How important is temperature and humidity to wine? Very important. Serving temperature for all wine is critical to storing and ultimately enjoying a great wine.

Here’s a quick reference chart showing the proper serving temperature for each type of wine.

Wine Type Serving Temperature
     Sparkling Whites      45 – 48 F
     Light Whites      45 – 50 F
     Full-Bodied Whites      50 – 55 F
     Light Reds      55 – 60 F
     Full-Bodied Reds      60 – 65 F

Wine cellar climate control can help keep your various wines at the right temperature and humidity levels. Even if you’re just starting your collection or wanting to create your own wine cellar, wine cellar climate control is a must!

Wine not stored properly will literally ruin the wine. Without proper climate control, your wine will lose their antioxidants and color at 4 times the rate than wine stored correctly. The natural chemical reactions for all wine needs to happen naturally and consistently.

Wine Cellar Temperature Control

Wines like a cool, dark, and moist environment. Wine should not be kept under direct exposure to the sun as the sun may heat the wine and destroy the wine quality. The temperature generally maintained is 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme fluctuations in temperature can cause premature aging or deposits. Slight variations in temperature should not be cause for alarm.

Humidity is just as critical for wine cellar climate control. Optimal humidity should be kept between 50-70%.  If your cellar is too dry the cork will shrink, oxygen will seep into the bottle and the wine can begin to evaporate.  This is called “ullage.”   Storing bottles horizontally also ensures that the cork stays moistened. When the humidity in the cellar is higher than 70% F, mold and degradation of the labels and glue can occur.

Today’s modern technology can be set to monitor and control your wine cellar temperature and humidity on your phone. Monitoring and controlling the wine cellar temperature allows you to measure the wine cellar climate control conditions.

Just as there are many different types of wine, there are many different wine cellar climate control solutions for your specific area. The climate in which you live will affect your wine cellar requirements. Summit Cool Cellars can assist you in selecting the right system for your particular area.

Properly preparing your wine cellar prior to storing your wine helps protect your wine. Ensure your wine cellar is properly insulated and sealed with a vapor barrier. Eco-friendly closed cell spray foam, professionally applied, is an all-inclusive insulation and vapor barrier.

Walls

  • Use R-13 faced insulation
  • Put foam 4 mil plastic on the walls away from the wine and insulation face toward the wine.
  • Finished wall material inside the wine cellar can be m-r gypsum board, stucco, or a damp resistance wood such as cedar or redwood. It should be finished tight to the floor.

Ceiling

If the ceiling has existing joists, cut strips of 4-mil plastic and staple it between the joists. Eight inches of fiberglass is the minimum required insulation on the ceiling.

Doors

Doors are exterior type with a good weather seal and caulked tight to the floor, jambs, and header.

Floors

Install a vapor barrier under the floor; for concrete floors, treat with a water sealant.

Windows

All windows should be of the insulated, double wall, Thermopane type. The space between the window frame and the wall studs should be packed with insulation and covered with the vapor barrier.

Lights

Whenever possible, use surface-mounted lights and avoid recessed lights that will compromise the insulation and vapor barrier.

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Summit Cool Cellars (https://coolcellars.com) and Summit Wine Cellars (https://summit-cellars.com) offers one-stop expertise as a complete wine cellar contractor guiding both residential and commercial clients from concept and consultation through wine cellar design, fabrication and installation. Owner/designer Fred Tregaskis creates dramatic custom wine cellars for fine homes, restaurants, hotels and wineries throughout the world.

To learn more about Summit Cool Cellars, contact Summit Wine Cellars by email at info@summit-cellars.com, or by phone at 203-916-1664.

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