For long term cellaring, the most important thing is avoid rapid changes in the temperature of the wine itself. You don't want the room way hot or way cold for a long time, but if you can't keep the room at 55F all the time it really isn't that a big deal if you take some reasonable effort to 'insulate' the wine.
And you don't necessarily need a wine fridge or specially air conditioned room. My description for a 'good enough for all practical purposes' storage space:
- a good closet in the interior of your house (i.e. not adjacent to an exterior wall) that you can keep closed for 99% of the time. If its in an unheated area, so much the better.
- or a good place in your basement, preferably enclosed (like a cupboard maybe), well away from the heat of the furnace
- store your wine in boxes, and pile them on top of each other and close together. This is a key point, we are using the wine to insulate itself from rapid temperature extremes.
The key is to avoid rapid changes in the temperature of the liquid. The wine in the bottles in the boxes have sufficient thermal mass that small changes in the temperature of the room will have little effect on the temperature of the wine.
Remember the more full boxes you have the better this will work, because you will have more thermal mass. Also the bottles on the outside of the pile will have more temperature variation than those on the inside, so logically you should put the shorter time wines on the outside and your "Hill of Grace" should be burried down in the middle.
Then it is only when you have long term extreme temperatures, way too hot or way too cold, that you will have problems. Clearly this may not work well everywhere. I suspect those of you living in Tucson or Anchorage will not have much luck with this method.
I have used this method for 25 years in Melbourne Australia and I am drinking 8 to 15 year old wines in perfect condition. I have never had a failure due to temperature. A friend stores a lot of his wine in a corrugated steel shed in his back yard and I have never had a bad wine from him either - and he has some great stuff thats been there for longer than I have been in Australia.