Skip to content
Call us at 888-589-1833 - Free Shipping on Hundreds of Products
Call us at 888-589-1833 - Free Shipping on Hundreds of Products
What Components Should You Have in a Modern Wine Cellar?

What Components Should You Have in a Modern Wine Cellar?

Wine has been consumed for thousands of years to celebrate, to complement good food, or just to relax. Fortunately, the way wine is stored has evolved from its earlier days, and as personal interest in collecting wine grows, more and more people are looking into having a modern wine cellar in their home. Wine can be a serious investment, and keeping it stored properly will take some planning. If you are thinking about designating a place in your home for wine, there are some things to consider as you start to plan.

What Components Should You Have in a Modern Wine Cellar?


Before you begin planning the design of your wine cellar, you need to figure out what your budget is. There are a wide range of possibilities for this type of project, ranging from basic to over-the-top and everything in between. Once you determine your spending power, you will be able to get started.


How much you have for spending, as well as your enthusiasm for collecting are both factors in where your wine room will be located. Wine cellars are no longer delegated to basements, thanks to the sophisticated cooling systems that are now available. In fact, they are popping up in some very unusual places in the home, including in closets or under staircases. Keep in mind that you will want to avoid a place with heavy traffic to avoid vibrations which will disturb the wine.

Some people are still opting for having a passive wine cellar in their homes. These spaces must be located below ground, and are heavily dependent upon your natural, seasonal environments. While there is a certain nostalgia connected to the traditional approach to wine cellars which were designed before refrigeration options were available, it is important to remember the purpose of this room is to help you protect the value of your wine.

Keeping it Cool

Wine needs to be kept in a cool, moist, and humid environment away from natural sunlight, because having consistently low temperatures will prevent it from aging too quickly. It is imperative that the room be cool and humid round the clock, which makes having a cooling system installed necessary. These cooling systems come in different forms, and you can make your decision based upon your vision for the space.

Self-Contained Cooling Systems

These are the most budget friendly, and easiest to install. They come in many sizes, depending upon how much space you are trying to keep cool, and can be mounted to any wall. Self-contained systems house both the condenser and the evaporator, meaning that the warm air will be sucked out of the room from one side, and cool air blown back into it from the other.

Split Cooling System

Split Cooling Systems are more efficient when it comes to maintaining a constant temperature. This “split” system comes in two parts, so the condenser could be placed in another room, which would cut down on some of the noise that it produces, while the evaporator would stay closer to the wine. Unlike the self-contained systems, this type will require installation by a licensed HVAC technician.

Ducted Cooling System

This is an ideal choice for wine enthusiasts who are going to be using this room for entertaining, and not exclusively for storage. This system will not interfere with the aesthetics, as it can be installed quite a distance away from the actual room. Like the split unit, this will need to be installed by a professional.

We've also compared the best wine cellar cooling units here.

Vapor Barrier

Having a vapor barrier is a necessary part of the construction of your new wine room. It is not something that you want to leave off your list, as it will keep moisture from getting inside of the walls. In addition, it helps to keep a consistent temperature in the room.

Keep the Cool Air In

Choosing the right door won't be the biggest decision that you will make, but there are a few key things to consider. You will want a door with a tight seal on all sides, so that cool air won't leak from the room driving your utility bill up. Additionally, having an insulated glass door will put your collection on display for friends and guests who visit.


Since your wine should be stored in a dark space, lights will be important if you are looking to display your wine or entertain in this space. You don't want to get something that is going to cook your wine from above, however, so consider LEDs. Installing lights with motion sensors is another way to cut back on costs.


Keeping in mind that this will be a cool, moist environment, you will want to avoid carpets so that you don't have mold issues. Stone is a great choice for recreating the feel of an authentic wine cellar, certain hardwoods are fine, and some people are even using recycled wine barrels, or cork which is mold and mildew resistant.


Having the right shelving is an important part of your visual design, but they also need to be functional. Think about the types of wine that you will be storing; Will all the bottles fall into the 375ml category, or will you be shelving splits and magnums? Wine bottle come in different shapes as well, so this is another consideration. Ask yourself if you will need to design a space to store wooden cases as well.

Browse our wine racking systems here.


Will you want to leave room for decanting and sipping in your wine cellar? Depending upon how much space you have, you may find yourself wanting to show off your library of bottles by adding some seating. What better way to share your knowledge of wine with friends while you sip, then to do it surrounded by your collection?

Read our full wine cellar build blog post here.

You don't have to be a wine aficionado to realize the benefits of creating a wine room. This fun, new addition to your home will make entertaining even more exciting, while keeping your wine in its prime. We have everything that you need to get started at Wine Cellar HQ, from wine racks and barrel furniture, to cooling systems. Call us at Wine Cellar HQ to schedule your free consultation, and let our experts help you make your dream a reality.

Randy Green

Randy is a true wine storage aficionado and expert in wine cellar design. He gained construction experience as a partner in a general contracting business before niching into and passionately focusing on creating wine storage solutions for clients in 2016. He takes great pride in bringing these designs to life, and is dedicated to ensuring that every wine cellar he creates is not only functional but also a beautiful addition to any home or business. The Wine Cellar HQ team also includes refrigeration sizing experts and licensed HVAC technicians to ensure optimal climate control for your wine cellar, so that your wines can age to perfection.
Previous article Minimalist Modern Wine Cellar Design: Show Off Your Collection in a Stylish Way

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields