Top 3 Cellar Construction Mistakes  
Monday, May 1, 2006, 08:41 PM - Wine Storage, Cellar Features, What Not to Do
I don't care how many great builders and contractors you know. Unless they have actually built (a lot of) wine cellars (and done it the right way), you're asking for trouble. Over the years I have had to correct so many situations where a general contractor cost the homeowner a lot money by going about it in the wrong way. Unless your builder has studied exactly how to build the wine cellar room, they're likely going to make at least one of the "top 3" mistakes:

3) Using the wrong type of insulation
2) Finishing the room with drywall instead of greenboard, which is denser and more temperature/moisture resistant
1) Neglecting to install a complete vapor barrier

Whether you hire us or not, get it done right.
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Let there NOT be light 
Sunday, April 30, 2006, 03:33 PM - Wine Storage, What Not to Do
Light and UV damages wine. It's a pretty straightforward relationship: Light = bad. My neighbors got one of those cute little wine refrigerators at Home Depot. I told them get rid of the "display" light inside there. Turn it off, take out the bulb, whatever you have to do. Sure it might make the bottles look pretty for your friends, but all that time your wine is degrading. This goes double for any decorative wine racks or racking furniture in the living areas of your house. If direct sunlight shines on it, forget about putting wine there at all. But even if you can just see it clearly during the day, it means enough light is getting through to hurt your wine. Our advice? Tell your wine to "get a room," and be sure to make it a dark, cool one.

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Home Wine Storage 
Thursday, April 20, 2006, 11:23 AM - Wine Storage, What Not to Do
Do me one favor, those wine racks above your built-in refrigerator look great, but donít EVER put your wine up there. All of the heat from your refrigerator motor is going to do nothing but cook that wine. That compressor runs constantly and there is only one place for that heat to go.

Find a dark place in a lower level Ė that's the ideal place. Usually a basement where there is no sunlight penetrating, and no heat from mechancials, appliances, etc. (Some people stick a wine rack in their mechanical room - please don't!) You want a cool, dry dark place.

The basement is better because it's usually about 5 degrees cooler than rest of your house, and usually it doesnít fluctuate as much as the rest of your house. If your basement is different, gets lots of light or does have temperature changes, it's still not good enough. You want a cool space that's not influenced by outside light. Now keep the wine on its side, and make sure that the temperature in there canít fluctuate.

Of course every wine-loving home should have a wine cellar or refrigerator (call us to learn how affordable it can be!), but for those of you without one, be careful!
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and This One's Too Hot. 
Friday, March 24, 2006, 12:36 PM - Wine Storage, What Not to Do
Heat is very detrimental to wine. And by heat, I mean 65 degrees and above. Room temperature, 68-70 and above, will damage your wine, higher temperatures will damage your wine faster. If a wine is subjected to temperature swings, even in short-term storage, it gets cooked. You loose flavors, you lose character, the nuances of that particular type of grape and what the producer tries to make. Even a very fine wine, once "cooked," can be terrible. If the temperature swings very slowly, over a matter of days instead of hours, and never gets too high it's not as bad. But when it swings in a matter of hours (night to day) or gets perceptibly warm youíre going to get damage.

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This One's Too Cold 
Friday, March 24, 2006, 10:10 AM - Wine Storage, What Not to Do, Enjoying Your Cellar
Cool temperature lengthens the maturing age of your bigger wines (not necessarily your better wines). Now this is subjective, some people like their wine young, where some people like it mature, but mature wine is more much subtle. With proper aging, different tastes come out. If the temperature is too cold, the flavors connot develop properly and you really lose the value of your bigger wines and your better wines.
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Children and Wine Cellars 
Thursday, March 9, 2006, 01:46 AM - Wine Storage, What Not to Do
Children can do a lot of damage to themselves and to the wine in a poorly designed cellar or storage area. They break bottles, try to climb racks and can get very seriously hurt if racks fall on top of them or if glass breaks. Make sure you have a deadbolt lock on that door and a key where they can't reach it (or for older kids, find it). You don't want children accidentally locking themselves in either, which could have tragic results. Use the same caution you would use with any large refrigerator or freezer, keep it locked, keep kids away, and make sure people can't lock themselves inside.
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Why Shrinkage is Bad. 
Sunday, February 12, 2006, 10:24 AM - Wine Storage, What Not to Do
You store a bottle vertically, shrinkage occurs in the cork because no wine (moisture) is there to keep it full. So air enters through the space around the cork and your wine oxidizes. Oxidized wine is vinegar. Now I love a good vinegar for cooking, but not so much in my glass.
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Vapor Barriers 
Saturday, January 14, 2006, 10:19 AM - Wine Storage, Cellar Features, What Not to Do
What many builders don't realize is that the vapor barrier is an integral part of construction of the cellar. It stops warm outside air from entering and cool inside air from leaving because when the two mix, you get moisture. Warm, cold, moisture, condensation, BOOM you get MOLD. You don't want mold in your cellar. You also don't want the humidity level to fluctuate or dry out because you don't want the corks to dry out. So if the builder wants to sell you a "wine cellar" in your new home, make sure it's not just another room with some refrigeration added.
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