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Top 10 DIY Wine Cellar Mistakes - Wine Cellar HQ

Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Building a DIY Wine Cellar

A wonderful wine cellar is a wine collector's dream, and you can make your own space to store and protect your collection. When designing a DIY wine cellar, you will want to consider the conditions where the wine will be kept. Then you can make a plan for keeping your wine in the best environment possible.

Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Building a DIY Wine Cellar

1. Picking the Wrong Location

Choosing the proper location is critical in building your wine cellar. You want to pick a cool, dry area of your home to start, and you will need to be sure to protect it from light and other environmental factors. While you can take steps to change unfavorable conditions that naturally exist, the process is easier when you choose a location that already has the best environment first. 

2. Not Controlling Temperature

Temperature is important when it comes to keeping wine at the optimal conditions. The idea temperature for wine is between 45 and 65 degrees. If the wine is kept too cold, the cork could dry out or the wine could freeze. If wine is too warm, it will age rapidly and the flavor could be destroyed. 
More important than keeping the wine at an exact temperature is keeping the temperature from fluctuating. You want to find a temperature that is easy to create and keep conditions as close to that as possible. Insulation is helpful and should definitely be in the walls and structure of your DIY wine cellar.

3. Ignoring Humidity

High humidity will damage your wine collection, so it's important to keep the humidity levels balanced at all times. The recommended humidity is 60%, but anything between 50% and 70% should be fine. Humidity over 70% can cause mold to grow and can damage the bottles. Humidity under 50% can cause the corks to dry out. 
You can control the humidity of your wine cellar by installing a good humidifier. This will redistribute the moisture in the air and keep it circulating. You will also want to install a vapor barrier. You can do this with plastic sheets that surround the area where you have placed your wine cellar.

4. Allowing Air Leaks

You will want a well-insulated door on your wine cellar to prevent air from entering and leaving the room. This can be accomplished by purchasing an insulated door and by adding weather stripping or other barriers around the edges of the entryway. 

5. Letting in Light

Light, especially sunlight, will quickly damage your wine. This is why most wine bottles are tinted. You will want to build your wine cellar in a space without any windows if at all possible. If you must have a wine cellar in a room with a window, cover it properly so light cannot enter. Use LED lights that can be turned on while the wine cellar is in use, but keep your wine in darkness most of the time. 
A wine that has been exposed to light will age too quickly because of the chemical imbalance that occurs. The wine will not taste right when it is opened.

6. Improper Bottle Storage

There is a good reason that wine bottles are stored at an angle facing down. The purpose of this is to make sure that the cork does not dry out. A dry cork will allow air into the wine bottle, which will then spoil the wine. Dry corks can also crumble into the wine. 
When you build your shelving for storage of your wine collection, choose shelves that allow the bottles to be stored properly.

7. Allowing Scents to Invade

Do not store your wine in the same area of your home as anything that has an odor. An example is storing your wine in the same spot where you store onions. The scent will get into the wine and cause it to break down improperly. This can negatively impact the taste. 
Do your best to keep your wine cellar completely free from foreign scents. Also, avoid using fragrant woods like cedar.

8. Too Much Vibration

Vibration is not good for wine. Wine needs to be quiet and still while it is aging and being stored to avoid chemical changes from occurring. Do not build your wine cellar next to rooms that house appliances like a refrigerator or freezer that create vibration. This can disturb and destroy your wine.

9. Not Thinking About Organization

 It is important to create a plan for your wine cellar before you start to build it. You need to think about how much wine you want to store and how you are going to keep it. Storing too much wine doesn't make sense because you will be racing to drink it before it goes bad. You will also want to consider where you place different kinds of wine. 
It makes sense to keep wine organized by type and winery. That way you will know exactly where to go for the bottle you want. You will also want to consider having storage for bottles in various sizes. Consider the smallest and largest bottles you might buy, and plan accordingly.

10. Forgetting Security

Your wine collection is a special investment, so you want to treat it that way. Make sure that your wine cellar is safe from intruders who might want to steal your wine, particularly if you keep expensive varieties. Installing a substantial lock on your wine cellar door is the least you will want to do. You may also want to consider a security system for your home. 
Having a camera in your wine cellar or at least at the front door is another good idea. If you go to the trouble and expense to collect your wine and build a space for it, you don't want to forget to protect it as well. 
Having a private wine cellar is a dream come true for many wine enthusiasts, and you can build a wonderful wine cellar of your own. Visit us at Wine Cellar HQ for tips and information on storing your wine and building the perfect wine cellar. 
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