For those wine connoisseurs who want to designate a specific area for sampling, adding a wine service area is a good option. Here a table or two with chairs can allow you to offer your guests a special wine tasting in your cellar. Some of the choices for wine cellar tables range from elegant pieces of furniture that you would put into a dining room to small hand-made pieces of art. Some even incorporate function into their beauty.
If your wine cellar is large, you may be able to accommodate an elegant dinning table with four to six chairs. Or perhaps you want something a bit cozier. Then, a couple of arm chairs and a side table or two would be perfect, allowing some counter space along your walls to accommodate open bottles and a tray of hand nibbles. Again, you can choose furniture that you would normally use in your home. However, you should keep in mind that your wine cellar will be cool and and humid to a degree. Therefore leather instead of cloth upholstery would be a better choice. In addition, furniture chosen for those conditions should be made of choice hardwoods and will need to be carefully maintained.
More modest, but equally impressive, are wood rack tables and bar tables. These tables have built in wine racks on the bottom of the piece with a solid wood table top. Some even have a space for hanging wine glasses underneath the table top just before the racking begins. These are often solid wood construction made with redwood, oak, or an exotic wood. Higher quality tables have moldings that are routed into the solid redwood panels rather than veneered onto plywoods.
Another choice is vintage wine barrel tabletops. The cooperage or the outside sections of the barrel are used because of their distinctive markings, which occur because of what particular wine was stored inside and how it was cellared. Counter tops can be made with barrel woods and bear cooperage stamps every three feet, but they can be used for long tables. The infusion woods or the areas inside the barrel are especially beautiful because of their characteristic patina. Deep burgundy colors stain the woods and offer a rich essence. There rounded nature makes them the perfect choice for tabletops. They may be shipped to the wine cellar owner in pieces to be assembled very easily to be installed on top of racking. They can also be incorporated into a simple table with legs.
Some racking tables may be topped with inlays or finished with tile, mosaics, or manufactured counter top materials. Individual tables may also be topped in a similar fashion.
Tile is a durable and stylish choice for wine cellar tables. Enameled tile, porcelain tile, tumbled stone tile, and even painted tiles can add a personal touch to your table. Porcelain tile is more durable than ceramic tile. If a chip occurs on the surface of a ceramic tile where the color is concentrated, the white porcelain underlay will be exposed. If a chip occurs in a porcelain tile or a tumbled stone tile, the chip just exposes more of the composition of the porcelain or stone.
Painted tiles are unbelievably beautiful for tabletops. Many wine cellar designers offer galleries of art to choose from, offering cherubs, fruit motifs, wine bottles, and even landscapes. Custom work can also be done from your sketch, photograph, or postcard. Some tile painters will even reproduce wine labels or vineyard landscapes. Painting is done with colored ceramic glazes not paint and the tiles are usually fired four times at temperatures higher than those for fine china. This creates a very durable tile that is scratch resistant that can be cleaned with common cleaners used for tile. It takes about a month for delivery of painted tiles.
You may also choose reproduction tile. This can cost half as much as hand-painted tiles. Using porcelain tile, images (usually grapevine motifs) are sealed onto plain tiles with a clear glaze and then fired once more in a kiln. These take about 2 to 3 weeks to produce from a manufacturer.
Natural stone tiles may also be printed with art work just as hand painted ones. These stone imprints are sealed with a two-part epoxy and then given a matte finish. You can give your wine cellar designer a picture, postcard, a sketch, a fabric swatch, or even wallpaper, and the image will be scanned in, sized to fit your table, and printed onto your stone tiles. Your image will take on the variations in shade, color, and texture inherent in the stone itself, giving your art work a uniqueness that canvass cannot produce. Some of the stone materials used are Light Travertine, Noce Travertine, Durango Marble, and Botticino Marble.
Stone tiled tables also may have accents, liners (domed, rope, square edged, and double ogee), and listellos added to the plain tiles or a design. These smaller tile pieces are commonly used as borders for back splashes and walls.
Many companies will grout and install the tiles at their manufacturing facility and can be shipped out as a completed tabletop. There usually is an additional charge for this service. Otherwise, the tiles are shipped in a box for assembly in your wine cellar, by you or your contractor.
Another tabletop solution is mosaic tiles. These are hand-made creations by an artist. Some can be made from hand-cut pieces of stained glass and assembled onto a glass top. The image is grouted into place and sealed with a clear gloss. Other materials can be antique fine china or porcelain tiles that have been hand-cut. These are then grouted in place onto a mason board and a protective glaze is applied on the top to seal it. Many of the designs are of wine bottles, grapes, horses, vineyard scenes, and even modern art. These take 6 to 8 weeks for delivery.
Some wine cellar owners like the durability of manufactured materials for wine cellar tables like they might have in their kitchens or on the bars in their recreation rooms. Two popular choices are Dupont Corian and Dupont Zodiaq. Corian comes in many different textures and colors. Its non-porous surfaces resist stains, including those made by wine. Three popular colors (Blackberry, Sequoia, and Ruby) complement most wine racking woods and are readily available from wine cellar suppliers. Other colors are availble but may be special orders. It takes about a month for a Corian wine cellar table top.
Zodiaq is a new product that combines the strength and beauty of natural quartz with a manufactured process. This product is 93 percent pure quartz crystal, which gives the surface a deep radiance without the imperfections often found in stone. Quartz is extremely durable, resisting scratches and stains without waxes or sealants,and is guaranteed for ten years. Zodiaq comes in a wide range of colors, but most wine cellar outlets offer up three popular choices (Borealis Blue, Alpha Brown, and Vortex Black). It usually takes 4 to 5 weeks for a Zodiaq wine cellar table top.
One last choice for a wine cellar table is cork. It is a natural, durable material from sustainable, rabidly renewable sources. Most tabletops have a 3 /4 inch plywood backing with a cork overlay. Cork also comes in a variety of natural colors from light tones to a deep brown.
As you can see, there are many choices for a table for your wine cellar. They all have artistic elements and practical features. The adventure now is to find the selection that is unique to your style and your wine cellar space.