How to Build a Cheap Wine Cellar

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A cheap wine cellar can be a wine lover's dream.
A cheap wine cellar can be a wine lover's dream. (Image: Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

To understand how to make the best wine cellar on the cheap, think as if you were recreating a refrigerator. Cool, very slightly moistened air and pitch-dark conditions come together to create the best storage for wines. Wine cellars are great for those who love wine, or want to become wine lovers. A well-stocked cellar is a great and a cost-effective solution, as it keeps you from going out of your way to a winery or wine and spirits store. With some used and found construction materials, you can keep the cost of your wine cellar to a minimum.

Things You'll Need

  • Used wood
  • Donated nails
  • Hammer
  • Black paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Air-conditioning and heating unit
  • Humidifier
  • Saw

Acquire as much wood as possible, enough to make as many storage areas you will need for your wine cellar. Decide whether you want rack-style storage for the bottles or bin-style storage. Rack-style storage involves using the wood to build a backless bookcase-like structure. The bookcase "shelves" are then notched so the bottles can be placed in the grooves and not roll around. The amount and lengths of wood will be determined by your space. Bin storage boxes can be built by putting four boards together to form an open square, then installing a wooden "X" in the middle. Wine bottles are stored in the spaces formed by the "X."

Acquire nails from acquaintances, from your own supply or purchase some. Construct your rack storage. When building the wine racks, build to fit your specifications.

Choose a room for your wine cellar that has no windows. You'll need a room that can be sealed easily from heat and cold elements, as temperature change is a major enemy of wine cellars. Make sure the room doesn't experience regular vibrations, such as from passing trains or traffic, or rattling furnaces.

Paint your wine cellar walls and ceiling with the black paint. Let the paint dry for a full day.

Place the humidifier in the wine cellar and turn it on, using the lowest setting possible.

Place the air-conditioning and heating unit in the wine cellar, and keep the room temperature between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Install your rack storage in the wine cellar. Fill the racks with your wine collection.

Tips & Warnings

  • Replace regular light bulbs with black lights to create the darkest lighting possible.
  • Avoid temperature fluctuations, humid environment, and as much lighting as possible.

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