Wine Cellar Innovations Blog

Technical Tuesday Episode #574: Double-Decker Wine Cellar Layout

May 17th, 2022

It seems like double-decker is a layout that is no longer limited to the bedroom. You can totally do it to your wine cellars as well. Our clients for today’s Tech Tuesday give us a glimpse of what it would look like. In our honest-to-goodness opinion, we think it’s a real winner. Let’s check out the details of this project:

Project # 292597
Wood: Custom / All-heart Redwood
Stain: Classic Mahogany
Where: Dallas, TX

Double-decker racking arrangementA floor-to-ceiling arrangement is certainly best achieved with custom racking. The space can be fully utilized, no matter how awkward it may be. Moreover, if you have very specific design, going custom comes highly recommended. Just take a look at clients’ wine room. They wanted to maximize the ceiling height and make the racks look completely built in. They also wanted enough space to fit in their wine fridges. Their collection was a combination of long-term and immediately consumable bottles. There are wines that needed to be stored for a long time to help achieve their peak taste. But they also had a fair amount of wines that they drink on a fairly regular basis. They also stock bottles in bulk for tasting parties and other social gatherings. So our design team put together this setup that accommodated all of clients’ storage needs:

Custom rolling ladderFrom the double-decker layout, you can see how the  wine bottles are properly organized. Bulk bottles are kept in the Open Diamond Bins with Face Trim. Favorite (and special) labels are kept in the display cabinets for easy access. Wine bottles that are consumed on the regular or those not completely consumed are kept in the wine fridge. The “sections” of the racking arrangement were tied together with moldings and center seam trim. It created a seamless appearance for the wine cellar. To make it look even more put together, our team chose Classic Mahogany stain for the racks. It’s also the same one used on the custom rolling ladder. The natural reddish-brown colors of All-heart Redwood were beautifully emphasized. Notice how the racks take on richer and deeper tones. It made the wine cellar design look cohesive even with the “sections” brought about by the layout. *Cheers*

Clients Showcase Neat Lines & Clever Use Of Wine Storage

May 12th, 2022

When we say that these days, you can build a wine cellar anywhere in your home, we mean every word. We have all the tools needed to get the job done. All that’s left is to throw in some creative touches. Our clients certainly fulfilled that requirement. They sent us these photos that showcase neat lines and clever use of wine storage space:

This lonely corner of the clients’ home was just begging to be used. They certainly did a fine job of transforming the space. Various WCI racking products were carefully chosen for this project. The goal was to create sufficient bottle storage in a seamless setup. There are two ways to achieve this: commissioning custom wine racks or using wine rack kits. However, you can also combine both. That’s right! Mixing and matching racking units can easily be done thanks to their flexible configurations. It also allows you to be in control of your budget. For example, if you cannot afford to go full-on custom, you can turn to wine rack kits. The Vintner and WineMaker Series are very popular choices. They have generous selection of units in various styles. It is also easy to work them into your custom racking assembly.

The clients completed their beautiful wine storage with glass-enclosed panels. Albeit compact, it was sectioned off from the rest of the home making it look like an entirely separate area. The fully assembled wine racks are so neat and sport a professional look. It is such a smart way to utilize the otherwise dead space in the home. This semi-custom wine storage will help increase the aesthetic appeal and marketability of clients’ home. If you are interested in something similar to this, our wine cellar experts are here for you. We can work with any wine cellar size and budget. We can also help you design your wine storage to suit your style preference. Check out this section of the WCI website to help you get started. ^_^

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Benefits Of Having A Home Wine Cellar

May 11th, 2022

Every once in a while, we encounter practical wine cellar questions. These are those that seek professional guidance rather than information. So we will do our best to shed light on them! One of the most frequently asked questions is this: do I really a wine cellar in my home? What are the benefits of having one? Let’s find out what they are and if they are worth the cost:

1. It will help in preserving your wine collection

Benefits of having a wine cellar

The first reason is probably the most obvious and important one. Having a wine cellar will be highly beneficial to a collector. You will be able to establish a space with the proper environment to store and age your wines. This will help in preserving your bottles and achieving their peak taste. Wine is perishable and sudden changed in temperature will be detrimental to it. Unless you are just a “consumer,” a wine fridge is not enough to store your wines.

2. It will increase the aesthetic value & marketability of your home

You might not have thought this far, but we have! A wine cellar will actually help increase both the aesthetic value and marketability of your home. Think about it. A wine cellar done right, no matter the size, will draw attention. It will be a natural crowd magnet. It will boost the appeal of your home. More importantly, this appeal will extend to the home’s marketability. That wine cellar is a perk that will justify an increase in property value.

Having a wine cellar increases home marketability

3. It will help improve your wine budget

Don’t underestimate the financial benefit of having a home wine cellar. It will actually save you money in the long run. How so? Instead of buying per bottle, you can buy in bulk. That means you will be able to buy at wholesale price. You will be able to save on bottles that will be for immediate consumption. You also don’t have to worry about your wines spoiling because you have proper storage for them. The analogy is a lot like when you’re doing your groceries. It’s great to have that extra space that will allow you to stock up. ^_^

Technical Tuesday Episode #573: Classic Goodness W/ Custom Wine Racks

May 10th, 2022

Let’s enjoy some classic goodness today with our clients’ charming wine room. It has a warm, rustic feel to it which we totally love. It’s also composed of small but significant details that are responsible for the very professional look. We’re going to outline them here and hopefully, they will inspire you guys with your own wine cellar projects, too:

Project # 336397
Wood: Custom / All-Heart Redwood
Bottle Capacity: 744
Where: Cincinnati, OH

Classic goodness w/ custom rackingWe’ll start by mentioning off the bat that this is a custom creation. From the racking arrangement down to the glass entryways, and accents – everything was customized to clients’ tastes. They were quite particular with how they wanted the space to be used. Maximizing bottle storage capacity was a big priority. But they didn’t want the room to look cramped. They also wanted a clean design that will feel warm and welcoming. Our team was able to deliver everything the clients wanted by taking the custom route.

