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How do I choose a wine rack?

Decided to buy a wine rack but no idea where to start?  Look no further.  We have come up with some fail safe tips to ensure that your purchase is going to meet your needs and look stylish too.  In this article we will be looking at what you need to think about before getting your wallet out and showing you some of the coolest designs out there.

The main elements to consider are:

  • How much do you want to spend?
  • How much space do you have?
  • How many bottles do you want to store?
  • Where will you keep your wine rack?
  • What materials do you prefer?

Do I need a wine rack?

Let’s start with the basics.  Do you actually need a wine rack?  The answer depends on what your needs are.  If you only have the odd bottle of wine then probably not. There are some great space-saving wine rack pieces that can work as storage and can look decorative too.  

If you are going to start a wine collection you definitely  need a wine rack to keep your wine stored on its side.  This is because you need to keep the cork moist, otherwise the wine will spoil, so you should always go for a horizontal rack.  

What is a standard size of wine rack?

A standard bottle of wine is 37cl so the depth of the wine rack should be a minimum of 37cm.  Champagne and prosecco bottles tend to be of a larger size so if this is your favourite tipple ensure you purchase one that will hold a bigger bottle adequately.  You can buy wine racks that hold 1 or up to  80 bottles – it all depends what you are looking for.

How much does a wine rack cost?

A wine rack can be purchased for below £10 up to many £1000’s for a bespoke cellar.  Price will depend on the materials used, size,  quality and design.  A budget wine rack can fit the bill but do ensure it is sturdy – especially if you are looking to store a number of  bottles.  

How much space do you have? 

How much space you have to place your wine rack can be the definitive factor in choosing what type of wine rack you go for. Here are some of the more common types.

Table top wine rack.

Smaller, stand alone wine racks that fit comfortably on a kitchen counter or dining room sideboard.  Perfect if you only want to store up to 6 bottles, they come in a range of designs and can make a real style statement.  

Wall-mounted wine rack.

A wall mounted rack is also a great idea if you are short of space as they can store plenty of bottles and not impinge on your floor space.  They can look decorative and you can store anything from 1 bottle to a whole wall full.  They will need installing properly as can be quite heavy when loaded with your favourite vintages.

 

Free-standing wine rack.

A free-standing wine rack usually holds more bottles and looks great in your kitchen or dining room. As they aren’t fixed you can always change your mind if you decide to put it in a different room.  

You can also buy free-standing wine racks that come on wheels, which makes them portable should you wish to move it when you are entertaining.  They are also really useful when you need to clean under them.  It’s a good idea to find one with a brake – especially if you have young children or pets running around.

Modular/stackable wine racks

These are useful if you think you may wish to grow your collection over time as you can simply add more racks as needed.  You can configure them to your choosing, ideal if you have an awkward corner or are storing your wine in the under stairs cupboard.

Wine Fridge

 

Although a wine fridge will take up space-it keeps your wine in excellent condition.  Look for one with dual temperature control to keep your white and rose chilled but your red at room temperature.

How many bottles do you wish to keep? 

Going hand in hand with the available space you have, how many bottles you wish to keep at any one time will also be a prime factor in your decision making.  If you don’t intend to have a large collection, don’t be tempted by the bigger wine racks.  Empty wine racks just don’t look as good.

Where will you keep your wine rack?

Your wine rack can go anywhere in your house, but it’s important to choose the right wine rack for the right living space.  Most people tend to have them in the kitchen or dining room but you might want to put it under the stairs or in a pantry if you have one where it is likely to be cooler. 

You will want to reflect the style of your home decor in your wine rack.  A traditional design may look odd in a highly modern  setting and vice versa.  You will find wine racks can also be made to be highly decorative so it’s a good idea to shop around before making a purchase.

What materials do you prefer?

Traditionally, wine racks are made of wood and/or metal but there is a huge variety within those two materials.  From light pine to dark oak, painted or stained wood you are sure to find one that matches your look.  A good eco wood to look out for is mango wood which is hard wearing and beautiful, but also sustainable.  

We tend to think of wooden wine racks as being rectangular in shape, but you can find ones that have a sculptural quality with  higher end products being hand carved by skilled artisans.

 

Metal wine racks can be made from stainless  or powder coated steel, iron, copper or brass and come in many different designs.   The versatility of the material can produce intricate as well as minimalist designs with something to suit any interior design.  Quality is key here if you want a wine rack to last and if you are using a metal wine rack to house a lot of bottles.

You can also find wine racks made of plastic and perspex – these are really only suitable for holding a few bottles at a time.

 

How should I organise my wine?

 

If you are going to have a collection of wine you might want to think about how to organise it.  This can be done in a variety of ways.  Popular methods are by colour, grape variety, price and vintage.  If you are buying wine to lay down you should be looking to place your wine rack somewhere away from sunlight and extreme changes of temperature.  A wine fridge can be a good option if you don’t have a suitable room.

What angle should a wine rack be?

Wine that has a natural cork should be stored horizontally. This is to keep the wine in contact with the cork so that it stays moist.  If it dries out it can shrink and allow air to enter the bottle-this oxidisation can affect the taste of the wine.  If your wine  has a screw top or synthetic cork there is no need for it to be laid on its side.

If you intend to buy wine to lay down for several years you may wish to consider purchasing a wine rack that is tilted. This ensures that the wine is in contact with the cork and avoids the wine spoiling. The recommended angle is 10 degrees – anymore and the bottles may slide out.

It’s really worth doing your research before investing in a wine rack as it can potentially be a large purchase.  When looking at a rack imagine what it will look like with all those lovely vintages waiting to be sipped – an empty wine rack just doesn’t have the same appeal.




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