The Room I Always Wanted (and Deserved)

Wine is such a popular beverage these days that new construction often includes a wine bar in the initial plans. They aren’t even seen as an upgrade. Wine storage and refrigeration is essential to many young couples that have taken an interest in the fruit of the grape. Newlyweds aren’t the only ones, however, that adore their nightly glass of vino. I recently build a bar in my basement where I can enjoy myself and/or entertain friends. I am retired and can’t wait to begin collecting some of the best domestic wines around.

Imagine yourself in your own man cave in the basement surrounded by special vintages. Imagine the guys coming over to watch a ball game or play poker. See yourself on a comfy sofa, wine glass in hand, or seated at a bridge table sharing stories with friends. How about that last visit to Napa where I got this premium, but little known, wine. I toured the vineyards, had my own tasting, and bought a couple of cases to share with you.

Wine can be a very esoteric subject what with fruity, oaky flavor and all. But it can also be fun and a great hobby. I got into it myself on a tour of Santa Barbara county wineries, and have been imbibing ever since. There are many areas within driving distance where you can enjoy local color and family-owned vineyards. You don’t have to be an expert to thoroughly enjoy this pastime.

When outfitting your basement, man cave, or rec room, you first need to determine your red storage requirements as external wine racks can be vast, more than you could ever drink in a lifetime. This goes for the wine fridges that house the whites. Once you select two dozen or more bottles, you determine if the available space can handle the unit. Wooden racks come pre-built or you can hire someone to make them fit into your space. There is nothing prettier than that glorious wood in your presence. You then need to think about whether to get something basic and economical like a wine chiller for your whites, or whether to go the full hog and buy a wine fridge. The fridge is a bit more modern as a rule, and it is important that it be a quiet model that has digital temperature controls and an LED display. Doesn’t everything have one these days from a generator to a water heater?

You can get freestanding units or those that work into build-in cabinets. It’s your choice. Most people have some constraints that dictate what they buy. If you want to add a bit to the budget, you can get dual-temperature fridges that accommodate all your fine wines. Now you decide on tinted or clear glass doors, a chrome or black finish, and vibration-free cooling that will not harm your prized collection. I hear that thermoelectric cooling technology is the latest thing.

Then there are assorted details such as door pull handles, tempered glass, compressor-based cooling, built-in carbon filters, and mobility. It is all up to you as anything can happen. Go big or small, go narrow or wide; they make a model for every taste and environment.