In September 2018, La Sommelière's new wine cellar was a hit at the IFA trade show in Berlin: smart and connected, it makes it easy for wine lovers to build and manage their collections.
As an ageing or preservation cellar, the connected wine cellar provides temperature control for more than 100 bottles and can now hold its own alongside basement wine cellars.
Selecting a good ageing cellar
Many French homes now have an electric wine cellar to provide optimal preservation conditions.
Let's take a moment to recall the required features of a wine cellar to preserve your finest bottles, which the now famous E-Cellar, La Sommelière's connected wine cellar, will of course possess.
The golden rules for an electric wine cellar
A constant and suitable temperature
Different wines require different temperatures. Our website often mentions two types of temperature: ageing temperature and serving temperature. Read on to find out more.
- Ageing temperature ranges from 10 to 14°C, and is ideally around 12°C, whatever the type of wine to be preserved and aged.
- Serving temperature, on the other hand, generally ranges from 6°C for dessert wines to 18°C for tannic red wines suited to laying down.
- Too high a temperature will speed up the wine ageing process. This will deteriorate rather than improve the quality of the wine. The taste will be altered.
- Too low a temperature will slow down the process by "blocking" the wine.
More importantly than the level, however, it is the constancy of the temperature during the ageing period which will allow the wine to fully blossom. A good cellar should remain stable throughout the year, from season to season, without abrupt temperature changes.
The ABS container in La Sommelière's wine cellars, which is insulated with polyurethane foam, ensures homogeneous temperature and slow, regular air circulation.
While reaching its ideal age, wine reacts poorly to vibration. Generated by internal mechanical friction, or external disturbances, vibration tires the wine and disrupts its development.
The vast majority of cellars with a compressor now also feature an anti-vibration system.
As you are probably aware, wine does not like being exposed to light. Light increases the oxidation-reduction potential of wine and accelerates its ageing. To lay properly and reach its peak, wine must be stored in a dark place. In order to imitate the darkness of a natural basement cellar, and age your finest wines, electric ageing cellars are designed either with a solid door or a glazed door with anti-UV treatment.
Humidity level is a measurement of the proportion of water vapour in the air. Humidity in a preservation cellar is between 50 and 80%. For comparison, a piece of bread contains 40% water, the human body contains 70% water and, on average, an apartment has a humidity level of 60 to 65%*.
What are the effects of too little humidity?
If the humidity level is too low, corks can dry out, which means air enters the bottle more easily and the wine oxidises more rapidly. Wine does not like to be hurried: air that is too dry impairs its development.
What are the effects of too much humidity?
However, a humidity level that is too high can lead to odours and even condensation and mould.
It is very important to control and regulate the humidity level.
A filtering and aeration system
Wine "breathes" through the cork and does not like unpleasant odours that could alter its organoleptic qualities. It is essential to filter ambient air and circulate air inside the wine cellar. With this in mind, all wine-ageing and multi-purpose cellars are fitted with an active charcoal filter.
The active charcoal neutralises and absorbs odours, prevents impurities and bacteria from gaining a foothold in your electric cellar, and therefore removes any risk of the wine's quality being altered.
In addition to these five golden rules, we advise that you pay attention to the other specifications of the wine-ageing cellar you are looking at. Does it have a winter system? What is the cooling type?
What is the winter system of a wine cellar?
The winter system is now featured in most of our large cellars. It helps maintain the temperature you have set for your cellar. As a practical example, if you are keeping a Bordeaux wine, you have almost certainly set the temperature on the control panel to 17 or 18°C. If the wine cellar has to deal with a drop in the external temperature, the winter system is activated in order to maintain the set temperature and, therefore, ensure ideal preservation conditions for your wine.
A wine cellar with a winter system is therefore fitted with a heating system (which operates with a heating element). This is why a wine cellar is much more than simply a refrigerator.
Why is static cold preferable for a wine-ageing cellar?
Static cold allows free and natural circulation of cold air inside the wine cellar, based on the principal of natural convection. Cold air is heavier than warm air, which means that stratification naturally occurs in the cellar, from top to bottom (of the order of +/-2°C per shelf).
