Home Cellar or Wine Storage Facility: Where to Begin?

In a recent article, The Wall Street Journal explored some impressive home wine storage solutions. One fabulous cellar has LED lights and $500,000 price tag. Other impressive home wine cellars reviewed cost between $10,000 and $120,000. But how about for "beginners?" For those looking to start a wine collection, should they focus on a home cellar, or utilize a nearby wine storage establishment?

A home cellar has some strong advantages. As a collector, you soon find out how protective you can become of your new wine possessions. It is natural to want to have your wine close to you and be able to monitor. Close access also means you can grab that special bottle when the proper occasion arises. The significant negative with this option is cost. As a wine collection gets bigger, this option becomes more expensive as one has to deal with AC units and humidifiers. Also, replacing parts or whole units can be quite costly.

On the other hand, a wine storage facility has many advantages for those who aspire to a collection that grows out of the 12 bottle wine fridge. Firstly, as it is out of sight, one will not drink as much — having the wine at home can be too tempting. And if you live with others, your favorite bottles may have the tendency to “magically” disappear. Wine storage facilities have become quite popular and everyone from wine collectors to restaurants and retail stores use them. An open-storage standard case of twelve can range from $1.85 to $2.50 per month, with cheaper "rents" outside of New York City. Most facilities offer personal lockers or caves, the prices vary depending on the size, case capacity. Most wine storage facilities offer delivery, pick-up and shipping services, which although expensive, can be useful in certain situations. They also provide inventory services as well as evaluation and assessment appraisal. One can have their wine sent there, when wine is purchased online or a wine auction.

Finally, if you must have a case or two at home, invest in a small wine cooler, keep the DRC at your main storage!

Wine storage facilities in the New York City area:

Chelsea Wine & Storage

(212) 462-4020

410 West 16th Street

New York, New York 10011

Note: No account set-up fees, no case minimum requirements

Vintage Wine Warehouse

(212) 245-4889

1630 Cody Avenue

Ridgewood, New York 11385

Note: No account set up fees, no case minimum requirements. First pick-up free.