In its simplest form, a wine rack is a functional tool designed to store wine bottles at the optimum angle to maintain peak quality. While this functional design may suffice for wine storage deep within the cellar, most consumers tend to display their wine collections in their kitchens and dining rooms.
The display of a wine collection can, at times, be almost as important to the wine lover as the taste of the wine itself. Wine racks, therefore, have moved significantly over the years to bearing an emphasis on form as much as function.
Metal wine racks in particular, are one of the most versatile types of wine rack available, able to span a wide array of design styles and occupy a variety of competitive price points.
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This article looks at some of the basics of metal wine racks.
Which Types Of Metal Wine Racks Are Out There?
The three most common metals used for wine rack construction are stainless steel, wrought iron, and copper. While each of the three materials can be used in a variety of décor styles, each tends to be associated with a specific style above all others.
Stainless Steel Metal Wine Racks
Stainless steel is nothing more than ordinary steel with a percentage of chromium worked into its makeup. The chromium, however, is what helps to provide the steel with the major benefits that make it so appealing for many kitchen applications.
Stainless steel wine racks have grown significantly in popularity over the years due largely to the rise of stainless steel kitchen appliances. Where the materials was once only found in kitchens for use as cutlery and cookware, stainless steel refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, and microwaves are now commonplace and in constant demand. Their rich silver tones offer an ideal base color for the kitchen, able to blend well with nearly any secondary color scheme.
Stainless steel is highly rust and corrosion resistant, allowing them the ideal resistance needed when exposed to many elements found in a kitchen or dining room environment. Stainless steel is also extremely simple to maintain and highly resistant to staining.
Stainless steel is also very popular in modern design markets. Most popular when paired with glossy black surfaces, stainless steel appliances and accessories can create the ideal modern kitchen environment that many consumers are seeking. This variety of metal wine rack is, therefore, extremely common in more forward looking design schemes.
While large stainless pieces are easy to find, capable of holding substantial wine collections, most stainless steel wine racks tend to be smaller in design, sometimes holding a single bottle. The most common designs, however, typically hold ten to twenty bottles, ideal for beginning wine collectors or those who prefer to keep smaller collections accessibly on-hand or on display.
Wrought Iron Wine Racks
Wrought iron is essentially iron with a minimal copper inclusion. It is widely associated with more vintage designs, due heavily to its strength and durability. Unlike modern design, which tends to rely on appearance and ease of care, many past design trends relied on the ability of the materials being used to stand the test of time, allowing them to be passed from one generation to the next. This durability, in fact, is the leading factor behind the number of true vintage wrought iron pieces available on the market today.
While modern designers and manufacturers no longer have access to a wide supply of wrought iron as it is no longer being mass produced, there are other metals that can be used, as needed, to mimic the basic appearance of wrought iron.
Wrought iron wine racks continue to remain in high demand, highly prized for their substantial weight. Whether the item is a true vintage piece or a modern wrought iron replica product, the look of wrought iron remains popular for interiors with European-inspired designs.
Wrought iron metal wine racks tend to be somewhat larger in size than other designs. While not necessarily designed to hold a substantial number of bottles, the wrought iron style was typically designed to resemble more of a corner hutch or baker’s rack design. This consisted of a tall, bookcase like design which provided shelving on the upper half for various functional or decorative items, combined with the wine rack incorporated into the bottom half of the design, typically created to store ten to twenty bottles at a time.
Some wrought iron wine racks will also have a wine glass holder built into the upper portion, allowing the related items to be stored in a central location for convenient access.
Many of the wrought iron wine racks proudly displayed in people’s homes today are ones that have been passed down to them by their mothers and grandmothers, with this sentimental attachment further adding to the popularity of the design.
While pseudo-wrought iron wine racks tend to be very affordable, true vintage pieces or authentic antiques can fetch a high market prices. This does depend heavily on the size of the rack, as well as the age and overall condition.
If properly cared for over the years, wrought iron can withstand an extreme amount of daily use, leading to many of the antique pieces in use today being in much better condition than many people might expect them to be.
Copper Wine Racks
For a true vintage feel, copper wine racks are a popular choice. Known for its wide range of colors, from orange to gold to yellow, copper is an extremely decorative metal, highly valued for its malleability. This not only makes it much easier to work with, it also allows it to be used to create much more intricate metalworking details than would be possible with other metals. This is one of the reasons that copper wine racks are so valued for their intricate artistic details above anything else.
The main difference between copper metal wine racks and those made from other materials are the general sizes of the racks themselves. Wall mounted copper wine racks are extremely popular, holding anywhere from three to five bottles, and emphasize the visual beauty a wine rack is capable of more so than its functional ability.
While copper is prized for its ability for beautiful detail work, that same malleability tends to limit the sizes in which most copper wine racks are built. Not necessarily designed for storing large wine collections, copper wine racks are best suited for displaying a few choice bottles in a more decorative manner.
Copper wine racks can tend to run slightly higher than other metals with regards to cost per bottle. Overall, they are still affordable pieces, however, the number of bottle they can accommodate tends to be limited. Their prices also tend to be driven by the amount of detail work that has gone into them, with more intricate details commanding higher prices on the retail market.