For decades now, home wine cellars have been popular with oenophiles. But like everything else, including wine collecting itself, the home wine cellar has evolved.
And though a home wine cellar can still be a place to store wine, these days it’s more likely to be a place to store and display wine, or — taken to the next level — a place to store, display, and drink wine! In fact, many custom homebuilders are incorporating full-blown tasting rooms into their designs. It’s a trend we’re excited to see.
A traditional walk-in-closet-sized cellar lined with wine racks that tucks wine away behind a decorative iron door is still a lovely look, but a well-lit, glass-encased room that gives a collection pride of place is lovelier still. In fact, some homeowners are replacing walls with windows, turning a solid room divider into glass-encased wine storage without losing much floor space.
The ultimate wine lover’s entertainment space, however, combines glass-encased wine storage, custom lighting, a music system, and a table and chairs for sitting and sipping with family and friends.
The trend first emerged around 10 years, when homeowners started to notice such features popping up in high-end restaurants. As restaurants around the world began to advertise their wine programs in their entryways or in the middle of their dining rooms, instead of simply on leather-bound wine lists, homeowners started asking builders and designers to help them bring the wine up from the basement and into the spotlight.
That trend now appears to be in full swing. After all, why should an impressive wine collection linger sight unseen?
The new tasting-room-style wine cellar seamlessly blends with the rest of the home, reflecting the architectural style of the house, whether traditional, transitional, or modern. They are fully customized and wired for technology (remote climate control and automated inventory tracking are popular with wine collectors).
As in any space where an ambiance is desired, lighting is important, and wine rooms often have several sources of lighting, including ceiling lights, wall sconces, and chandeliers. Architectural windows act as walls, so that wine lovers can sit and swirl and see a collection while being outside its chilly realm.
Of course, a beautiful cellar door is one thing that hasn’t changed. After all, a door is like a bow on a package — it sets the stage for what’s inside.