Lovely glass entrywaysTo maximize on bottle storage capacity, a combination of various racking styles were used. You can see this variety from the photos. Individual Bottle Columns were augment by Curved Corner units to fully utilize the space. Open Diamond Bins were also thrown in for bulk bottle storage. Then you can also see custom racks to accommodate larger-format bottles. To keep the room from looking cluttered, high reveal displays were added. Together with the glass doors, they make the wine cellar seem larger than its actual size.

Warm & welcoming classic goodnessThe clients’ last request was a clean, warm and welcoming theme. The design team chose All-Heart Redwood for the wood to achieve this. The wood was left unstained in order to let its natural reddish brown colors show. But to really give it “warm” ambiance, some accents were incorporated. Check out the mood lighting on the racking assembly. It highlights the bottles and gives a golden glow to the wine cellar. It’s indeed the classic goodness our clients have asked for. *Cheers*

 

Building Your Wine Storage System W/ The Vintner Series

May 5th, 2022

We know you wine cellar fans have seen the Vintner Series featured over and over in our blogs. It is, after all, our most popular wine rack “kits”. But how many of you actually know how to “build” your wine storage system using Vintner racking? Our clients did a fantastic job with theirs and it’s not rocket science. Read on and we’ll go over the basics with you!

Building your Vintner wine storage systemFirst off, keep in mind that Vintner is a very versatile product. There are tons of racking styles and configurations to choose from. The units can also be easily stacked one on top of the other. So it’s recommended to go over the different options and start shopping by racking height. With the 3-foot and 4-foot configurations, you can stack to any height you desire.

Next up, you’ll have to make sure your wine storage system will look seamless. Check out our clients’ racking assembly and you can see that it looks almost built-in. There is no big secret here. It’s just the work of “extras” in the Vintner Series. And these are what you should be adding next! We’re talking about the molding packages, base platforms, and center seam trim. They even add extra height to your racking assembly.

The last and final step in building your Vintner wine storage system is dressing it up. That means transforming it to your desired design. This is what stains and finishes are for. With Vintner, you get the full package of stains and finishes that you’d think you can only get with custom wine racks. That gives you endless opportunities to come up with totally unique looks. Our clients went the traditional route. They selected a Class Mahogany stain option for their Premium Redwood racking units. But if you want some modern touches, you can certainly achieve that. Try a Grand Mahogany x Midnight Black combo. How about a vintage-y theme? Rustic Pine x Graywash Stain can do that for you. Explore more wine storage system designs with the Vintner Series! ^_^

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Choosing The Right Climate Control System

May 4th, 2022

In a wine cellar project, choosing the right climate control system is imperative. But it can also be challenging! There is a wide variety of choices out there in the market. It can be a daunting selecting the most suitable one, especially if you are inexperienced. So it pays to be equipped with enough knowledge to point you towards the right product. Here are some essential questions to guide you:

Choosing the right climate control system

What are the main types of climate control systems?

Even though there are lots of brands in the market, there are actually only three main types of wine cellar cooling systems. These are ductless, ducted, and through-the-wall units. Ductless units are connected by small cables and a refrigerant line to an indoor or outdoor condenser. Ducted units are those wherein the supply and return air is “ducted” to and from the wine cellar. This wine refrigeration unit looks like a central air-conditioning system and is just as quiet. Through-the-wall units are those that are mounted literally through the wall.

Pros and cons of climate control systems

What are the pros and cons of each cooling system?

The next important question is inquiring about the pros and cons of each cooling system. This way, you’ll be able to decide which one will be best for your wine storage needs. A ductless unit has a quiet evaporator. It has the ability to remotely locate its condenser either indoors or outdoors. Moreover, it is quite affordable. However, it vents to an adjoining space that is twice the size of the wine cellar. This eats up bottle storage space. It also does not have humidity control. On the other hand, a ducted unit does not take up bottle storage space at all. It’s also the quietest system among the three. But it has very limited range of distance that can be located from the wine cellar. Cost-wise, it’s also more pricey. A through-the-wall unit’s biggest pro is that you don’t need a HVAC technician to install it. It’s also the most affordable system. But it eats up space and quite noisy. It also has no humidity control.

What climate control system is best for you?

Now that you’ve gathered enough information, you’ll have to decide what system to purchase. But we have one more super helpful tip! If you’re still entertaining some doubts, don’t buy just yet. Get in touch with a professional wine cellar consultant. It is always better to see what an expert has to say. After all, a climate control system is an investment. Don’t throw away money when you don’t have to! ^_^

Technical Tuesday Episode #572: Simple & Pristine In Graywash Stain

May 3rd, 2022

Some clients prefer something simple and pristine with their wine cellar design. Today’s Tech Tuesday is one of them. They wanted a clean and open look that will make the space seem bigger than it is. Considering that the room had an uneven layout, this was a very smart decision. Our design team worked closely with them and this is what they came up with:

Project # 344984
Wood: Vintner / Rustic Pine
Bottle Capacity: 727
Where: Cincinnati, OH
Stain: Graywash

