Refrigeration vs Display Cellar
At Las Vegas Wine Cellars, we design and build both display cellars and wine cellars with true refrigeration. The difference between the two is significant in terms of preparation of the area and equipment cost.
When adding refrigeration, the wine cellar must be properly protected from moisture added during the cooling process and insulated where necessary to keep the temperatures in control. Failing to properly protect the wine cellar could result in mold and mildew problems in the future.
Here at Las Vegas Wine Cellars, we use industry leading products and techniques to properly build your refrigerated space that will allow you to have a climate controlled space to store and collect your favorite bottles and vintages.
A display cellar can be just as stunning and attractive in your home, while relying on the ambient temperature inside your home to passively cool and store your wine. While this option does not store wine at the recommended 55 degrees for long term storage, it can be an artistic and elegant way to display bottles that will be opened and enjoyed relatively soon. A custom built display cellar can dramatically improve any living space and add a wow factor to your home.
Long Term Storage of Wine
While most wine is consumed within a short period after purchase or production, some wines are put aside to age for long periods of time. Fine wines can be assets that improve in flavor and increase in value over time. However, if stored in improper conditions, wine can quickly deteriorate and spoil.
For a long period of time wine merchants were responsible for proper storage of wine, but more recently connoisseurs and enthusiasts have been building custom wine cellars in their homes for display and aging of their collections.
The three most important factors to consider when planning a cellar for long term preservation of wine are Temperature, Light, and Humidity.
Storing Temperature for Wine
While there are a few factors to consider when storing or aging fine wine for a long time, temperature is one of the most important parts for proper conservation of flavors and taste.
Wine should be stored chilled, but not cold. There is a small range of temperature that is recommended – 55°F to 65°F, with 55°F (13°C) being the perfect temperature for long term aging.
Hot temperatures, such as over 77°F, can break down the wine and dampen the aromas and and taste.
If the storage temperature is too cold, like if stored long term in a normal refrigerator around 40°F, the humidity level will also drop and the cork can dry out. This can cause the wine to oxidize and give the wine a sour flavor.
Keeping a steady temperature somewhere in the 55°F to 70°F is important, as constant fluctuations in temperature can be detrimental to the wine.
Serving Temperature vs Cellaring Temperature
It is important to note that there is a difference between storage temperature in a refrigerated cellar and serving temperatures of that bottle of wine for maximum enjoyment.
The 55°F degree storage temperature is too cold to serve red wines and too warm to serve most whites, some dessert, or sparkling wines. Proper planning is needed for removing bottles before service and either chilling them or letting them rest and come up to proper serving temperature.
While everyone will have personal preferences, there are a range of temperatures to serve wine depending on the varietal and type of wine.
The warmest tend to be old, fortified red wines like vintage Port wine, which is served around 66°F.
For big, bold reds like Bordeaux blends, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon are served around 62°F to 64°F.
Pinot Noir is best at 61°F.
As the red wines get lighter in color and tanin, the serving temperature cools even more.
For reds like Chianti and Zinfandel, 59°F is the best.
Tawny Ports and Madeira dessert wine is around 57°F.
Rose and Beaujolais wines are closer to 53°F.
White wines are generally put in a refrigerator or ice bucket before service to chill them to the proper temperature.
White varietals such as Sauternes, Chardonnays, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rieslings will range from 51°F to 48°F.
Champagnes are served colder at 44°F, and the coldest serving temperature is 42°F for ice wines.
Whether a traditional, old world cellar or a modern, new world one, LED lighting is the best source of decoratively lighting your wine cellar. The combination of very low heat, longevity, and range of colors/temperatures make LED lighting the ideal solution possible.
Here at Las Vegas Wine Cellars, we use commercial grade LED lighting equipment and professional installation to ensure amazing lighting solutions for your custom wine cellar.