Storing wine properly is of vital importance, but is often overlooked by wine lovers. It may seem trivial, but this stuff matters: The difference between storing your wine in a vintage wine rack and in your kitchen is vast. We aren’t all sitting on large cellars of old Château Margaux back vintages, but if you are in any way serious about the wine that you drink you should invest a little time (if not money) in a good storage solution. Unless you like drinking vinegar, you should store your wines properly, and one of the best ways to do that is with a vintage wine rack!
What is a vintage wine rack?
It doesn’t matter if it’s high-end Pomerol or a bargain vino tinto, wine is a delicate thing and needs to be handled – and stored – with care. Wine investors have many options, from walk-in wine cellars to private storage, but for simplicity’s sake, nothing beats a vintage wine rack.
A vintage wine rack is a purpose-built rack or shelf in which you can safely and securely store your bottles of wine. Go to your local fine wine store and look at how wines are stored: You’re likely to find specialised shelving units of hardwood, designed to keep bottles of wine neat, tidy and safe. There are different designs and models available, but a good vintage wine rack will:
- Be sturdy and secure enough to hold your bottles without any risk of collapsing or similar.
- Have the ability to lie bottles securely on their side without the risk that they roll away or break. It is important to lie the bottles on their side so that the wine stays in contact with the cork, which prevents the cork from drying out and the wine itself going bad.
- Be located somewhere cool and dry, without any excessive fluctuations of temperature and not in any direct light.
Make your own vintage wine rack
Sounds good, right? It also sounds expensive. Your local wine store has one, but they can afford it. They also need one because of all those bottles they have. The average wine lover may not have the budget for a custom vintage wine rack and probably won’t have anywhere near the volume of wine that a retailer would have. Buying a big wine rack would either be too expensive or not cost efficient. There is an alternative, and that is making your own vintage wine rack!
Building your own bespoke wine storage rack doesn’t need to be very expensive, and you don’t need to be a DIY expert either. There are some ways that you can build your own wine rack, and the best is probably the simplest: get your hands on a vintage wine box (or ten) and whip one up yourself.
Building a vintage wine rack at home
- Source a few Bordeaux-style vintage wine boxes. These are the wooden crates that fine wine is shipped in. They vary in size and capacity, but the most common hold 12 bottles of wine lying down. You can try your local wine retailer or search the net. Buy/source as many as you need, keeping in mind that one of these boxes will comfortably and safely fit 6 bottles following this design.
- Remove one of the long side panels of each box.
- Stack your boxes on top of each other and secure with an electric screwdriver or similar. Keep the exposed side of each box facing the same way, effectively creating shelves. Be careful not to stack the boxes too high to maintain structural security. If necessary build several “towers” of boxes side by side, and/or reinforce underneath.
- Place your vintage wine rack somewhere cool and dry, and feed your bottles in on their side. Voila!
That’s our top tip for making a vintage wine rack at home at very little expense. Have you made one of these before? Show us examples of your own wine storage setup, homemade or otherwise!