Home Wine Cellar Hardcover – Oct 6 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
"Every bottle of wineregardless of its vintage or varietydeserves 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. Theres 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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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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