You can rest assured that your wines are properly preserved in your La Sommelière cellar.
When you have as many as 100 or even 200 bottles in your wine cellars, it can be difficult to locate a particular bottle without having to search shelf by shelf.
This is where the E-Cellar comes into its own. The wine cellar of the future will effectively meet these needs and make life easier. La Sommelière has innovated to create a smart, connected cellar.
Intuitive cellar management and a mobile app
The main objectives of the La Sommelière connected cellar are to facilitate storage and the creation of a collection, while making it possible to rapidly locate a wine bottle.
Designed for users who store more than 100 bottles at home, the E-Cellar makes it possible to locate a bottle of wine that was stored months ago with a click, without having to spend time searching shelves.
Combined with the use of an iOS and Android app named VinoTag (also created by La Sommelière), the connected wine cellar adds each bottle scanned with your smartphone to your cellar record and memorises the exact location where a bottle was stored.
It's effective, enjoyable and extremely easy to use!
Operation of the connected cellar management app
Just a few simple steps are needed to build your collection and organise your various reds, whites, rosés and champagnes.
#1. Photograph your wine bottle. Your wine is identified.
#2. The cellar management app, which is free and connected to a wine database, recognises the wine (including the colour, year, appellation, peak year, etc.) and adds it to your Wine Collection.
#3. You can then place the bottle in the cellar yourself, or request a free slot from the app.
An LED lights up on one of the smart shelves in the E-Cellar, indicating where to store the wine (higher or lower in the cellar according to colour, for example).
- The wine is stored;
- The location is memorised;
- The bottle can be located in a matter of seconds, whenever you wish.
A wine cellar app to serve users
The wine cellar mobile app is designed to be simple and intuitive to use, and provides many additional services.
Here are some of the things the VinoTag app can help you do:
- Rate your wine using a star system;
- Choose your favourite wines;
- Create notes for your Burgundy or Pauillac, or any other treasure in your wine cellar, in order to record your tasting experiences.
Each wine data sheet provides recommended food-wine pairings to help choose dishes to serve with specific wines. You can also choose to receive notifications when a wine is about to reach its peak date.
What does the E-Cellar look like?
The prototype for the connected cellar was designed in a La Sommelière Prestige cellar: the VIP265V. This model is a large wine cellar with an anti-UV glazed door, as well as a lock to keep your wines secure, LED lights providing attractive and refined lighting, an anti-vibration system and, of course, a winter system.
To find out more, please do not hesitate to contact us and follow us on social networks.
Demonstration video for the La Sommelière connected cellar
View a demonstration video of the E-Cellar, created at the 2018 IFA trade show in Berlin, and filmed by Univers Habitat TV.
Our E-Cellar in the press
La Sommelière attracted attention from the press when this new product and its technology were demonstrated in Berlin in September 2018. Since then, we have been on a rich, ambitious adventure, driven forward by passion for our work and technological achievements. The Group's R&D team works hard every day to better meet your needs.
We are proud and delighted that the press has heard and understood our desire to continuously improve the quality of our products.
Below are a few links to articles about the E-Cellar (in French only):
- « La Sommelière lance E-Cellar, la cave à vin de l'œnophile connecté » - lesechos.fr – Emmanuel Guimard – publié le 04/09/2018
- « la cave à vin connectée » - lefigago.fr – Pascal Grandmaison – publié le 08/09/2018
- «E-cellar et la cave à vin se connecta… » - lesnumeriques.com – Henri Grimaud – publié le 16/09/2018
- « La première cave à vin connectée » : - batirenover.com – M.S - publié le 05/09/2018
- « Le Groupe Frio lance sa cave à vin connectée » - agence-api.fr - publié le 30/08/2018
- « E-cellar, l'appli connectée qui vous aide à gérer votre cave à vin » - gentside.com – Natacha Couvillers – publié le 09/09/2018
- « E-Cellar, Une Cave A Vin Connectée En Approche Pour 2019 » - uptech.mensup.fr – Julien Maron – publié le 13/08/2019
La Sommelière is working every day to produce the version of the E-Cellar that will be made available for the general public.
We look forward to seeing you again soon with more surprises!