Collectors know that wine doesn’t like extremes. Whether it is bright light or fluctuating temperatures, the concept of a glass enclosed wine cellar seems to fly in the face of the age-old rules of cellaring fine wine.
Innovations in glass and the move away from halogen and incandescent lights to cool, energy efficient LED lighting has made creating the wine cellar of your dreams confined only by the limits of your imagination (and budget). These approaches allow collectors to appreciate their cellars from adjoining entertainment spaces as opposed to the particularly cool and damp interior of the cellar itself.
While collectors are increasingly opting to incorporate glass into their cellar designs to allow dramatic views into their cellars from the outside, this creates challenges in terms of energy efficiency and infiltration of damaging ultra violet light penetration.
Recent advances in glass technology have made it possible to address these concerns, so if you love the contemporary look of glass accented with an artfully lit interior, you no longer need worry that your wines will be compromised by UV rays or temperature swings.
Tempered, double-paned insulated glass with Low-E coatings produce reasonably good R values and serve as effective vapor barriers. They can also effectively filter damaging UV rays. The proportion of glass in the cellar envelope will need to be factored into the heat loss calculation when selecting the cellar cooling system.
This type of glass must be contained in a framing system that will become part of the visual effect of the cellar. Collectors sometimes prefer solid glass alternatives to avoid the framing systems required by the double- paned glazing.
When selecting the solid glass approach, it is important to know that thermal performance may be diminished, both in terms of temperature and humidity control. It is also recommended that the solid glass be a minimum of one half inch thick.
Given the close tolerances necessary to fit the glass together without a frame, a highly skilled and specialized glass fabricator is a must to achieve the desired result. The warm glow cast by LEDs has been the gold standard in wine cellar lighting, but RGB LED lights are now making a big statement in both commercial and residential settings.
RGB means red, blue and green LED products combine these three colors to produce over 16 million hues of light. With RGB lights, owners can customize and change the colors based on their mood. You can fade or step through the color cycle and adjust the speed and brightness.
LED lights not only amp up the wow factor, but also provide low voltage, low wattage, low heat illumination with a long life. And they are dimmable and even waterproof! You’ve no doubt experienced the excitement and drama of RGB LEDs if you have been to a night club or restaurant.
Recently, one of Revel Custom Wine Cellar’s clients opted to bring this light show in to their personal wine cellar. While the cost is significantly higher than clear LEDs, for those wanting to add a dash of flair and creativity to their space, it is worth the expense for the extraordinary display.
Wine collectors have yet another way to share their collections in a whole, new light.