Simple & pristine with Graywash stain!The Vintner Series provided a beautiful racking layout that made good use of the space. This is not surprising though, considering Vintner’s longstanding reputation. Did you know that it’s part WCI’s wine rack “kits” collection? Yes, it’s included in our affordable kits line and not custom at all. Yet, it is able to give this project a custom look and feel. That’s what makes Vintner so impressive. It features full depth modular units that are highly versatile. There is a generous selection of racking styles to accommodate individual and bulk bottle storage. There are also Curved Corner rack options to conquer irregular nooks and crannies. Added to these, you get accessories like moldings and center seam trim. These help get rid of awkward gaps between your racking assembly and the ceiling and/or flooring. This Tech Tuesday showcases those amazing features:

A pristine & seamles racking setupNow here is something that makes the Vintner Series really special. Even if it is just a “kit”, it offers “custom” amenities. We’re talking about the wood, stain and finish options one can get from this line. Check out clients’ wine cellar closely and you’ll see what we mean. This pristine charm is the result of Rustic Pine x Graywash Stain combination. With Vintner, you get to choose from the top 4 wood options for custom wine cellar projects. You also get the full selection of stains and finishes, including lacquer. This gives clients the opportunity to achieve the style they want with their wine cellars! *Cheers*

Wine Storage Wherever You Need It W/ Vino Pins, Pegs & Rails

April 28th, 2022

‎Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you can build wine storage wherever you need it? Well, guess what – you actually can! The Vino pins, pegs and rails can do this for you. These incredible space savers hail from the Vintage View series. They let you create proper accommodations for your collection. Our clients discovered the magic of these metal storage units. They were kind enough to share this snap of their terrific racking setup:

Vino Pins, Pegs & RailsThe Vino pins (or pegs) were used for this project. See how practical they are as you can mount them practically anywhere in your home. Whether its the living area, dining, or kitchen, there will always be a place for your wine bottles. These metal pins can be mounted directly to any wall surface. All you need are the the proprietary anchor systems. But no worries because everything is outlined for you in the product manual. The mounting instructions include spec sheets and a care and maintenance guide. Also, note that this is the only metal wine rack peg system that can mount direct to drywall, masonry or wood. A backer board is not needed at all!

Now if you zoom a bit on the photo, you’re going to see that the pegs can hold more than one bottle. This is thanks to the Vino Pins Extensions (VP-X). It’s an option that comes with the pins/pegs that will allow for extra storage. You can extend your units to double or triple-deep configurations. The transformation can be done any time, depending on your needs. The pins, pegs and rails are a stylish and minimalist approach to wine bottle storage. They can be utilized  for both residential and commercial applications. The only difference between the pins/pegs and the rails is in the way your bottles are displayed. The pins/pegs lets you showcase your wines in a label-forward manner. The rails display them in the more conventional cork-forward system. They all come in several tasteful finish options to match your existing decor. ^_^

 

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Best Sparkling Red Wines For 2022

April 27th, 2022

As a wine enthusiast, we’re sure you guys have your 2022 list all drawn and done. We’re also pretty sure that includes your top sparkling red wines. But we’re going for broke and throwing in our best picks as well. If these reds made it to your list, then that’s fantastic news. If not, you should definitely consider adding them. We promise you won’t regret it!

Best sparkling reds

Credits to: Anastasia Belousova from Pexels

1. Rinaldi 2009 – The Dessert Wine

The Rinaldi 2009 Bricco Rioglio or Brachetto d’Acqui is what you want to pour for light desserts and savory dishes. Nothing too heavy where the latter is concerned though. We’re talking about cold, cuts, salami, or grazing board of choice cheeses and meats. But this red really shines with dessert. It is actually made from Brachetto grapes with hints of toast and coconut. The overall taste is fruity with berry flavors like strawberry, cherry, and raspberry.

Sparkling reds to add to your list

Credits to: Harper Sunday from Pexels

2. Labrusca Rosso – The Sweet & Bubbly Red

Wine lovers would probably associate Lambrusco with nostalgic moments of the 80s. But there is a new vintage that made our 2022 list. It’s the Lini 910 Labrusca. This sparkling red sports an acidic taste accentuated with refreshing berry flavors. It is quite unique and will definitely be a hit on your dinner table. It will pair wonderfully with classic dishes of cured meats, lasagne tortellini and tagliatelle. It will also be a terrific choice if you have newbie drinkers or those with low alcohol tolerance. This red has low alcohol content and is gentle on the palate.

Our 2022 sparkling reds list

Credits to: Eva Elijas from Pexels

3. Balbiano Vigna Villa Della – The “Rich” Wine

Now don’t mistake our description of this red as it being expensive. “Rich” refers to the amazing flavors of the wine. It is light, dry, and soft, made from grapes grown in the vineyard of Freisa Di Chieri. It has wonderful longevity and the bottle can be consumed when chilled or aged for a good number of years. Wine enthusiasts will love the earthy aroma of blueberries and cherries. There are also hints of toffee which adds to the deliciousness. ^_^

Technical Tuesday Episode #571: Bringing Brownstone Vibes W/ Premium Redwood

April 26th, 2022

A brownstone structure became immensely popular in the early 1900s. In particular, it really gained traction in New York City. The material is composed of soft sandstone. It is also known as freestone for its ability to be cut in any direction. Skilled stone workers carve ornate designs into this material. They are able to create “fancy-looking” facades, according to Simeon Bankoff, executive director of New York’s Historic Districts Council. These days, the beauty of brownstone is no longer limited to houses or buildings. You can also bring that style into your wine cellars:

Project # 310036
Wood: Custom / Vintner / Premium Redwood
Bottle Capacity: 444
Where: Cincinnati, OH
Stain: Dark Walnut

So what exactly makes up this style? Presently, the term is often used interchangeably with townhouse or row house made of brick. The stone sports distinct hues that range from rust to chocolate brown. In recreating this in clients’ wine cellar, our design team made sure the brick element is present. The next step was choosing the wine racks. They had to make sure color scheme goes with the brownstone theme. The clients and our team then went with Premium Redwood and Dark Walnut stain option.

