In-home wine cel­lars’ pop­u­lar­ity on the rise

StarMetro Calgary - - COOL STUFF - KAREN DURRIE

Cana­di­ans love to kick back and en­joy a good sip or smooth tip­ple – af­ter all, we spent $7 bil­lion on wine alone in 2016, ac­cord­ing to Statis­tics Canada. So it’s no sur­prise that peo­ple are build­ing the ac­tiv­ity into their homes.

Whether a leisure-time im­biber, a hob­by­ist or a se­ri­ous col­lec­tor, wine racks, wine rooms and wet bars have be­come pop­u­lar ad­di­tions to new-home designs and ren­o­vated homes alike.

Pi­eter Spin­der is pres­i­dent and chief de­sign en­gi­neer for Un­com­mon Wine Rooms. He works with builders to pro­vide wine room com­po­nents and the oc­ca­sional full, turnkey wine room.

“It’s re­ally trendy right now,” said Spin­der. “I don’t like to call it a cel­lar – it gives you the idea it has to be deep in the ground. You can cli­mate-con­trol it and put it any­where.”

Prospec­tive clients visit his show­room first. There they dis­cuss wine rack­ing, de­sign and cool­ing sys­tems, and then he vis­its the home to get a feel for the style and the client’s de­sign wishes be­fore pro­vid­ing a quote.

Spin­der’s port­fo­lio show­cases every­thing from tra­di­tional wood designs to sleek, back­lit racks in glass-en­cased rooms.

Cli­mate con­trol for tem­per­a­ture and hu­mid­ity usu­ally only comes into play for those that col­lect and age wine, Spin­der says. If you drink your wine within six months, it’s not some­thing you need to worry about.

With cli­mate con­trol, Spin­der says, you can put a wine room in a closet, an at­tic or any­where. Costs can range from a cou­ple hun­dred dol­lars to $100,000 or more de­pend­ing on what’s in­volved.

A full wine room in­volves a lot of trades­peo­ple. “It’s a lot like build­ing a small house in­side of a house,” said Spin­der, with elec­tri­cal, mill­work, light­ing and cool­ing sys­tems.

Steve Trutenko, on the other hand, is a strict tra­di­tion­al­ist when it comes to wine rooms, which he still prefers to call cel­lars.

Trutenko is the pres­i­dent of Tru Wood­craft, and says 99 per cent of his busi­ness now in­volves ways to dis­play or store wine.

He points to the Fair­mont Banff Springs Ho­tel as an ideal aes­thetic.

“I’m re­ally not a fan of mod­ern wine cel­lars. Wine is some­thing that’s clas­sic, and there are some silly wine stor­age ideas. Clas­sic wine cel­lars will last for years,” said Trutenko. “The main-floor – I call them ‘aquar­i­ums’ – are the mod­ern trend. You have wine racks made from air­line ca­bles and peo­ple are drop­ping bot­tles and break­ing them. It’s a trapeze act try­ing to get a bot­tle.”

Trutenko’s rooms fea­ture wood and stonework, with clas­sic, pressed-tin ceil­ings. He builds cel­lars in base­ments, which are more en­ergy ef­fi­cient for proper stor­age, re­quir­ing smaller cool­ing sys­tems.

He has tied quite a few wine cel­lars into liv­ing spa­ces that in­clude wet bars. He likes the trend of the walk-up bar, where guests can serve them­selves, rather than the bar­tender-style, walk-be­hind de­sign.

For a great wine room, Trutenko rec­om­mends LED light­ing – which pro­vides the dual ben­e­fit of low power con­sump­tion and vir­tu­ally no heat gen­er­a­tion – and cork floor­ing, which has both an in­su­la­tion and com­fort value, and is flame re­tar­dant. Also, if you drop a pre­cious bot­tle, it will be less likely to break.

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