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Home Wine Cellar [Hardcover]

Perry Sims


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Book Description

Oct. 27 2004
Finally, the most informative, fully illustrated, step-by-step guide to designing and building your own home wine cellar! This beautifully photographed and illustrated full-color book covers all of the details of locating and preparing the right construction area. It includes the latest designs, as well as up-to-date racking and organization styles and techniques. Perhaps most important, this book addresses all the thorny challenges of temperature and humidity control—just where most home wine cellars fail. Having a wine cellar is a hot trend among homeowners, and contractors throughout the country are including them in new construction. This copiously illustrated “hammer and nails” book is by far the best DIY guide available.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"Every bottle of wine—regardless of its vintage or variety—deserves proper storage and care," says Sims, a California carpenter specializing in wine cellar construction. This unique book promises to explain how to make that proper care happen, in seven illustrated chapters covering everything from wine racking solutions and the fundamentals of wine storage to planning and building a wine cellar and opening, straining and serving old bottles. There’s something here for every wine lover, whether he or she is interested in using a self-contained storage unit (built-in or stand-alone) or intent on constructing a walk-in, below-grade wine cellar. Detailed sketches portray the components of a subterranean basement foundation, the steps involved in installing French drains, and other aspects of construction; photographs show finished cellars. Although this is chiefly a book for DIY-ers, casual wine enthusiasts may also enjoy perusing its pages.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Perry Sims lives in El Dorado Hills, California.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, useful, book. Only two complaints... Aug. 18 2005
By P. Carroll - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This a beautiful, useful book well worth the purchase price. But I bought it to tell me how to build a home wine cellar (which it does) and I was disappointed to discover that it doesn't include any actual floor plan examples, with dimensions, showing a sample layout of a real wine cellar for, say, a small collection, a medium collection or a large collection of bottles. I'm new to this and need suggestions from someone who has done a lot of this. That's what I bought the book for. Also, I would have appreciated some recommendations on brands of cooling equipment and maybe a few names, websites, etc. of different equipment and furnishings the author has found superior to the competition. An appendix listing equipment and furnishing suppliers would have been great, like a recommendation of a good set of prefab racks to buy. In other words, I've read the whole book and still have to design my own floorplan from scratch and still have to spend a lot of time researching websites to decide on the brand/model of cooling equipment I want to use. I suspect the author already knows which is best, and I wish he had told me!
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really a "Complete Guide" Oct. 12 2006
By M. Drumke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Parts of the book were helpful and the photos were interesting. However, aside from asthetics, the critical issues in building a cellar are the vapor barrier, insulation and cooling system. It would have been helpful to have more technical advice or at least technical advice that was easier to follow. For example, an explanation of why the vapor barrier must be on the outside everywhere (to keep condensation away from the insulation) would be more helpful than just a bald statement that it should be. The diagrams are clear as far as they go, but the explanation on how to put a vapor barrier up and insulate a ceiling is confusing in the absence of an explanation of the purpose of the vapor barrier. For example, if you have wires, pipes and ventilation ducts in your basement ceiling as most people do, what is the best approach? Should you drop the ceiling and then install a vapor barrier followed by insulation or is there something else you can do? Likewise, a discussion of the pros and cons of using a glass vs. solid door, whether to have electrical outlets inside and if so how many and why, whether to place the light switch inside the room or out, and a discussion of how to properly ventilate the cooling unit to optimize operational efficiency all would have been helpful. Finally, since the author is in the business, I would assume that he uses particular brands of cooling units and has specific recommenations regarding size, makes and models--all of that would have been useful information.

To be fair, I did a lot of research and nobody seems to be able to write clearly on this subject and there is a lot of conflicting information on various aspects of design and construction. Still, now that I've been through the construction process, it seems that someone with expertise should be able to write a sufficiently detailed publication to give a novice or a novice working with a general contractor who isn't a wine cellar pro an understanding of the critical elements of design and construction to help them anticipate the issues involved in building a cellar. The book falls short in that regard.