Premium Redwood is one if the top wood choices for custom wine cellars. It is a clear grade of wood without knots, unlike Rustic Pine. The wood comes mainly from all parts of the log. This is why Premium Redwood sports a variety of colors ranging from white to pink to red and reddish brown. The wood absorbs stains and finishes extremely well. Moreover, its natural light shades adapt well to bolder stains and finishes. That’s why Dark Walnut was chosen to dress up the wine racks. It is a deep golden-brown stain that enhances the wood. For lighter colored woods like Premium Redwood, it becomes more prominent. Notice how the racking arrangement in this project takes on a chocolate brown tone. It ties up perfectly with the brick elements for that authentic brownstone vibes. *Cheers*

 

Managing Storage In Irregular Spaces With Small Wine Racks

April 21st, 2022

Managing wine storage in irregular spaces is challenging to say the least. There are quite a few things to consider so that you won’t be wasting effort and resources. It can even be a more formidable task compared to just compact spaces. Luckily, WCI offers the right tools for the job. Our clients set a terrific example of this with their completed wine room:

Managing irregular spaces!Clients chose to combine custom racking with wall-mount metal units to maximize bottle capacity. Going custom was a very smart move as you can see from this photo. The racking arrangement was built to seamlessly hug the corners of the room. It boasts of a combination of individual bottle columns and Open Diamond Bins. That means this custom product will be able to host individual and bulk bottles. Notice as well that there are also countertops that were incorporated into the design. This gives additional space for displaying wine bottles and/or accessories. Clients can even utilize the countertops as prep space.

For the metal wine racks, clients purchased some units from the Revue Wall Series. To really boost the storage capacity, they went with the triple-deep bottle configuration. This is the beauty of wall-mount racking, especially with the Revue Series. They come in single, double and triple-deep options. That means you can expand bottle storage capacity without eating up valuable floor area. It’s indeed the perfect solution for compact or irregular spaces.

One last detail in this project that merits attention is the additional racking that fits snugly on the countertops. WCI has an extensive selection of these small wine racks, from the Mini Stacks down to the Curvy Cubes and Acrylic Racks. They are super space-efficient as they go in anywhere in the home. Moreover, they are very versatile. You can easily work them into any existing furniture and/or racking arrangement. Expanding your bottle storage can be done without having to waste too much time and money.

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Air Conditioning Units & Your Wine Cellar

April 20th, 2022

Wine cellar cooling is indispensable in helping your wines achieve their peak taste. A wine lover should know this much. A wine lover also knows why investing in a quality wine cellar cooling unit comes highly recommended. So a question that pops up every so often is this: can you use an air conditioning unit instead? Let’s talk more about this!

Air conditioning units & your wine cellar

Maintenance of ideal wine storage conditions…

In order to answer the question, it’s important to understand the role of a wine cellar cooling unit. It plays an instrumental part in the aging of wine bottles. In particular, it helps maintain consistently low temperature and high humidity. The ideal wine cellar temperature range is 55-58 degrees and 55-75% relative humidity. These conditions have to be consistent 24/7. Nothing is more detrimental to your wine than extreme heat or cold. So sudden environmental changes or fluctuations can be damaging to your collection.

Will an air conditioning unit be enough for your wines?

Credits to: Nandi Gustian

Unfortunately, an air conditioning unit will not be able to fulfill this role. The device was not designed to handle temperatures at these low levels. It would be improbable for the unit to consistently maintain ideal storage conditions. Moreover, traditional air conditioners do have the capacity to manage humidity. In fact, they remove moisture from the air. This is certainly the opposite of what you’d want to happen in your wine cellar. It’s best to keep in mind that air conditioning units were primarily designed to cool the room or home as quickly as possible. They are supposed to combat humidity. They bring about that radical temperature fluctuation that is very detrimental to wine storage.

Any veteran wine collector will tell you that an abrupt shift in temperature is a disaster waiting to happen. It doesn’t matter whether it’s short-term or long-term wine storage. These changes can cause the cork to expand and contract in the neck of the bottle. In turn, air will seep into the bottle, facilitating the oxidation process. It might sound dramatic but, yes, this is the death toll for your wines. Hence, it should be avoided at all costs. ^_^

Technical Tuesday Episode #570: The Minimalist Approach To Wine Storage

April 19th, 2022

The Easter weekend is finally over, but the wine festivities are here to stay. At least it is, for our Tech Tuesday clients. They took the minimalist approach to building their wine room. Needless to to say, we are all for it! Let’s check out the details of this sleek and slick project:

Minimalist approach to wine storageA play between contrasting dark and light tones seem to the the chosen motif for this wine cellar. We feel this is such a smart move because the results are stunning. The star of the show is none other than the Revue Series. Our design team and clients were right on the money when they went with this racking option. The Revue Series is a combination of space-efficiency, style, and affordability. It can’t get any better than that, don’t you agree?

For those of you who frequent our blogs, you’ll certainly remember these awesome metal racking units. We’ve showcased lots of projects using them, thanks to their ever-growing popularity. But if they fell of the radar for some, then this is the best time for a reintroduction. First and foremost, the Revue Series is one of the wall-mount metal racking products in the WCI catalog. It is composed of several series: the Wall, Interlock, and Riddling. The Wall series is usually utilized for residential wine cellars. The Interlock and Riddling are best suited for commercial applications. However, they can all be used in any wine cellar project, no matter the size. In fact, they are very compatible with compact projects give their space-efficiency.

