If we had to identify one design trend in wine cellars that has dominated the landscape in the last ten years, it would be the rise of glass enclosed wine room. Once designers and builders started to feature glass panel wine cellars are the crown jewel and top feature of many newly built modern homes and have become a staple in the ever-expanding wine storage closet remodel business.
What is so appealing about glass enclosed wine cellars is that they take both the wine and the display racking “out of the cellar”, meaning the traditional back rooms, basements and the under-the-stairs area that enclose your wine bottles and keep them out of direct sunlight most of the time. Glass wine rooms declare the wine collection to be part of the main visual of the room to amazing effect, since this transforms your wine collection into more of an art display that can be viewed from any angle, in any light condition, without disturbing it from its blissful slumber as it ages.
To put it bluntly, yes. Several actually and they all have to do with insulation. The first downside is that glass enclosed wine cellars are generally built with 1/2″ thick panels of “bath and shower” style glass, which is by nature a poor insulator. This means that if you are cooling your wine collection with a traditional wine cellar cooling unit, a lot of energy is going to be lost as it transfers through the glass. The solution is to make sure to size up your wine cooling unit to compensate for this loss and keep your cooling unit from overworking or backcycling.
Another downside to bath and shower style enclosures are the frames. Typical issues include poor fit where the glass panel meets the metal frame, which causes air to leak out of the top and bottom of the wine room. The solution is to make sure your installer uses a quality silicon sealer all the way around the outside of the metal frame, and all the way around the inside of the frame where the glass meets the frame. While this will minimize air loss, nothing beats using properly insulated dual-pane glass with thermally broken panes and optimized framing material that will minimize air transfer and therefore allow your wine to be efficiently cooled as well as optimally viewed. We recommend you investigate Solid Bronze Glass Enclosed Wine Cellars as a luxury alternative to bath and shower style wine cellars.