Wine Storage Options

Let’s say you’ve managed to accumulate more wine than you can safely cram into the hall closet.  Since fine wine prefers to be stored at about 57 degrees and 65 percent humidity, where can you move your existing wine, as well as any new wine you buy? 

Well, you can opt for storing it at a local storage company that specializes in wine. Orange County has plenty of temperature-controlled facilities where you can rent a space that fits your needs— anything from a small locker for a few cases, to a full “walk-in” that holds hundreds.

An alternative is buying a home wine cellar.  These come in myriad shapes and sizes, and there’s bound to be one that fits your needs. There are certain advantages and disadvantages to both methods, so let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

Wine Storage Facility

  • Pros
    • Month-to-month rental, or some savings if annual fee is paid
    • You can upgrade/downgrade to a different size locker at any time
    • It’s temperature-controlled, with no utility costs to you
    • No space required at home
    • They accept wine shipments on your behalf, so you don’t have to be home or receive wines at work
    • There can be access to a meeting room at the facility, where you and others can enjoy your wines and bring food
  • Cons
    • Limited access to your wine, usually only during business hours
    • Rental fees, monthly or yearly. And it can go up.
    • Lockers or walk-in units are usually bare, so racking is needed—either rented or purchased
    • Rental insurance may be needed for your wine

Home Wine Cellar

  • Pros
    • Full access to your wine at any time
    • Fixed costs after purchase; no rental fees and no increase in rent
    • Unit usually comes with racking
    • You can show off your wine, and it can enhance the décor if it’s located in a family room or great room
    • Insurance needs are likely covered by your home owner’s policy
  • Cons
    • Large upfront expense
    • You must plan your storage needs in advance (whatever you think your need will be, double it)
    • Increased utility costs
    • Floor space required in house, garage, or other room
    • You will still be responsible for receiving your wine shipments at home or work

The final analysis is obviously up to you—does one method outweigh the other?  One way to proceed is to figure a cost-per-bottle for storage. Either way, your wine needs a happy, temperature-controlled place to rest.