There is a shift in the way homeowners are storing their wines and it is getting an upgrade.
Cellars are being replaced with sleek, see-through glass doors and LED lighting. These contemporary walk in wine rooms are designed to showcase not only the various vintages, but also the impeccable taste of the homeowners that own them.
They are like works of art and the wine is the star of the show. These magnificent rooms are in homes where the homeowners aren’t wine drinkers, but they feel that the home is on a scale that it should have one.
Typically these wine rooms run $35,000 to $50,000 but can be in excess of $200,000. You might find a 2,700 bottle walk-in wine room, in a barn, of all places, with a hidden passage behind a bookcase leading to the barn.
Most times however, the wine room is located in a prominent and visual space such as the dining room and living room, and are designed to coordinate with the lighting, colour scheme, and style of the house.
Wine cellars and the tasting room can take up a considerable chunk of the house’s space, so some homeowners might use the wine room for hors d’oeuvres then head up to the dining room. Yet another with 4,000 bottles is made of glass and has inlays of century old barn wood on the floor. The bottles are displayed like precious gems stored on untreated walnut racks so that the labels, illuminated by LED lights, are visible.
At the very high-end there is a propensity to have multiple cellars in the same house right next to each other. There’s one for white, one for red, one for Champagne and one for humidors. This is a global trend.
The liberation of wine rooms is being driven in large part by technology. Wine is finest when it’s kept in low light at 55 degrees Fahrenheit, in 65% to 75% humidity and away from finished off-gassing wood.
Today sophisticated cooling systems, tempered double paned insulated glass and cool, energy efficient LED lights in white and a rainbow of colours create a controlled environment that lends itself to high designs.
What the mind can imagine is the only limit to these rooms. Imagine a two storey wine cellar with glass walls on all four side that has a glass floor between, or a wine wheel assemby that rotates like a lazy Susan.
Often prospective clients think they want a tasting table in the wine room, but this is not a good idea due to the chilly temperatures. That’s why the glass walls are ideal, so they can see the wine and taste in a tasting room, or what is also called the wine enjoyment area. The luxury market has seen a trend toward entertaining and eating at home over the last 2 years, and the wine wall, and wine room’s new technological sophistication makes a great talking point for a home dinner party.