I’ve built a cellar, racking included and bought a cooling unit from Wine Enthusiast. I was pleased with the whole thing while I had it.
Question . . . if you didn’t care what it looked like and were just looking for bulk, temp-controlled storage (full cases in your garage, for example) couldn’t you just buy a walk-in cooler like restaurants use? Would a used one be cost-effective? Can you set the temp for 55 instead of the under-40 temp you’d use for perishable food?
Does anyone know?
If you substitute something for humidity control I am sure you could do it
The question is hypothetical and assumes you have a place to put it. Lots of them are 6 feet by 8 feet or so. Much smaller than some of the fancy cellars I’ve seen . . . Eric LeVine’s for example.
A restaurant-style walk-in refrigerator is usually designed for temps under 40°.
I think the cheapest way to go is build a space (like four walls and a roof) and put an air conditioner in it. An air conditioner won’t get down to 55 (probably more like 70) but that is ok if you aren’t storing wines for more than six to eight years. The main thing a bottle of wine wants is to be in a cool place where the temp doesn’t vary more than 2 or 3 degrees. Wines don’t care about 55° unless you plan on storing them for 10 or 20 years or more.
My 2¢. Does anyone disagree here?
I tried this once and it wasn’t successful. We had a restaurant and stopped using one of the coolers. I had my A/C guy try to modify it but in the end he said that basically the compressors couldn’t be regulated at such a high temp. They were made for 45 degrees and lower.
Thanks, Nick. That’s the answer I suspected.