When you are passionate about wine you start to collect it ... and when you begin collecting it you need a place to store your wine collection.

A closet can easily be turned into a mini wine cellar to store your growing wine collection.

Before you begin converting your closet into a wine cellar consider the position of the closet relative to the rest of the house.

Avoid converting a closet against an outside wall into a wine cellar. From season to season the other walls of your home may be subject to wide temperature fluctuations. Ideally, choose an internal closet where the temperature is likely to remain more constant.

The degree and the speed of any change in temperature are critical elements in successfully storing and aging wine. A gradual change of a few degrees between summer and winter won’t matter. A similar change each day will certainly cause harm to your wines by ageing them too quickly.

The most important rule when you are storing your wine is to avoid wide fluctuations in temperature. You’ll notice damage of this type immediately from the stickiness that will often form around the capsule. Over time, the continued expansion then contraction of the wine will damage the integrity of the cork. It’s just like having the cork pulled and replaced every day. When this happens, very small quantities of wine may be pushed out along the edge of the cork allowing air to seep back in. Once air has come in contact with the wine the irreversible process of oxidation starts and your wine will be ruined.

At 55? to 58?F the wine will age gracefully, enabling it to fully develop as the winemaker intended. Higher temperatures age wine more rapidly and cooler temperatures slow the ageing process. The damage done to your wine will be irreversible if it is stored at a temperature above 82?F for even a month.

The most difficult part of creating a mini wine cellar in a closet can be finding other places to store the original contents of the closet! Don’t hesitate … remove all the present contents (move them elsewhere / give away / auction them) and start out with an empty closet!

Purchase inexpensive wine racks from an online retailer, hardware store or storage shop and you’ll have a simple but effective mini wine cellar.

Wine rack designs vary greatly in bottle density; price variations have more to do with the aesthetic appeal of the racks than their efficiency.

Individual racking makes it easy to select bottles. If you place racks against only one wall of the closet you may still have floor or shelf space available for wines that you purchase by the case.

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