Build Your Wine Cellar with Vintage Cellars

Custom Vintage CellarThe storage of a wine collection is crucial to the maintenance and enjoyment of any collector’s investment.  The proper combination of humidity, light, and temperature is ideally done in a way that makes it easy for oenophiles to display and access their collection.  When a collection expands beyond the size easily stored in a wine cabinet, it's time to consider installing a wine cellar in your home.

For wine collectors in the Chicagoland area who are ready for this step, there are a number of options available which allow local residents to design and install a cellar for your wines.  Whether you are seeking to convert your basement, or want to install a small alcove in a pantry, Vintage Cellars offers custom designs for spaces of any size in addition to wine rooms premade for installation.   In approximately 8 weeks, they work with you to take a drawing of your wine room’s available space and design a completed cellar.  They recommend customers use a contractor to complete work on the walls, floor, and any needed HVAC work for a cellar cooling system.  Vintage Cellars is also happy to recommend a Chicago area contractor, or work with your crew to ensure that walls and floor meet the specific needs of your wine collection.  Once the cellar is ready, they'll install the rack system designed for you.

The company is run by wine lovers who truly appreciate the value each wine holds for its owner. Collectors benefit from Vintage Cellars’ extensive experience aging and storing wines when choosing materials for construction.  Personal consultation gives attention to the cellar’s look, feel, and storage with a variety of offerings available including flooring reclaimed from wooden wine barrels for an exciting and unique, wine-focused touch.

For more information on how a wine cellar can contribute to the enjoyment of your collection read up on proper wine storage, then check out Vintage Cellars at their website:  And if you need help filling your new wine cellar with prime investment & drinking selections, don't forget to contact me at  Happy collecting, and happy drinking!

How to Build Your Wine Collection

When most people think of a wine collection, they think of a temperature controlled cellar containing a magnitude of expensive bottles.  It simply is not true that this is the only example- a wine collection can be comprised of a single wooden rack in the living room, or even your kitchen countertop.  Now here are a few tips to help you get started.

I remember when I first started my collection.  I bought a self assemble 20 bottle wooden rack and went about trying to fill it- but since I was new to wine myself, what was the best way to approach it?

  1. Variety.  Don't be afraid to get wines from different producers, regions, vintages, and price points.  Try different styles and varietals.  Experiment.

  2. Seasons.  Be prepared for any weather.  When spring arrives, have that sauvignon blanc ready.  Hot summers should bring some fruity rosés.  Bring on the Beaujolais and pinot noir in autumn and some rich zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon in the winter.  And make sure you have a good amount of whites and reds all year long- who knows what mood you'll be in?

  3. Celebration.  Must have the bubbly in stock for special occasions.  My wife and I started our marriage with Dom Perignon Vintage 1999 and plan on having the same with each anniversary.

  4. Reserve.  There are wines that get better with age and you can appreciate while they are on the rack.  These wines can also be quite expensive.  Unless you know of some wines you cannot live without, try to look for closeout specials at wine shops.  I purchased almost all of my reserve wines at between 30-60% off regular price and cannot wait until the right moment to open them.  Until then, it is a joy just to know they are maturing in my home.

  5. Separate.  Keep wines for any reason- aging, everyday, Sunday dinner, afternoon drink, duck roast, etc.  Just make sure you know what/when your collection fits in.

  6. Favorites.  We all have our favorite wines so make sure you keep them in the collection and replenish them.  Do not be afraid to show them off!

  7. Search.  When you see wines you may want to purchase, don't be afraid to use your favorite search engine (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.) to get reviews and input from others.  This could be a telling factor if the wine is a bargain or fits your collection.

Check my Best Buys and visit your local wine shops and their experts.  Start building, happy hunting, and contact if you need help.


(Image courtesy of Flickr)