A good cellar can often make the difference between enjoying a great wine and pouring a bottle down the sink. Halstock, the leading English cabinet makers, are specialists in creating bespoke commissions, including wine cellars. An association with Berry Bros. & Rudd, Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchant and holder of two Royal Warrants, ensures that Halstock can tap into the greatest possible expertise when creating cellars that leave nothing to chance.
HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT WINE CELLAR
Planning: The first task in creating a cellar is to decide what you, your friends and family want to drink and then put a plan together for the future that will ensure you have the right amount of wine ready to drink at any time. Berry Bros. & Rudd are happy to work with clients to help them put together a Cellar Plan just as Halstock will make tailor-made suggestions on the building and design of the cellar itself. It is worth remembering that the lighting (or wiring at least) needs to be put in place early on.
The space: A cellar should be still, dark, free of vibration and nowhere near any central heating. The temperature should be kept between 12-14°C and humidity should also be regulated at 70%.
How many cases? Think about how much wine you need to keep. Factor in parties and the ratio of white, red, Champagne and sweet wine your family and friends typically drink. Try to estimate the number of different wines you may want to keep at any one time and decide whether you may ever want to buy wine as an investment. Space may dictate whether you want double-depth racks or wine drawers. Ensure there is room for unusual-sized cases and New World wines, which often come in wider bottles than traditional Bordeaux and Burgundies, as well as half bottles and magnums.
Labelling and management: Make it easier to find the bottles you are looking for and see how much you have of a particular wine with everything from the latest cellar management app to customized labels on your racks and drawers.
How will you use your cellar? If you want to decant wine in your cellar you will find it useful to have a sink. If you want to taste wine, you will need a table (or a flat surface), a couple of chairs, a small cupboard for glasses and a wine book or a computer to record your verdict.
Style and design: Decide whether you want your cellar to be modern or traditional. Whatever style appeals, you need to have good low-voltage lighting that does not give off too much heat. If you want to show people your collection of wine, then install lighting that adds to the wow factor. Avoid using any vapour-emitting paints — though the gas they give off won’t harm people, it can harm wine.
Enjoyment: Creating a cellar should be enjoyable. Halstock allows you to choose everything from the overall design right down to the joints used to make the wine drawers. Its craftsmen can also incorporate any individual details you may want. Berry Bros. & Rudd Sales Director, Jake Dean, says, “Building a cellar and portfolio of wine is one of the most captivating and rewarding pastimes, even before a drop has passed the lips. It does, however, require considerable thought and care, not only in determining the types of wines required but the styles that appeal to individuals’ palates as well as wines for entertaining at home. The wine world is diverse and full of opportunity and with access to the world’s finest and best in class wines, Berry Bros. & Rudd is perfectly placed to ensure your cellar is well stocked. From half bottles for quiet evenings to Melchiors (18 litre bottles) for the best parties, we have something for every occasion.”
Buying and managing your wine: Berry Bros. & Rudd will create a tailored Cellar Plan for you – from £100 a month – and provide you with a Cellar Plan Manager who will set up the plan for drinking, investment or a little of both. They will also advise you on what to buy, when to buy it and how to manage it according to your preferences, ensuring you grow a cellar you will be proud of.
Security: Cellars can be prone to pilfering, so it is worth considering some form of security!