While you may not have a 1978 Montrachet, 1865 Chateau Lafite or 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, your wine collection is worth protecting. Even a cellar full of moderately priced bottles can be worth a small fortune. For this reason, your cellar should be placed under surveillance – after all, you don’t want a knowledgeable thief to snatch a few bottles or a clumsy guest to party with your aging cabernet. Here are a few tips to lock down your wine cellar:
Start with the standard outfit
Many modern home security systems include a control panel, motion sensors and cameras. These gadgets are all must-haves for your cellar. Place motion sensors by the doors down into the space, install cameras to face the doors and the cellar and set the control panel just outside the room. That way, you’ll be able to see who comes and goes and be alerted if someone tries to sneak in. Having several security cameras is important if your wine cellar is large – you don’t want to be left with blind spots. However, smaller spaces will do fine with just one.
Opt in for mobile control
The SMART Connect App is a feature you access on your smartphone. The app allows you to view live footage your camera is recording from anywhere you get a signal. You can also use the app to view old footage and arm or disarm your security system. When you leave the house over the weekend or for a vacation, peek in on your wine collection. This is an especially important app for parents. If your teen or college student tries to sneak a bottle from the cellar, you’ll know.
Furthermore, the app alerts you by phone if your motion sensor detects movement. Whether you’re at work or out to dinner, you’ll know the moment someone breaches your cellar.
Consider a glass break sensor
You likely keep your wine below ground in a basement. However, just because the space lacks windows doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a glass break sensor. These gadgets react to the sound of shattering glass, detecting the noise up to 20 feet away. Should a bottle fall and shatter, or a thief accidentally drop one, you’ll be alerted.
Keep a detailed inventory
You should know exactly which wines you have and where in the cellar they are kept at all times. This information helps you locate missing bottles more easily. Without the inventory, you may not know if you misplaced that Burgundy or if it’s actually gone. Rather, should a space on your rack be empty, you can check it against your ledger and discover which bottle should be there. Consider labeling each slot so your inventory notes are easier to decipher. For instance, you might name rows by letters and columns by numbers. A bottle would then sit in E2, or something similar.
Insure your wine
If you have a large collection, consider having someone assess its value and insuring the items. That way, should anything happen to the collection, you’ll get some money back to refill the cellar.