It was only a few years ago that you started to get interested in fine wines from around the world. You maybe took a trip out to California’s Napa Valley, and went on a tour of two different winerys and came back with a dozen bottles of different wines.
Slowly, but surely, you have been building up a nice collection and you need someplace to store and display them. Instead of sticking them in the back of the closet where you can’t see what particular brands and vintages you have acquired, perhaps you should invest in a wire wine rack.
Brief History of Wine Racks: Wood and Wire for Centuries
Wood racks were the original choice to store and collect wine. In the “old country” many homes had a wine cellar where they stored their most valued bottles. Wooden racks could be custom built to accomodate a hundred bottles or several thousand bottles. The basic design was a series of deep shelves, spaced about six inches above each other and then divided vertically by parallel boards also spaced about six inches apart.
A properly constructed wood wine rack would have a design that allowed some air to circulate. Different types of hardwoods were used, depending on what was available locally as well as the wine collector’s budget. Oak or cherry are just a few of the popular types of wood that wine rack designers favor.
The other most common type of wine rack is made from sturdy wire. It can be made from steel or some other durable metal and is usually finished in a rust resistant, industrial white or black coating. There are also many models that are chrome plated for a more modernistic look.
Common Wire Rack Designs
Wire wine racks can have a series of adjustable shelves that have a wavy design which cradles each bottle and prevents it from moving. There are also wine racks that are sort of a large three-dimensional grid with separate squares for each bottle. Other types of wire wine racks can be circular in appearance or pretty much any shape a creative mind can imagine.
The rest of this article will focus on the wire wine rack. What are the best features? What do they cost? Are they strong? Where can you get one?
Best Features of a Wire Wine Rack
- Wire is strong and very durable
- Wire does not attract dust like a wood rack
- Wire is lightweight and easier to move around than wood
- Wire allows for excellent ventilation which is important for the storage of wine bottles
- Wire can easily be customized to hold just ten bottles or a collection of a thousand or more
- Wire wine racks are easy to put together
- Wire wine racks can come in colors to match your decor
Different wire wine racks are available for your particular needs. They can fit into very small spaces or cover an entire wall.
- Hanging Racks
These can be put up in a kitchen or a place where space might be at a premium. A basic hanging wine rack can have one or two shelves with curled wire to hold each bottle. They are usually attached to a wall and supported with two brackets. Properly installed (ie. anchored to the wall), they are usually very sturdy and will support the weight of a full rack without a problem.
- Hanging Wire Racks Suspended From the Ceiling
Often seen around a bar, these racks must be carefully installed as they can carry several hundred pounds suspended overhead. There is usually an upper shelf that holds a dozen or more bottles and then below the wine bottles is a rack that stores wine glasses in an upside down state of suspension.
- Table Top Racks
These are small portable units that you might store four or six bottles to display for a dinner party or other special occasion. They can come in a simple pattern or perhaps a honeycomb arrangement. They are very light to carry so they can be moved from room to room.
- Wine Carts
This can be a combination of wood and wire and may be on wheels. The cart holds wine bottles in the wire racks and has an area below where glasses and accessories can be stored. It is ideal for serving guests out on the patio or by the pool.
- Bakers Wine Rack
You can add a touch of country to your kitchen with a wrought-iron and wire rack to display your collection. Add a few books about wine country and drape some red and white checkered cloth over one side and you’ll transform an okay looking rack into something much more special.
- Floor Standing Rack
Probably the most versatile rack that can hold quite a few bottle, the standing floor rack can stand freely or be attached to the wall and bolted into the floor (large racks holding hundreds of bottles). They usually have leveling feet so the rack will not wobble and can be installed anywhere you have space. Drug stores with a wine section usually have a free standing wire wine rack.
Prices of wire wine racks vary greatly depending on the size, intricacy of the design and also where you purchase them. A small one shelf hanging rack can cost about $30.00, while a deluxe wall unit holding a few hundred bottles can easily exceed $1,000.00.
A few basic tips about storing wine:
- Wine bottles need to be stored horizontally, not standing up.
- Avoid storing them anywhere they might be exposed to direct sunlight.
- Watch the temperature and humidity.
- Be careful to not bang into the rack as wine, to be at its best needs to rest undisturbed.
- Last, but certainly not least, don’t place a rack anywhere there are unpleasant odors as wine has been shown to absorb them.