Homes with basements are common in the Midwest, in part out of necessity: Families need someplace safe to ride out the tornadoes that hit the region.
But in Las Vegas, they are rare because the dirt is hard. Venture just below the desert sand, and you encounter something called caliche, which acts as a binder for other materials such as gravel, clay and silt.
As a result, most builders stay away from constructing basements in their homes. But American West Development actually specializes in basement homes, with the price starting at $114 per square foot.
“There are many benefits to subterranean living, especially here in Las Vegas,” Daniel Welsh, American West’s Vice President, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It was a dream of mine to own one and, fortunately, my family and I currently enjoy it and couldn’t be happier.”
Adds Welsh: “The basement will hover right around 68 to 70 degrees without any assistance.”
And that makes it close to ideal for storing wine, particularly bottles that are not earmarked for long-term aging. A little bit cooler would be better for the long haul, but bottles stored at 68-70 degrees for a year or two, especially when kept out of direct sunlight, should sustain no damage.
Even in a desert setting surrounded by sand, it’s possible to store wine safely… and stylishly… in a basement.