Second, the Revue Series is highly versatile. The racking units come in single, double and triple-deep options. That means that you can get double or triple the number of bottle storage without eating up floor space. Moreover, you can also choose between wall-mount or floor-to-ceiling configuration. The second layout can be achieved by purchasing a floor to ceiling metal frame. Your bottles will look like they’re floating on air with this racking approach.

Lastly, Revue wine racks are understated yet stylish. This allows for a minimalist look that combines contemporary and traditional touches. Select from either Silver or Satin Black finish for your racks. Our clients were really creative and did a black-on-black theme. We totally love the Satin Black finish against the matte black walls. Same hue, different textures – a stroke of pure genius! *Cheers*

Client’s Vintage View Racking Assembly Is A Showstopper

April 14th, 2022

The Easter weekend is coming up and wine lovers know what that means. It’s wine party time! Well, guess who’s all ready to do just that? It’s our client Jonathan with his showstopper of a wine room:

One of the best things about modern wine storage is that you can build one anywhere in your home. You no longer need to be tied to a subterranean or “passive” set-up. There are “tools” in the industry that make this possible. The most important one would the the wine cellar cooling unit. This makes it possible to maintain ideal wine storage conditions 24/7. So space and location are no longer roadblocks to wine cellar construction. Our client certainly took advantage of these developments in the wine industry. Jonathan set out to realize his dream wine cellar with the help of the Vintage View Series.

Believe it or not, living areas have now become popular spots for wine storage. Client chose to go this route as well. A small portion of the living space was sectioned off to house his collection. Glass panels were utilized to fully showcase the wine bottles. But instead of a seamless layout, the client and our design team agreed on framing the glass panels on the walls. This achieved a built-in look for the wine storage. To add a bit of fun and flair, client went with custom glass etchings and colorful lighting accents:

Now let’s talk about the racking choice for this project. As earlier mentioned, client went with Vintage View metal wine racks. This is a classic combination of metal and glass elements. These metal wine racks were designed to be mounted to the wall. But you are also give the option to do a floor-to-ceiling assembly. This is the layout client chose and the result is a showstopper display. You can see in the photos that the bottles have a “floating” appearance. It lends a whimsical charm and elevates the wine storage into a conversation piece. Needless to say, client was 100% satisfied!

“I love the entire refrigerated wine room!”  ~Jonathan S. G.~

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Beginner’s Basement Guide On Wine Cellar Cooling

April 13th, 2022

Why is the basement considered the best place to build a wine cellar? Do you need still need a wine cellar cooling unit if you build in this location? This is the complete beginner’s guide to help you navigate the essential details. Let’s get started!

Basement wine cellar cooling unit

The advantages of a basement location…

The reality is that nowadays, you can construct a wine cellar anywhere in your home. However, there are undeniable advantages when you do it in the basement. One, basements have little or no direct contact with sunlight. Two, existing environmental conditions be modified without extensive work. For example, you’ll need to ensure good ventilation. But a basement is usually spacious enough so this can be easily done. Three, maintaining proper temperature and humidity 24/7 can be done in a cost-efficient manner. Note that it is very essential maintain ideal wine storage conditions at 55-58 degrees and 55-75% relative humidity. This is to keep your corks moist and prevent your bottles from getting spoiled.

Why you need a wine cellar cooling unit

The role of a wine cellar cooling unit…

This now brings us to the next important question. Is a wine cellar cooling unit necessary in building a basement wine cellar? The answer is a big YES. Modern basements are not replicas of the underground caves of ancient Europe. They usually lack insulation and prone to fluctuating temperatures. This is especially true for unfinished basements. That’s why it’s imperative to properly insulate and construct your vapor barrier. But even if the basement is all nice and finished, it’s bot enough. You will want the temperature and humidity levels to be constant 24/7. This is where the wine cellar cooling unit comes in. You need yo select the appropriate one for your bottle storage needs. Keep in mind there are lots of brands in the market. Seeking the guidance of an experienced wine cellar consultant is highly recommended for “beginners.” That way, your collection will age gracefully and achieve peak taste. Here at WCI, we offer initial consultation services for free. So why not  grab that opportunity today! ^_^

Technical Tuesday Episode #569: All-Heart Redwood Steals The Show

April 12th, 2022

If there’s one thing you can count on with All-Heart Redwood, it steals the show every time. This wood has the features that make it stand out, whether stained or in its natural state. Today, we have a project that exhibits all that and perhaps a bit more:

Project # 330002
Wood: Custom/All-Heart Redwood
Bottle Capacity: 1465
Where: Arlington, TX
Stain: Unstained

All-Heart Redwood steals the show!Just one look at this wine cellar and we’re head over heels for it. It has everything we want, from the variety in racking styles to the luxurious appeal. Morever, it has a generous bottle storage capacity of a little over 1400 bottles. The silent star that steals the show is none other that the wood option: All-Heart Redwood. It is one of WCI’s best-selling wood products, especially for custom projects. Even just by looking at these wine racks, you can tell that the quality is exemplary.

Unstained All-Heart Redwood steals the showIt’s worthy to note that All-Heart Redwood is the most expensive part of the Redwood tree. It is a clear grade of wood that comes exclusively from the center of the log. This is why it sports almost uniform reddish hues. It is also the most resistant to moisture, mildew and rot among all North American hardwood species. That’s why it was widely used in subterranean wine cellars prior to the  birth of mechanically climate controlled ones.

