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Aug 27, 2006 05:50 PM

Choosing a Wine Cellar

I've been looking for a wine cellar recently after finding that a lot of my wines had gone bad (I currently have them on a rack that is in direct sunlight & varying temperatures - stupid, I know). I've been looking at this Kitchenaid model; If anyone has recently bought a wine cellar or can offer me any advice, I'd really appreciate it. I'm also debating whether to get a 50 bottle undercounter cellar or a full height, 150 bottle cellar. I drink quite a bit of wine as I like to entertain & I have the space for a larger cellar. Thanks in advance!

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  1. I bought a Vinotemp from the Wine Club, they have the lowest prices. I got the 600 since it wasn't that much more expensive than the smaller ones.

    You can find the Wine Club's prices on page 29 of their newsletter:

    1. Buy the larger cellar, you will always find that you end up with more wine than you have space. I bought a Vinotemp 500 thinking it would be large enough, wrong.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dinwiddie

        The 600's more than adequate for my needs. I probably haven't gone over 60% of its capacity. The extra room makes it easier to organize and to find a particular bottle.

        If I had it to do again, I'd get some custom racking for magnums and oversized 750s.

      2. It depends on what you want from a "cellar." If you want to age your wines, then you might be better served with a construction project, rather than a stand-alone cellar. If you only want to store the wine for consumption, then this type of storage should work very well. As others have stated, decide what size you really need, then double that. Once you have a "cellar," you WILL fill it. That is why I recommended construction for long-term storage. You will start out with your normal wines, but find those that you want to lay down for 10+ years. Soon, you will have no room for the everyday wines. It happens to us all. When I built my ~4k bottle cellar, I thought that I had my wine storage solution in hand. Now, I cannot get to my Pinot Noirs, or to some of my Zinfandels, as I have another 12 cases on the floor (though some belong to a friend, who is building his "dream cellar"). Go for big! You WILL need it sooner, or later.


        1. I think that these are all good points. Look at what your habits and needs are, then plan for future capacity too.

          One key element that has not been discussed yet is $cost/bottle stored.

          If you apply this formula to small wine coolers, the value is often shockingly poor.

          IMHO, the best small>medium solution is either a Vinotemp or Vintage Keeper standing cabinet. These are both outstanding values when cost/bottle is concerned.

          For a big cellar, a great solution is "Red Rack" brand of racking and the appropriate size temperature/humidity unit.