burrnini


quality posts: 10 Private Messages burrnini

I've bought way more wine recently than i can drink, especially now that my wife can no longer drink, and I'm running into storage problems. I have extra storage in a subground area but it's relatively open to the outside and is only blocked by a door even though its below ground. I live in chicago and am a little worried about winters. would this get too cold in the winter to store wine?

kylemittskus


quality posts: 230 Private Messages kylemittskus

How cold is "too cold"? Ideally, wine should be stored at 55F. Slight swings up or down is, in all likelihood, harmless. I would think that 10+ degree is slight, but that number may be high.

Also consider, wines you plan on drinking within 2 years probably won't degrade within that period at ambient temperature. It doesn't harm them to store them temp controlled, but it's likely not necessary.

"If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine." -Rainer Maria Rilke

"Champagne is a very kind and friendly thing on a rainy night." -Isak Dinesen

trifecta


quality posts: 72 Private Messages trifecta

Colder temperatures are generally thought to slow down the aging process of wine.
Depending on how long you plan to cellar the wine, temperature fluctuations are more the enemy than absolute temperature. By fluctuations, I mean daily changes in temperature, not seasonal.

If this space you have is below ground and doesn't get much airflow it very well could be pretty stable daily temperature, which would be great. I don't think you need to be concerned unless temperature are dropping into the low 40s.

MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 181 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

You need to be concerned about humidity, however. Is this close to a heater or water heater? Is there a lot of water around?

You don't want it too dry nor too wet. Best thing to do is to buy one of those Atomic Clocks that show up here on Woot every so often. Those will usually show the temp and humidity.

Or if you have a Bed, Bath, & Beyond, they should have one. Or on Amazon.

Indoor/Outdoor Clock with humidity ... but only shows humidity for inside clock. So you'd have to put that down in the basement area.

Ideally, once you've established what the humidity is, you could leave the outdoor sensor down there, and move the base unit back upstairs.


Edit: This one is half the cost, but no outside sensor. So you'd have to go down to see it.


Someone has to put WD's kids thru college, but why does it have to be me!
*This post is for purposes of enabling only, and does not constitute any promise of helping pay for said enabling. It does indicate willingness to assist in drinking said wine.

MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 181 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

Ideal Wine Cellar Temp & Humidity

"55-57 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees C) and with an average of 60% relative humidity"

Why is Humidity Important?

Humidity is a critical feature often overlooked in wine cellar design. 50% - 70% is recognized as adequate, with 60% the ideal.

When the humidity is higher than 70%, it will likely cause mold and degradation of the labels and glue.
When the humidity is below 50%, corks will begin to dry out resulting in loss of liquid in the bottles and possible degradation of the wine.



Good luck!


Someone has to put WD's kids thru college, but why does it have to be me!
*This post is for purposes of enabling only, and does not constitute any promise of helping pay for said enabling. It does indicate willingness to assist in drinking said wine.

burrnini


quality posts: 10 Private Messages burrnini

Thanks for all the replies!

I doubt it gets much lower than low 40s, judging by the few times I've been down there in the winter.

I never even thought of humidity. While it's not near a sump pump or drainage, I don't know. Seems like one of those external temp sensors would be a good purchase.

[edited to remove a question that MarkDaSpark's link answered already].

kaolis


quality posts: 27 Private Messages kaolis

I'm in Chicago area as well and other than a small fridge which holds about 10 cases, my "cellar room" is passive as well. One interior wall and three walls are cement exterior walls. I run between 50 and 66 degrees. I have stored wines in this room for over 25 years and they are still sound. With that opening to the outside I'd almost be more worried about heat in the summer. I also store my long term wines in styro shippers, my unscientific research seems to support better temperature control and slower wings. Humidity will eat at your labels as mentioned above. The only time I ever had troubles with humidity and labels were with a couple of cases of wine that were stored in cardboard only boxes. Don't know why. But never have had a label problem with anything in a rack or in the styro. Again, not science, just my experience.

Cheers!

funbunny


quality posts: 25 Private Messages funbunny
kaolis wrote:I'm in Chicago area as well and other than a small fridge which holds about 10 cases, my "cellar room" is passive as well. One interior wall and three walls are cement exterior walls. I run between 50 and 66 degrees. I have stored wines in this room for over 25 years and they are still sound. With that opening to the outside I'd almost be more worried about heat in the summer. I also store my long term wines in styro shippers, my unscientific research seems to support better temperature control and slower wings. Humidity will eat at your labels as mentioned above. The only time I ever had troubles with humidity and labels were with a couple of cases of wine that were stored in cardboard only boxes. Don't know why. But never have had a label problem with anything in a rack or in the styro. Again, not science, just my experience.

Cheers!



kaolis is right, the summer temps here in Chicagoland could kill your wine. I keep mine in a finished basement and shut the heat vent in the winter while cracking a window. I've been able to keep it consistently around 60 degrees year round.

Get a thermometer and a as MarkDaSpark suggested, a humidity gauge. Start checking now since we are having such fluctuating temps to see stable it is in the space. Don't forget our humidity is around 70+ percent in the winter so take that into account.

"Wine is sunshine held together by water" - Galileo Galilei

burrnini


quality posts: 10 Private Messages burrnini
funbunny wrote:kaolis is right, the summer temps here in Chicagoland could kill your wine. I keep mine in a finished basement and shut the heat vent in the winter while cracking a window. I've been able to keep it consistently around 60 degrees year round.

Get a thermometer and a as MarkDaSpark suggested, a humidity gauge. Start checking now since we are having such fluctuating temps to see stable it is in the space. Don't forget our humidity is around 70+ percent in the winter so take that into account.



Thanks for the advice.

I've never really thought about cellaring wine before mainly because I tend to drink it too fast haha. but i've bought some of the better wines off woot that I'd be curious to see how they turn out in a year or two...I don't have the patience yet to wait 5-10 years.