Versatile racking stylesThe outstanding characteristics of All-Heart Redwood don’t stop there. The wood is quite well-known for its durability. But apart from that, it has also high resistance against shrinking, warping, and checking. This means you are getting your money’s worth when investing in this wood. Your wine racks will age beautifully, together with your wine bottles. Take another look at clients’ wine room. Note that the racking units are actually unstained. You’re witnessing All-Heart Redwood in all its natural glory. As time passes, the colors will only deepen and become even more attractive. Of course, should you wish to dress up your racks, you can definitely go that direction. All-Heart Redwood absorbs stains and finishes extremely well.

We’ve saved the best feature for last! Did you know that All-Heart Redwood one of the most eco-friendly wood products out there? WCI Redwood, in particular, is SFI-certified. SFI stands for “Sustainable Forestry Initiative.” It provides customers with assurance that Redwood purchased from WCI has been harvested in an environmentally sound manner. *Cheers*

Clients Show What You Can Get With A Wine Tasting Center

April 7th, 2022

If you’re considering a wine tasting center for your home, then it’s good to do a little research. But you don’t even need to do a lot because we’ve done that for you. Or rather, our clients did by sending in photos of their completed wine storage. They show what you can get with a wine tasting center:

Clients show what you can get with a wine tasting centerOne of the best things about a wine tasting center is that it gives you options. First, it gives you the choice to either expand your storage capacity or keep the status quo. It makes building your racking arrangement is both convenient and enjoyable. You can literally grow your racks together with your wines. Second, it also allows you to create storage for other items, not just your wine bottles. That’s how versatile this storage solution is. The one our clients put together is a great example. See how there are accommodations for glassware, as well as other accessories like a decanter:

Wine tasting centers show multi-functional storage!The third option that a wine tasting center can give you is with the racking styles. More often than not, clients base their choices on the size of their collection. However, there are also those who want to balance function with form. That’s here at WCI, you can also customize your tasting center to your satisfaction. Our “kits” such as Vintner and WineMaker offer reasonably priced “packages”. There are selections for racking styles, as well as wood, stains and finishes. But if you want the details to be specific to your bottle storage needs, custom is the way to go. It will also show a seamless “built-in” look for your wine storage. This makes it easier to navigate small and/or awkward spaces.

Last but not the least, you are also given the option to go at your own pace. As earlier mentioned, it is easy to expand bottle storage capacity with a wine tasting center. But there is no pressure to do so. You can take your time in adding more racking units. You will also not be forced into constructing a full-blown wine room. It’s especially helpful for those who are still not financially ready. You can rest easy because your wine bottles are kept safe and sound. ^_^

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Passive Or Underground Wine Cellars

April 6th, 2022

How much do we really understand about wine cellars or wine cellar construction? What are passive wine cellars? Is it similar to an underground wine cellar or are they different concepts? Let’s dig in deeper into our knowledge base and talk more about this.

The nature of a passive wine cellar…

Passive wine cellars

“Passive” and “underground” wine cellars refer to the same thing. The most distinct feature is the use of ground temperature to moderate the temperature swings. This helps make the temperature swings seasonal instead of daily. Compare this to a refrigerated wine cellar. The latter can be built anywhere in your home. That’s because the storage conditions can be conveniently controlled by a wine cellar cooling unit. In contrast, an underground wine cellar must be located in a subterranean basement. It is the only location capable of getting close to the ideal wine storage conditions.

So what exactly are ideal wine storage conditions? It is between 55 – 59 °F or 12 – 15 °C and 55 – 75% humidity. This is patterned after the European wine cellars of the famous wineries. History will tell us that they used to store their wines in deep caves. Most of these caves were actually stone quarries from Roman times. These caves are usually 20’ deep or more. At that depth, they stay at the mean temperature of 56 degrees plus or minus less than 1 degree over the year.

A residential passive wine cellar won’t really be able to achieve the tight temperature range of deep caves. However, it can make the swings moderate and seasonal. At 7’-6” from ground level, the temperature swing is 16 degrees from 48 -64. At 9’-6”, the swing is 10 degrees, from 51-61. Note that the lower the temperature wine is stored at, the slower it ages. Significant temperature swings can cause your wine to breathe through the cork. This will in turn cause the aging process to speed up drastically. But if the temperature swing is seasonal, the damage will be less than if it is daily by a factor of 365 days. ^_^

Technical Tuesday Episode #568: Making Room For Your Collection W/ Vintage View

April 5th, 2022

Your wine bottles deserve a place in your home where they can be displayed but kept safe as well. Today’s Tech Tuesday gives us a great example of how that can be done. Check out how you can make room for your collection with the Vintage View series:

Project # 327563
Wood: Vintage View / Metal
Bottle Capacity: 247
Where: Arlington, TX

The small footprint of clients’ wine cellar is not to be underestimated. After the installation was finished, the cellar can hold up to over 200 bottles. There is no big secret whatsoever. Our design team and clients merely chose the right kind of racking. They went with the Vintage View metal wine racks. Vintage View is one of the oldest products in the WCI catalog. It’s also one of the most popular. There are a number of reasons why. These are the same reasons why Vintage View is still very much marketable.

The first one is the space-efficiency factor. These metal wine racks were principally designed to be wall-mounted. This frees up most of of the floor area as you can see from the photo. This racking style is perfect for compact wine cellar projects. But it also works for commercial applications. In fact, lots of wine establishments have invested in Vintage View. They provide for a generous bottle storage – which brings us to the second reason.

The bottle storage capacity offered by these metal wine racks is quite impressive. They come in various height configurations. They are also available in single, double, and triple deep storage options. That means you can expand your bottle storage without adding more racks. You can just swap for a double or triple deep units.

