The thought of French wine country conjures sweet images of verdant vineyards nestled among graceful leafy trees. People bicycle along meandering country roads with bottles of bordeaux and freshly baked baguettes in handlebar baskets. The air smells of rich dark earth, ripening grapes, and greenery.
French Country Style
If you would like to transport a piece of the beautiful French countryside into your own home, consider the purchase of a French wine rack. Because wine is a natural part of everyday life in France and many other European countries, the typical wine rack is a piece of floor-standing furniture that is both essential and decorative.
In Provence, for example, a traditional stone cottage might be decorated with white wooden furniture that is striking in its simplicity. You can create a taste of Provence in a sunny corner of your kitchen or dining area by choosing a painted wood rack such as the French Country 28-bottle Wine Rack from Home Decorators Collection. Under $100, this particular rack has plenty of bottle storage plus a table-top area where you can uncork and pour your wine.
For a larger storage unit that includes simple lines but contains contemporary wine storage technology, the Classic Wine Armoire by Jasper Cabinets is a self-contained cabinet crafted in birch and other hardwoods. Open the double doors to find wine racks, a chiller unit, storage racks for glasses and accessories, and a granite work surface with plenty of space for pouring. Painted antiqued white, the simple appearance of this French country armoire will harmonize with country decor but fulfill all your upscale wine storage requirements. Priced just under $2,500, the Classic Wine Armoire represents an investment for the wine hobbyist that will serve well for years to come. This piece is also available with attractive hand-painted grape clusters on the door panels.
If cobblestone streets, wrought iron lamp posts, and elegantly attired couples in sidewalk cafes is your favorite French visual, reflect the more sophisticated city style of gay Paris when making your wine rack selection.
For apartment living, consider a counter-top, portable wine rack that adds a bit of kitsch, such as the Eiffel Tower Wine Rack, a six bottle, wrought-iron unit that fits smaller spaces. A similar 12-bottle version is available as a floor-standing model that is also space saving by virtue of its tall, slim, tower-like profile. Finished in antiqued brass, this version blends well with vintage or contemporary decor. The floor-standing tower is priced under $350, while the table top version costs around $100.
If your home decor is more formal, a sophisticated piece such as the Butler Artist’s Originals Console and Wine Rack in Parisian Stripe is a handsome hardwood cabinet with antiqued brass handles and hand-painted details. With storage capacity for nine of your premier wines, 3 drawers and 2 cupboards for storing accessories such as corkscrews, and a pleasingly rounded profile, the Console and Wine Rack reflects the world-renowned French affinity for impeccable style. Priced under $600, this is a good value that will fulfill modest storage needs.
South of France Elegance
Instill your living space with the opulent aura of white beaches, turquoise-blue seas, and the casual elegance of vacationers with time to savor the best hand-crafted wines France produces. From table-top wine for two up to a self-contained wine cellar cabinet, ensure your choices reflect opulence, craftsmanship and above all, panache.
Bring your Bordeaux to the table in a designer DeliaWine Storage Wine Caddy with the capacity for two bottles and fine stemware. Impeccable style for under $100 will add an elegant touch to your table.
For exquisite designer storage that can accommodate a small collection of wines, Vintage Cellars offers the Le Cache European Country cabinet series, which combines craftsman style in fine hardwoods, such as Cherry, combined with the latest wine storage technology. From a low-standing credenza to full-size armoires, Le Cache cabinets have glass-paneled doors, upscale architectural features, and hand-carved details for solid, opulent European styling. Each cabinet interior has digital temperature control, humidity control, UV protection, and space for larger-format containers such as Champagne bottles. Prices for this storage series range from $4,200-$6,900.
Vintage Storage for Fine Vintages
Should you wish to reflect French tradition with authentic vintage or antique wine storage, search your favorite antique mall or vintage shops for a one-of-kind find. Your may happen upon a vintage French Riddling wine rack, a simple two-board unit hinged at the top, with each board having holes where the bottles fit. You might run across a rustic wood work table with crude wine racks underneath, once used in a French bottling room in a previous century. You might find an antique wine tasting table. The price you will pay for your treasured French wine rack depends on the value you place on acquiring the perfect piece to accent your vision.
Further Considerations for Collectors
No matter the type of wine storage you seek, be assured there is no shortage of fine French wine racks available. The centuries-old tradition of French wine making as well as the modern-day popularity of wine collecting guarantees an ample selection of wine racks in a variety of price ranges.
Many wine enthusiasts have use for more than one storage piece. You may choose climate-controlled cellar storage for the bulk of your wine collection plus a smaller-capacity cabinet unit that displays those vintages you enjoy on a daily basis.
A one-bottle holder is essential for chilling white wines or champagne in your refrigerator, unless you have the luxury of a temperature and humidity controlled wine cooler nearby. Also, a tabletop wine rack, whether it can accommodate two bottles or twelve, is not only a handy way to keep a selection on hand but also makes an elegant design accent in your kitchen or dining room. Choose bottles with varied, colorful labels, place them in a distinctive wood or iron rack, then arrange some crystal goblets and a vase of fresh flowers nearby for an elegant and intimate vignette.