ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

I have a wine closet located in a basement against an outside wall. However, it sometimes gets a bit warmer than I’d like, especially in summertime. Although I have yet to lose a bottle, I would like the option of cooling the room a bit. Is there a good way to cool the room without having to make a vent to the outside of the house? Any suggestions?

—Bob S., Scarsdale, N.Y.

Dear Bob,

I have three. First, make sure you’ve done what you can to insulate the area. Make sure the walls, doors and window seals aren’t leaking warm air into the room as much as you can. Secondly, if there are any windows in the area, black them out. Light turns into heat pretty quickly.

Finally, you might want to make a minimal investment into a portable air conditioner. They’re not as awesome as traditional cooling systems in the wine cellar of our dreams, but some of my friends use them to protect their wine collection, and they start at about $150. Prepare for some higher electricity bills, though.

—Dr. Vinny


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