The final reason for Vintage View’s continued marketability is versatility. Apart from being mounted to a wall, there is another option. The racks can also be displayed floor to ceiling. A Floor to Ceiling Frame can be purchased separately for this purpose. It will give that “floating” look to your wine room which is just magical. ^_^

Get Inspired & Explore Options For Your Wine Cellar Entryways

March 31st, 2022

Never underestimate the functional and aesthetic value of a wine cellar entryway. In terms of functionality, it plays quite a significant role. In particular, it helps in the maintenance of ideal wine storage conditions. As far as aesthetic appeal is concerned, today’s Testimonial Thursday is a wonderful example. These positive points are reasons enough to get inspired and explore your options.

Explore your wine cellar options!There are a ton of ways you can elevate the design of your wine cellar entryways. This project of clients’ showcases one of them. This is also probably the most popular style: glass entryways. This wine room takes the classic route with glass walls and wood wine racks combo. If you like things clean, simple and elegant, this is the way to go. But note that clients decided to add some wooden trim to accentuate the glass. They painted it white to go with the light colors of the rest of the wine cellar.

Now let’s explore some contemporary style options. A huge favorite of ours is glass entryways with black metal trim. It gives off a sleek, modern look, but retains that classy atmosphere. It works well with wine cellars of any size thanks to its minimalist structure. Another alternative would be using other metal finishes like brushed nickel, chrome, or copper to name a few. If you want a fanciful touch, try some etchings on the glass panels!

If you’re not comfortable working with glass. then why not an all-wood entryway? There are so many themes you can look into, apart from standard solid wood paneling. One of our more popular products is the wine cellar doors with carvings. You can select from available designs or have one fully customized. If you still want something understated, you can certainly have that, but with a bit of flair. Check out the Tri Panel, 6 Panel, and Solid Raised Panel options on this section of the WCI website. ^_^

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Why Wine Bottles Are Stored On The Side

March 30th, 2022

Have you ever wondered why wine bottles are stored on their side? Also, have you also thought about whether or not they can be stored upright for a long period of time?  What is the effect, if any, of the way you store the bottles on the wine itself? This is definitely a topic worth exploring, so let’s do just that!

Why wine bottles are stored on their side

The debate: on the side or upright…

There has always been a long-standing debate as to whether to store wine on its side or upright. There are even those who believe in storing their collection upside down. But the weight of expert opinion favors positioning these bottles on their side. The biggest reason has to do with the cork drying out. Having the liquid in contact with the cork prevents it from drying and eventually crumbling. Drinking cork dregs isn’t harmful to your health. But that’s not really the issue. It’s more about the reality that it will ruin the wine tasting experience. Also, if the particles stay for a longer period of time, it will certainly ruin the wine itself.

A bottle stored horizontally keeps the cork moist, so it doesn’t dry out and shrink. In addition, the force of the wine pushing against the cork will cause less outside air to get into the wine. This is essential in preventing excessive oxidation. Keep in mind that dried-out cork is a sign that the bottle is no longer properly sealed. That means oxygen will slowly but surely creep inside. This will be very detrimental to the aging of the wine.

Are your bottles stored horizontally or upright?

So does that mean you can’t store your bottles upright? That’s not exactly the case. There are also very strong arguments supporting upright bottle storage. One of these is short-term wine storage. Commercial establishments would be a good example. Another solid argument is that modern wine bottlers don’t even use real cork anymore. They use a synthetic material called polyethylene. Synthetic corks are usually made of this stretchy and bouncy plastic. It’s incapable of drying out. That’s why in more than a few wine cellars, bottles are stored both ways, depending on the circumstances. ^_^

Technical Tuesday Episode #567: Mocha Stain & Custom Racking Pairing

March 29th, 2022

Midnight Black and Dark Walnut stains seem to be the crowd favorites for making a bold wine cellar statement. But hold up! There’s another contender for the top spot: Mocha stain. It’s one of WCI’s newest offerings in our stains and finishes catalog. Today, we bring you this compact Tech Tuesday that beautifully showcases its features:

Project # 271328
Wood: Custom / Vintner / Rustic Pine
Bottle Capacity: 431
Where: Auburn, AL
Stain: Mocha

Mocha stain on wine racksClients’ wine cellar may be compact, but it packs a punch in all the right places. Mixing and matching custom and wine rack kits was definitely a move in the right direction. The racking assembly wraps around the space seamlessly. There is generous bottle storage in a variety of styles which is quite impressive given the small footprint. Note that the focal point is the wine tasting center. We’re not sure what clients have in mind, but a piece of custom artwork will surely bring vibrance to this project. It will work even better thanks to the stain option that provides the perfect backdrop. See how it even brings out the flooring and other accessories:

Custom and Vintner racksAs mentioned earlier, this Tech Tuesday features WCI’s Mocha stain option. It was actually a “custom” product from our “blended stains” line that steadily gained popularity. Because of that, it was moved to our standard stain offerings. Now clients can enjoy this product and at a more affordable price point. It’s also part of the stain and finish choices for wine rack kits, like the Vintner Series. The blend of black and Dark Walnut results in a warm, dark hued stain. It is very attractive and really makes a statement without being too overwhelming. If you browse through our photo galleries, you will see what we mean. Racking units dressed up in Mocha stain showcase the wine bottles extremely well. The bold colors contrast nicely with bottles and make them stand out. We’re looking forward to seeing this Tech Tuesday filled up! *Cheers*

The Benefits Of Shallow Depth Wine Racks In Your Wine Cellar

March 24th, 2022

Are you familiar with shallow depth wine racks? If you frequent our blog, you should be. We’ve featured this racking style a good number of times. It also comes from one of our highly popular wine rack kits: the WineMaker Series. But if you haven’t heard of it yet, then today’s blog is a must-read.

