Interior materials and finishes work together to complete a cellar’s functional and aesthetic environment.
A cellar floor should be covered in hard, natural materials. Most often, a slate, tile, or marble floor is installed, both for their beauty as well as their resistance to cool and moist environments. However, there is one flooring option that should never be considered: carpet. The damp and cool climate of a cellar will cause the carpet to mold and mildew in record time. Not only will the carpet be ruined, but the mold and mildew that grows can endanger your wines. Walls can be finished in a multitude of materials. M-R gypsum board, stucco, or a damp-resistant wood such as cedar or redwood are commonly used to great effect. Other decorative elements such as brick or stone veneers and wood paneling can be added as well.
The heart and soul of a cellar interior is the cabinetry. The right cabinetry will secure your wine and empower you to organize and retrieve it more easily. Cellar cabinets should make your wine the focal point of your cellar, enabling you or your guests to see and enjoy the labels on your carefully collected bottles.
The best cellar cabinetry is crafted from wood, like mahogany, walnut, or cherry that retains its integrity and beauty in a cool damp environment without needing an artificial finish. Artificial finishes, like most stains, sealers and varnishes give off gases that can taint and destroy even the most robust wines.
Attention should be paid to which wines you collect, and how you drink them. Do you specialize in a particular varietal, focusing on a select region or grape? Do you have a mix of fine, investment-grade wines, and everyday drinking wines? Do you purchase in case lots or by the bottle? Answers to these and other questions will determine the right balance of high-density, display-oriented and case-management storage for your cellar.