaining, offers a variety of storage options for wine and accouterments, including a wine refrigerator. The finishes are typical of the trend: exposed brick, faux painted walls, granite surfaces, a heavy wood door and a rustic tile floor.

Apparently residents as well as visitors drink a lot of wine in Las Vegas. Erika Geiser, vice president of marketing for Vegas-based Christopher Homes, estimates that 99% of the company's custom homes and 25% of its luxury production homes include a wine room or wine cellar. But it's not just Las Vegas - wine rooms are hot all over.

From functional storage to gorgeous showcases, each wine room ideally strikes a balance that suits buyers' needs. Tony Perry, vice president of Orren Pickell De-signers & Builders in Bannockburn, Ill., says a collector typically has 2,000 to 5,000 bottles but could have up to 12,000.

 

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"That's a significant investment," Perry says, "and temperature and humidity controls are very important," meaning a whole-room environmental system is essential. The ideal temperature of a wine cellar is the same as that of subterranean cellars in France, a consistent 55-60 degrees regardless of the type of wine. The proper relative humidity, 60% to 70%, keeps corks moist while not inviting mold growth.

A typical temperature of 50-60 degrees is not comfortable for entertaining, however, so an anteroom or adjacent area might serve as a tasting room.

Christopher Homes' version, designed mostly for entertaining, offers a variety of storage options for wine and accouterments, including a wine refrigerator. The finishes are typical of the trend: exposed brick, faux painted walls, granite surfaces, a heavy wood door and a rustic tile floor.

For serious collectors, vibration can be a concern, as it disturbs delicate sediment in bottles. Builder/remodeler Thomas Kearin of Windward Builders in Lake Forest, Ill., often builds a wine room as a "room within a room" - a stick-framed room within concrete walls and floor.

A growing number of wine rooms are used primarily for entertaining. These often are dressed to impress with exposed brick walls, iron detailing and furnishings, and usually a wine-tasting table or bar. For these showoff rooms and for smaller collections, all three builders recommend self-contained wine refrigerators - which hold 50 to 200 bottles - but caution that refrigerators give off heat. Wines that will be consumed soon can be stored in racks at room temperature.

Stone, painted or stained concrete, and ceramic tile are popular floors, and storage racks are often redwood and left unfinished, as finished wood might not hold up in high humidity. Wine bottles should be stored on their sides at a slight downward angle to keep corks moist.

Kearin says most clients want a mix of storage for individual bottles, cases and showcase items. A builder's best bet, he says, is to use adjustable components, whether they're custom-built, off-the-shelf or designed by a wine-storage manufacturer.

 

Getting Technical

Wine experts agree that along with its many admirers, wine has its share of enemies, namely heat, light, inconsistent humidity, vibration and odors. Most of these can be controlled if the room is airtight, with the proper cooling and ventilation. Here are some guidelines for designing and building wine cellars from The Wine Enthusiast, a custom cellar designer and wine supply emporium in Elmsford, N.Y.

Getting Technical

Wine experts agree that along with its many admirers, wine has its share of enemies, namely heat, light, inconsistent humidity, vibration and odors. Most of these can be controlled if the room is airtight, with the proper cooling and ventilation. Here are some guidelines for designing and building wine cellars from The Wine Enthusiast, a custom cellar designer and wine supply emporium in Elmsford, N.Y.

Getting Technical

Wine experts agree that along with its many admirers, wine has its share of enemies, namely heat, light, inconsistent humidity, vibration and odors. Most of these can be controlled if the room is airtight, with the proper cooling and ventilation. Here are some guidelines for designing and building wine cellars from The Wine Enthusiast, a custom cellar designer and wine supply emporium in Elmsford, N.Y.

Getting Technical

Wine experts agree that along with its many admirers, wine has its share of enemies, namely heat, light, inconsistent humidity, vibration and odors. Most of these can be controlled if the room is airtight, with the proper cooling and ventilation. Here are some guidelines for designing and building wine cellars from The Wine Enthusiast, a custom cellar designer and wine supply emporium in Elmsford, N.Y.

Getting Technical

Wine experts agree that along with its many admirers, wine has its share of enemies, namely heat, light, inconsistent humidity, vibration and odors. Most of these can be controlled if the room is airtight, with the proper cooling and ventilation. Here are some guidelines for designing and building wine cellars from The Wine Enthusiast, a custom cellar designer and wine supply emporium in Elmsford, N.Y.

Getting Technical

Wine experts agree that along with its many admirers, wine has its share of enemies, namely heat, light, inconsistent humidity, vibration and odors. Most of these can be controlled if the room is airtight, with the proper cooling and ventilation. Here are some guidelines for designing and building wine cellars from The Wine Enthusiast, a custom cellar designer and wine supply emporium in Elmsford, N.Y.

Getting Technical

Wine experts agree that along with its many admirers, wine has its share of enemies, namely heat, light, inconsistent humidity, vibration and odors. Most of these can be controlled if the room is airtight, with the proper cooling and ventilation. Here are some guidelines for designing and building wine cellars from The Wine Enthusiast, a custom cellar designer and wine supply emporium in Elmsford, N.Y.

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