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Best of all is a rock-dug cellar or cave. Almost as good are the stone or brick-built cellars beneath old houses. Check these for hot-water pipes, which can raise the temperature: lag pipes if necessary. Make sure that cellars are well ventilated, but be prepared to inhibit ventilation in any extremes of weather hot or cold. Ensure cleanliness, but be careful if fungicides are used to treat or clean brickwork or wood: these can leave a taint. The floor should ideally be porous to allow the humidity to be kept high. A layer of gravel on part or all of the floor can be watered to raise humidity.

If there is no cellar, and it is not possible to create one , there are two choices: to insulate a cupboard or part of a room, or to invest in purpose-built, temperature-controlled cabinets. Cooling units can be bought which will allow a large cupboard or small room, or an inadequate cellar, to be kept at the correct temperature. Some cabinets are effectively refrigerators with accurate temperature control, adjustable between 6C and 15C (42-59F). Others have both warming and cooling circuits, allowing them to cope with a wide range of ambient temperatures. Such cabinets can be used in places such as outbuildings or garages which are prone to wide temperature fluctuations. Purpose-built wine cabinets have air filters to avoid mould growth. Do not use a cabinet with a lamp, like a refrigerator: these may jam on, producing harmful light and heat. The most sophisticated cabinets, designed for restaurant use, have compartments at various temperatures to hold white and red wines at the right level for serving.

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