Converting a Pantry Into a Wine Cellar

Building a Pantry Wine Cellar

Most homes have food pantries, usually in the kitchen. In older homes, walk-in pantries may be in a nook right off the kitchen or in a hallway.

If you’re a wine collector with a food pantry that isn’t serving you well, converting the room into a wine cellar might be the answer you’re looking for. 

Maybe you’re restoring an old home and are trying to figure out what to do with an existing pantry (or whether to keep it at all). Or perhaps a pantry in the hallway has become nothing more than a de facto storage closet full of clutter.  

Converting a pantry into a wine cellar can help you solve two problems at once: finding a good use for your pantry and a practical wine storage solution. It’s ideal if you have a smaller wine collection or want easy access to bottles without having to go into your main wine cellar in the basement or garage.

Here are some things to consider when building a pantry wine cellar.

Pantry Wine Cellar vs. Wine Refrigerator

You might be debating whether to go with a wine cooler or wine cellar. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to put the effort into converting a pantry or simply buying a freestanding wine refrigerator. 

Wine Cooler

A wine cooler, also known as a wine refrigerator, might be the better option, depending on your specific needs. 

These self-contained and portable refrigeration units maintain the perfect temperature and humidity conditions and can be placed virtually anywhere in the home. This can save you the work of retrofitting a pantry.

You can reconfigure the shelving in a wine cooler as needed, and the glass front becomes a display case for your wine.  

Wine Cellar

On the other hand, wine coolers have a limited bottle and weight capacity. And with a relatively large footprint, they can be awkward in smaller spaces.

While wine refrigerators typically have a UV coating on the front glass panel to prevent light infiltration, a windowless enclosed pantry offers more protection from UV light.

If you want to age your wine for many years or decades, a pantry wine storage system with a refrigeration unit is the better option.

Is a Pantry Enough Space for a Wine Cellar?

Most walk-in pantries are 4 to 5 feet wide and 4 to 5 feet deep (16-25 square feet). This may seem like a tiny space, but you might be surprised just how many bottles you can store in a pantry—especially if it’s thoughtfully designed.

It’s easier to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity conditions in a smaller space. And while it may seem paradoxical, a full wine cellar places less demand on a cooling system, which could translate to energy savings over time.

So don’t be shy about making the most of a small space. Depending on the exact dimensions of your walk-in pantry, you should be able to store anywhere from 250 to 450 bottles.

For the average wine collector, this is more than enough wine storage capacity. A pantry in combination with other storage options—like a freestanding wood wine rack or a sleek and modern floor-to-ceiling rack—lets you make good use of the space you have.

Build a Pantry Wine Storage System with Wine Racks America

With a bit of planning, you can show off a portion of your wine collection while preserving your most prized bottles in a converted pantry. Wine Racks America can help you do it. We’re one of the nation’s most trusted wine storage providers and custom wine cellar builders.

Count on our expert guidance in helping you in building your dream cellar. Get in touch with our team for helpful advice and information about our kits and custom wine storage systems.

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