I agree with the reviewer above that this book could have been half as long. As someone who was already inclined to build a cellar, I was already familiar enough with wine to know how to serve it. I wasn't looking for a contractor's advice on that subject. What I was looking for was detailed information on planning/design issues and construction methods. The information in this book that I found helpful on those topics was less than complete and was limited to about a dozen pages.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If I have never heard of wine or a wine cellar, this book might have been helpful June 8 2007
By Sara - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am planning to build a 2,000 bottle cellar myself and have found the published literature on the subject inadequate. After purchasing this book, I am no better off than I was prior to reading it. The book is so general that unless you do not know what wine is, it will tell you almost nothing you do not already know. It spends an inordinate amount of time discussing things like how to install and use a wine cooler. I own two wine coolers already and I assume almost everyone planning a wine cellar knows what a wine cooler is and how to turn one on. It spends a bunch of time on wine drinking, selection and pouring which is not what anyone buying this book is looking for. It also spends time discussing how to put shelves in a closet or under stairs, all of which is common sense. I need help on what type of vapor barrier to buy, how thick the studs should be, what is the best lighting to use, what coolers are best, what insulation will handle moisture the best, how to level a basement floor prior to installing tile, what types of wall finishes are best, what wood is best for racks, what stain is best, what themometers and humidity sensors are best, most efficient and best looking floor plans, etc. This book offers no solutions to the real issues with building a cellar. I found more real information doing a few hours of web blog searches than I found in the same amount of time reading this book. I found the Richard Gold book on the subject much more informative even though it focuses on passive cellars and has no pretty color pictures.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars About a quarter of what I needed Aug. 7 2006
By John C. Judin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a pretty book. It has nice pictures of some very pretty cellars. From a practical standpoint though, only about 25% of it is actually worthwhile. They should offer a scaled down version at at quarter of the price.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Home Wine Cellar Jan. 13 2009
By Levi Hensel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
According to his bio, Mr. Sims is a master carpenter who runs a wine cellar construction business based near Sacramento. I was initially concerned that this book was going to serve solely as an advertorial for Mr. Sims' business, and it turned out that this fear was well-founded. However, it was only in so much as that the work Mr. Sims does displays a fine and impressive level of craftsmanship, and that the construction of large-scale wine cellars is not for the average lay crafts-person. Anyone interested in constructing a home cellar should take a look at this guide, but should be forewarned. Afterward it will be hard not to want Mr. Sims to oversee your personal project.

The guide starts by taking the reader through the various "hows and whys of wine storage." Much of this information is useful, but fairly basic. The book then leads into various storage options, the pros-and-cons of each option, and how that particular option is constructed. The majority of the explanations are helpful and detailed, while not being overly-complex. The two greatest assets of the guide are the step-by-step DIY instructions (photos included) and the authors awareness that not everyone wants, or is capable of owning, a massive wine cellar. Mr. Sims takes this to heart by providing chapters on installing self-contained (ie. under kitchen counter) storage units, and on tackling space conversions. The information on these conversions is particularly interesting, including how to convert a bookcase, a wardrobe closet, and under-utilized spaces (ie. under a stairwell) to meet specific storage needs.

Although the later parts of the book focus on larger-scale construction projects (the kind it might be best to have a professional contractor tackle), the same step-by-step instructions are there for those projects as well. These instructions cover everything from interior-wall vapor barriers to fine finishing options.

The only qualms I had with this book were with the content and organization of the final chapter. It strays a bit into auxiliary topics such as wine and food pairings, and has section titles like "The Tasting Ritual," which are not completely relevant to the main thesis.

Overall, I give the guide high marks. It is easy to understand and it flows well from chapter to chapter. It is well-organized, all of the photos are high-res, topically relevant and in color, and many of the examples are delightful and inspiring in nature.

This is certainly a book I will keep around and refer back to. Although I have yet to personally tackle any of the construction projects in it, eventually I plan to integrate pieces of this publication into some of my other favorite construction ideas in the building of a future home.
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