Benefits of shallow depth wine racksLet’s check out the racking arrangement of clients’ wonderfully spacious wine room. Truth be told, the floor area is not as generous as other projects we’ve helped work on. However, thanks to the right choice of wine racks, the space was utilized to the fullest. Clients wisely chose shallow depth units for this project. So how exactly do they make a difference, especially in terms of bottle storage capacity? First, the name of the wine racks says it all. They were designed in shorter depth compared to “standard” racking units. Yet, the body of the wine bottle is still fully supported. But you will notice, as in the photos, that the necks of the bottles slightly stick out. Thanks to this configuration, conquering compact spaces can be done seamlessly. Clients’ wine room is a great illustration of this:

Loving the popping bottle displays!Second, like all of WCI’s “kits”, these shallow depth racks from WineMaker are very flexible. They can definitely rival the Vintner Series in the functionality department. You can purchase two or more and stack them to maximize the height of your bottle storage. You can also easily mix and match them with other racking styles. Just note that Winemaker wine racks must be mounted 1 1/2″ off the wall for proper wine bottle stability. The third and final feature is probably one of the strongest selling points. Since the racks are manufactured with less wood, this makes them more affordable. That increases one’ purchasing power in the process. No need to do the math, it’s just plain logic: lower price point, more racks bought. And quality is never compromised! ^_^

Shallow depth means more affordable racking!

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Understanding The Process Of Wine Aging

March 23rd, 2022

Most of us view wines with a “consumption” mindset. But wine connoisseurs know better. There are wines that can best be enjoyed when their flavors have evolved. This is why the concept of wine aging needs to be properly understood.  What happens as wine ages? How do the flavors of the wine change? What type of wines should be set aside for aging and why must it be done? Let’s explore the intricacies of this topic.

Understanding wine aging

What happens when wine ages…

Wines in their early or “young” stages are characterized by their primary flavors. Merlot, for example, exhibits strong plum flavors. Riesling, on the other hand, is more citrusy. There will also be presence of secondary notes associated with winemaking techniques. The buttery nuances from malolactic fermentation or hints of vanilla from oak are just some of these. When wines age, the tertiary notes come through. These are flavors that come from development. This could mean young, bold notions of fresh fruit that become gradually more subdued and reminiscent of dried fruit. Other flavors that have been overshadowed by primary notes will also gradually be revealed. These include notes of honey, herbs, hay, mushroom, stone and earth.

There will also be changes in the texture of the wine. Dry, aged white wines can become almost viscous and oily. As for the reds, their texture becomes considerably smoother. Such changes are caused by phenolic compounds like tannins falling out as sediment over time. Color is also another aspect that will undergo visible change. Whites usually evolve from pale yellow or golden to amber or almost brown hues. Reds tend to incorporate purple, as well as tawny or brown shades.

What is wine aging?

What kinds of wine should be aged…

The misconception is that aging should be done only to rare and/or expensive wines. But the fact is that any well-made wine can be guided to achieve its peak taste. This is, after all, the purpose of the aging process. Entry-level wines from good wineries can easily age from three to five years. The exception is if they were manufactured for primary, aromatic appeal. Wines with real concentration of flavor, good balance of alcohol, acidity and texture, are proper candidates for aging. Naturally, there are wines made specifically for extended aging. An example would be very extracted reds with bold tannins that need some time to mellow. The fine wines of classic European and New World regions belong to this group. ^_^

Technical Tuesday Episode #566: Rustic Hues w/ Knotty Alder x Dark Walnut

March 22nd, 2022

Wondering how to get those perfect rustic hues for your wine cellar? This Tech Tuesday will be able to point you in the right direction. It’s a creation that exudes sylvan charm, but also imbued with elegant touches:

Project # 335827
Wood: Custom / Knotty Alder
Bottle Capacity: 1092
Where: Sandy Springs, GA
Stain: Dark Walnut

Rustic hues with Knotty Alder & Dark Walnut stainFor a residential application, we daresay that this project is pretty spacious. It can host a little over 1000 bottles in several storage options. The wine racks are all custom-made. This was a smart move as the available space was really utilized to the fullest. The layout accommodated generous countertops and a tasting center. We can’t wait what clients will accessorize it with. But a gorgeous piece of wine cellar art will definitely do the trick!

Now let’s talk about how the rustic hues in this wine room came about. First, there’s the wood option for the wine racks. Our clients, in consultation with our design team, went for Knotty Alder. Knotty Alder is characterized by a light brown color with variations ranging from pale yellow to reddish-brown. True to its namesake, the wood often features a variety of different-sized knots. However, some pieces will have no knots at all. These features are responsible for giving the wood that inherent “rustic” appeal. Clients, however, also wanted to have that elegance reminiscent of traditional wine cellars. Staining the wine racks gained that result.

Knotty Alder works well with most stains and finishes. Since it is a light-colored wood, it is even more exceptional with bolder stains and finishes. So clients agreed to a Dark Walnut stain for the racking units. Dark Walnut is very popular. It is a beautiful golden-brown stain that deepens almost all shades of wood. Notice how the racks stand out against the lighter flooring and ceiling of the room. Naturally, the bolder hues also accentuate the distinct grain pattern of Knotty Alder. We love the old wine country vibes the entire wine cellar is giving off. As far as clients were concerned, this project was certainly on point! *Cheers*