Epicurean home owners around the world dream of one day planning their very own wine cellars. If you want to collect bottles of wine that you expect to appreciate in value or taste and hold them for years to come, you need to be able to store them at a consistent, cool temperature in a dark place. Of course, your basement is probably the best room in your house to do this. Since it is underground, it stays cooler and is protected from light. If you already have a small collection of wines, you are probably storing them in the basement to protect them as much as possible. Did you know that one hot summer, or even just a few exceptionally hot days, can wreck your precious wines? Your new wine cellar should be able to maintain your bottles' cool temperature even in the event of a heat wave.
Begin planning your wine cellar by thinking about how you want to use it. First, figure out how much space you have. If you are converting an existing room, you could be limited. If you are building a brand new room in your basement, though, you are going to have to decide how much space you need and what you can afford. If space is not an object, you may want to build a wine cellar that can accommodate tastings. Some exceptionally fine cellars even contain bars fully stocked with glassware, refrigerators for snacks like fruit and cheese and high top tables to taste at.
You will also need to figure out how many bottles you want to store. Think about how many you already own and how frequently you add to your collection. You probably do not need a wine cellar that holds 5,000 bottles if you know very well that you seldom have time to hunt for new additions. On the other hand, if you start small, you may want to build a wine cellar that can be easily renovated and expanded in the future, just in case you do end up buying more wine than you realized you would.
Once you figure out your wine cellar needs, it is time to start thinking about practical construction concerns. Your wine cellar needs thick, insulated walls, an insulated ceiling and floor, a vapor barrier and a heavily insulated steel door. All of this insulation will be what protects your wine from fluctuations in temperature. It is going to be expensive, but unless you do renovations it will be a one time expense. You also need to think about the electricity in your wine cellar. You definitely need a light. You may also want a cooler and possibly things like a refrigerator or an extra outlet. If you have extremely valuable wines in your cellar, you could even consider having a backup power source to keep your cooler running in case of an emergency.
With all of your practical considerations out of the way, you can start designing the look of your wine cellar. Pick flooring and wall colors that appeal to you. You can choose an elegant light fixture and you will have to pick some racks that are both practical and aesthetically pleasing.