How low can wine cellar humidity drop before it is a problem?

I’m looking at storing cigars in my wine locker. I was concerned about the humidity being too high. So i put a hygrometer in a wine locker at 11 a.m. yesterday and went back at 4 p.m. to check it.

It was actually 57 percent humidity when I first opened it. My cell phone had problems focusing and it crept up to 59 percent by the time I got the photo.
This is only one reading. And it was the hottest part of the day. I think to get an accurate snapshot I’d need to get readings from different times of day and different outside temperatures. Still, it does raise some concern. I like the facility otherwise.
Does relative humidity change drastically at other wine lockers?

I think we obsess about humidity. Anything at or over 50% is fine IMO.

Thanks, Dale.
I had heard 80 percent was optimal.

I’ve always thought of 60% as optimal. In the passive cellar that I’ve stored my wines in for the last 3+ years it stays right around 55-59%. I’ve had no problems with that.


Particularly in the setting of storing bottles with the wine in contact with the cork.

Be thankful. High humidity in your cabinet ruins lots of labels, and I don’t think it is at all necessary for the storage of bottles stored on their side.

Wine cellars always seem so humid I thought the humidity was higher. But that’s probably because I walk into them from the desert.

Over 50% is fine. Mine runs low 50s in winter to low 60s in summer and no dried out corks, including bottles stored 25 years. Once you get to 70% or higher you start to get label problems and mold. You can preserve labels, I think, by coating or wrapping them. Mold, while not a problem for the wine, could cause health problems if it gets into the house HVAC system and you’re sensitive. And mold can be a killer for resale value of a home. So I’m not a fan of over 70%. It’s not necessary for the wine and can actually increase risk to your home.

80% will ruin labels. 50% or more fine.

I’ve never focused on humidity, FWIW.

And, never regretted not focusing on it.

The contrarian argument is that the humidity inside the bottle is maximal at all times, irrespective of the humidity in the cellar, so it’s not worth worrying about.
As far as I know, BTW, there’s no science in this area.

Quite. I think the answer is no one knows.
But it doesn’t keep me up at night. I have zero idea of the humidity levels in the four places I store wine.

No problems here Steve.