How To Start A Wine Cellar

So you want to start a wine cellar? Where do you start? What do you buy? How much should you buy? Where should you store it?

Firstly the question you should ask is do you want to start a wine cellar as an investment, or to have a pleasurable cache of wine at hand? Establishing a wine cellar as an investment requires specialist knowledge, a considerable amount of money and the ability to play the waiting game. So that’s not what we’re looking at here. We’re talking about building a modest collection with the option of expanding at any time in the future.

The first thing we’d recommend is to taste as many wines as you can. Only by tasting a varied selection of wines will you come to recognise those that suit your palate. Look out for local wine tastings held by wine merchants. Join a wine group. Read as much as possible by wine writers both online and book form and try to taste those wines if you can. The more knowledge you have, the more informed your choices will be. If you’re planning a ‘for home consumption’ wine cellar it makes sense to concentrate on younger wines, and there are many appealing youthful wines to suit all budgets. A diverse cross-section of wines is the key to a successful wine cellar.

Having decided what you want, from whom do you buy? Before you rush off to bid at wine auctions, consider a slower more modest start to building your wine collection. If you liked their recommendations, consider the wine merchants you attended for wine tastings. Look out for small independent wine merchants who often have glorious wines. Ask for their suggestions, they will undoubtedly be delighted to assist you in building your cellar. Listen to the advice of wine writers including The Wine Show’s Joe Fattorini who will guide you in the right direction.

Having acquired your wine, what do you do with it? Controlling temperature is the most important aspect of keeping your wine cellar viable. As you know, all wine whether red, white or rosé, should be kept at the same temperature of between 10-14 degrees, with a humidity level of approx 65%.

Maybe you could have a passive wine cellar, where the ground temperature is moderated by the surrounding seasonal temperature? For that you’ll need a deep underground cellar the size of Downton Abbey’s. As most of us don’t, then this isn’t an option.

We highly recommend investing in a temperature-controlled wine cellar. There are many cellar options ranging from modest to massive at Sorrells. They customise all of their wine cellars and each cellar they design, build and install is unique.

It’s important once you establish your wine cellar, that you enjoy it. Wine is splendid whether consumed in convivial company, or in comfortable solitude. So savour it.

See the range of cellars at Sorrells –