Showcasing Your Wine Collection

By: Mark J. Barkman, Senior Vice President, Private Banking Relationship Manager
Perhaps your collection began with a few special cases carted home from a wine tasting trip in Sonoma and Napa Valley. Or on a memorable trip to France and Italy, where every meal, one more scrumptious than the next, seemed incomplete without a bottle or two of the most distinguished regional vintages. Somehow, what may have started as a casual interest in the art of aging wine gradually turned a culinary passion into a wine collection to be celebrated and enjoyed with family and friends.

Wine Storage
Likely along the way you’ve become a connoisseur of wine—an “oenophile”—with a growing collection of vintages waiting patiently to be corked, poured, sipped and savored. Each bottle has a story—and you want a special place to share its journey. Perhaps it’s time to consider transforming an area of your home into a wine cellar to not only showcase your valuable collection but also to preserve the integrity of your investment.

It does. As a wine aficionado, likely you’ve built your collection to take advantage of each vintage’s aging capacity. Expensive bottles of wine that should not be opened for 20 or 30 years need to be properly stowed away in a controlled environment to keep them from being damaged or destroyed by heat and light.

A wine cellar is the ideal solution for organizing and properly storing your “liquid” investment. You can put a wine cellar in almost any area that’s well insulated and gets little or no direct exposure to sunlight during the day. Basements and cellars are among the best choices since they’re already cooler than other parts of your house— but you also could adapt a game room or spare bedroom. Avoid your garage or attic as they can be hot and are hard to cool.

The size and location of your wine cellar depends on how you plan to use the space. From basic spaces designed only for cooling and storing bottles properly to elaborate wine tasting rooms reminiscent of an Italian villa or French chateau, your wine cellar should not only accommodate your collection but also reflect and enhance your lifestyle.

Estimating the costs for constructing a wine cellar in your home can be a challenge. The wide range of options available for building out this type of space and your individual preferences will determine the ultimate price tag.

Additionally, average wine cellar construction costs vary greatly depending on the region of the country where you live, the nature and scope of your project, and how much—if any—of the work you plan on doing yourself. Depending on the size and finished design of the cellar you’re considering, it can be an expensive project when all is said and done. The following chart may be a helpful guide for planning the details of your project.

 Average Wine Cellar Costs

Even if you’re handy and plan on doing this renovation yourself, you might want to consult with the appropriate architectural design and building construction professionals for advice and direction on the following for this complex project:

■ Drawing up plans for the project
■ Obtaining required inspections and building permits
■ Prepping the existing space (i.e., sealing concrete foundation walls, applying vapor barriers to walls and ceiling, etc.)
■ Framing in the room and putting in the proper insulation
■ Adding electrical outlets, water supply lines, drain lines, a bar, sink, etc.
■ Installing a specialty cooling system, ventilation, and humidifier to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels

■ Type (metal or wood) and number of wine racks needed
■ Preferred lighting (showroom-style and/or low-voltage LEDs)
■ Flooring and exterior grade door
■ Covering materials for walls (paint, wood, paneling, brick, stone)
■ Finishing décor (accessories and furniture) that reflects your personality and lifestyle

Once all your construction and design concerns are addressed, it’s time to draw up plans, set a work schedule, order materials, and begin construction.

As we said earlier, building a wine cellar can be a major construction project, especially if you decide not to do the work yourself and hire a team of professionals instead. If you’d rather not pay cash, liquidate assets, or use savings for the renovation, an experienced banker can be invaluable in helping you understand various financing options available to you, such as refinancing your mortgage, using the equity in your home or a line of credit secured by marketable securities. All are viable options that depend on your own unique set of circumstances.

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you make the best financial decision for this unique renovation project.

The opinions and other information in the commentary are provided as of September 21, 2020. This summary is intended to provide general information only, and may be of value to the reader and audience.

This material is not a recommendation of any particular investment strategy, is not based on any particular financial situation or need, and is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, tax advisor or investment professional. While Commerce may provide information or express opinions from time to time, such information or opinions are subject to change, are not offered as professional tax or legal advice, and may not be relied on as such.

Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed, and is subject to change. The practice of lending, including lending involving marketable securities which are subject to changes in value, involves risk, including the risk of value decline or loss, and the risk of non-payment of lending obligations. Diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against all risk. Securities-based borrowing exposes the borrower to unique risks. If the value of the underlying investments decreases sharply, the borrower may need to expedite repayment, or sell investments to meet the terms of a lending agreement. Selling investment securities may result in adverse tax obligations.

Commerce Trust is a division of Commerce Bank.



mark barkman commerce trust
Mark Barkman Senior Vice President, Private Banking Relationship Manager Commerce Trust 
Mark is a private banking relationship manager for Commerce Trust. As a member of the private client team and an experienced, tenured private banker, he and his dedicated client support staff are responsible for ensuring each client’s experience with Commerce Trust exceeds expectations.

Mark’s specific responsibilities include management of our clients’ day-to-day banking, cash management, and credit needs, while also helping them navigate the wide array of our financial services to find the solutions that best fit their needs. Mark has more than 20 years of experience in consumer banking.

He graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in business administration and a minor in economics. He serves as chairman of the board for Family Services Committee.