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How and Why to Build a Wine Cellar, Fourth Edition Paperback – January 1, 2008
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Picked up edition 4 to see what's new - updates on newest construction materials and new information on sourcing wines and wine info thru the internet.
After doing a bunch of research it became clear that Gold's book was the best choice. It was recommended by many reviewers. I read the book thoroughly and incorporated a cellar into our construction plan. Reading the chapter on the vapor barrier and insulation are critical if you are going to pull off a passive wine cellar. Moreover, I wouldn't even try to go passive unless you are building mostly below ground.
It is fairly obvious that the cooling systems that are available for non-passive wine cellars are problematic and extremely unreliable, so passive is best.
In our situation we had a mostly below ground basement level. We bumped up the insulation on the inside and added some outside as well since the building was already trenched. We also added a vapor barrier. The room so far stays very cool even though we aren't quite done. There is also a whole chapter about how to construct the perfect door. It turns out that it is almost impossible to buy an adequately insulated door, but it is not that hard to build one yourself if you are handy enough or can hire a contractor.
If you are looking for a prestige wine cellar to show off and impress people with, be warned that Gold is pretty negative about these, and won't help you much there, this is about storing and protecting wine, and Gold doesn't care too much about impressing people. He does offer some great advice about how to build your own effective shelving system and how and where to buy wine that are quite insightful.
If you are building a wine cellar, get this book, and maybe one for your contractor.
There are some real surprises... Gold emphasizes keeping uniform high humidity, saying this is more important that temperature fluctuations. But, if humidity is too high, the labels mould. He has a solution: a dry well dug into the floor insures that your humidity won't get too high in the spring. It's simple and it works.
I liked that he conducted experiments (tasting a bottle left out in the sun for a few hours, one high temperature excursion will permanently affect the wine), and he has practical advice for sharing fine wines with friends (e.g., if you don't take care, they'll just pour and drink your 1982 Pichon Lalande, go on talking, and never notice it).
This book has helped me more with wines that any other. I highly recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
the book had everything I needed I have designed my wine cooler in my garagePublished 7 months ago by James Madsen
If you are like me and building a wine cellar, this has to be in your "Read Before Building" section. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Darb
This is absolutely the only go to book that seems to exist for a "PASSIVE" wine cellar/storage area. Read morePublished 12 months ago by JSAFletcher
Interesting book geared towards a true passive cellar and offers little of real value regarding indoor storage requiring a cooling system. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Bill McDowell
The book is comprehensive but easy to read. Dr. Gold provides good examples and backs up his opinions with some pretty astute observations. Read morePublished 13 months ago by jma
This book was recommended by a winemaker and friend. It's a quick read with great ideas. It's a good start in the journey of building a wine cellar.Published 20 months ago by kymore
How and Why to Build a Wine Cellar was very good. I did not know so much had to go into it, after reading it I put in aside as I did the project. Read morePublished 23 months ago by the tucker
The level of detail is overwhelming. The author is obviously very process oriented. There is good information in the book but, it is almost lost in all the description of... Read morePublished on June 19, 2013 by Arlen E. Bee
The author begins by describing several ways NOT to build a wine cellar. I was considering two of those paths and feel the book more than paid for itself within the first few... Read morePublished on June 9, 2013 by Scott Ahlsmith