From The Cellar To The Foyer

  • May 23, 2016

Today we’ll focus on a couple of our projects that boast an Epicurean flavor. Namely, the reinvention of the wine cellar.  The classical wine cellar was created out of necessity – a dark damp hole in the ground became the perfect storage for wine and allowed it to ripen and mature. Why? Wine is notoriously fickle – it doesn’t like getting too cold (<45°F) or too hot (>65°F), it likes to be damp but not soaked (75% humidity is ideal) and even something as small as a ray of sunlight can affect and spoil the taste. For these reasons, there is a delicate process at work when creating a wine display. But technology has enabled us to start to explore creative solutions, without sacrificing flavor.

Most wine you’ll buy today is considered as ready-to-drink, i.e. you don’t need to age it for 5-10 years before uncorking. Also many are stored in a dark, UV-resistant glass bottle but that doesn’t negate the need for proper storage. Bearing this in mind, it is no longer necessary to bury your wine in the basement. Consider the following wine room:

Snug Harbor Wine Cellar

As you see here, it is definitely possible to create a display that ‘pops’ and doesn’t damage your wine. In this room, we have artfully comingled the display and a den, where one can comfortably enjoy their collection with a few friends. With the right lighting, temperature and humidity control, you can protect and display your wine collection in a tasteful and aesthetic way.

This concept need not be limited to the basement. Have some unused space underneath a staircase? Why not enclose that and create a wine display? Imagine a room underneath the stairs framed in translucent glass, home to 5-6 wine racks of varying height, with the capacity of roughly 45-50 bottles of wine and illuminated softly with LED light? Here’s an example:

Fernleaf Wine Cellar

Now I know you’re thinking – sure, each of these projects showcases ways to keep wine isolated from direct sunlight, but what about bringing them into plain sight? Try this one:

Evening Canyon Wine Cellar

On first glance, this one appears to be a flagrant violation of the aforementioned rules. Its out in the open – in the main area, under a skylight…but look closer. Using creative calculus we have employed some techniques that actually hide each of these wines from coming into direct contact with UV light. That, even a Master Sommelier can appreciate.

In short, if you can think it, we can probably work with you to create a design that’s daring, yet pragmatic.  Wine racks on the ceiling? An app-fueled wine delivery system? We’re always looking for new ways to innovate. Do you have any ideas? Let us know in the comments!

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