Few who drink wine buy one bottle at a time and consume it. It’s much more likely to buy several bottles at once. As these bottles start to accumulate on countertops, bar tops, tables, and any available space, it starts to become a problem. Not only does it make your home look cluttered and unorganized, it means picking up those bottles of wine and moving them as you need to free up that counter space.
At some point you need to decide on a proper way to store your wine.
Options run the gamut from the most basic, do-it-yourself device designed to hold just 3 or 4 bottles, right up to the most incredible, climate-controlled basement wine cellar you could imagine.
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What’s The Best Wine Storage Unit?
My guess is that somewhere in between these two extremes is a wine storage solution that’s ideal for you. If you’ve just begun taking a fancy to wine, a small wine rack that fits anywhere might be all you need. This is the easiest and least costly option, although not the most proper wine storage concept. It really depends on the wine you have on hand and when you plan to enjoy it.
Most ready-to-consume wines are can be safely stored in many places. Look for a cool and dark place, like a basement, or unused closet. These wines should be consumed within 8 to 12 months.
“Best” is a subjective term. What’s best for me might not be the best for you – and vice versa. So when you’re looking for the best wine storage options for your home, it makes sense to address that which is most important to you.
In doing so, there are a few simple questions to help you cut to the chase. These questions include:
- Would you consider yourself more of a consumer of wine or a collector of fine wine?
- How much space can you devote to your wine storage area, now and in the future?
- Are your reasons for finding a wine storage fix based more on function or aesthetics?
When you honestly address these questions, it will point you in the right direction.
For a lot of people, their first home wine storage units are simple and small. It could be a do-it-yourself project, or you might choose to purchase a complete wine rack.
But if you’re a serious collector who already has (or plans on having) a large number of bottles in your collection, you need more than a simple wine rack.
For collectors, a cellar is the ultimate for fine wine storage. But there’s another option available known as a wine cooler. These are self-contained units that look similar to a small fridge, but actually create the right environment for storing your wines. You can find countertop models, those designed to fit under a counter and stand-up versions of wine coolers too. For the inept homeowner, a quality wine cooler makes an excellent choice.
How Should Wine Be Stored?
The finest of wines command the best possible storage conditions. This means providing a temperature and humidity controlled space, while at the same time avoiding light – particularly sunlight. Cool, dark and humid environments are best. That’s why wine cellars are usually located in basements. If you’re wondering how to store red wine – that’s the best possible way. It’s proper wine storage for the most serious collector of fine wines. These are the wines that are supposed to taste even better after they’ve aged and a cellar puts you in the best possible position for that to happen.
But there are no guarantees when it comes to wine. You can’t be completely sure until you pop the cork.
Some people wonder about how to store white wine. The simple answer is to follow suit. That’s your safest bet. But wine coolers are an excellent alternative – particular those designed with separate spaces for both red and white wines. Red wine is typically served at or near room temperature. But white wine should always be served chilled. Unlike regular refrigerators, these one don’t get too cold and they maintain a higher humidity, creating a positive environment for you to store your favorites.
You can start with a small wine rack or cooler. But as anyone who likes to drink wine on a somewhat regular basis can tell you, you should allow for more storage space than you need today. It’s only natural that once you start buying more wines, you’re going to need somewhere to put them. The more you get into enjoying wine, the more bottles you’ll eventually have. That’s just the way it seems to happen.
While the ultimate best wine storage unit imaginable would be a fully enclosed, climate controlled, professionally constructed wine cellar – it’s not for everybody and it’s expensive. You should be prepared to spend upwards of $10,000 if you take this route. If that fit your available budget, go for it. But if you’re looking for a more modest solution – the possibilities are endless.
At the other end of the scale, there are simple wine storage units that meant to display wine or complement a room’s design, rather than something to preserve that precious liquid gold inside.
Lots of people like to display their collection of wine, whether they’re a serious investor with bottles worth hundreds of dollars, or your every average day folk who simply happen to a have a glass several times per week.
How To Choose A Wine Storage Unit
Whatever wine storage solution you ultimately decide on should be a well-made piece. If it’s a cellar you’re constructing, hire a competent professional, not some “handyman” who’s never built a wine cellar before. If you’re buying a self-contained wine cooler, look for a quality brand-name and something that will fit your decor. Nobody every regrets buying quality.
If you’re looking for a place to both store and display your wine – there are tons of possibilities. But remember to look for something that is going to serve you not just now, but in the coming years. You may find it useful to look for (or make) modular units so that you can expand your wine storage area easily (by buying additional units) while maintaining the same design style. You might start out with a 4 – 5 bottle wine collection. But in a year or two, it could grow to a dozen bottles, or more. The best way to allow for that growth is with a modular concept.
Wine Storage Without Cellar
Not everybody has the budget for a professionally installed wine cellar – and that’s perfectly okay. You can build one yourself, of course. But if you’re a klutz like me ,you’re going to need plenty of help. The easiest part is the physical construction. The more complicated part is adding the cooling fan and maintaining the ideal temperature. Impossible? No. But it is expensive and challenging.
Most of us and anyone who is not a serious collector would probably be looking at wine storage that doesn’t include a wine cellar. The best option may be a wine cooler that maintains a constant and ideal temperature and humidity. These are much more affordable and a lot less messy than turning your basement into a construction zone.
Wine Storage For Cabinets
Storing your wine inside of a cabinet or converted dresser is perfectly okay. There are actual advantages here in that in most cases, your wine will be behind closed doors. By not exposing your wine to direct light or heat, you’re protecting it, since light and heat are the primary causes of spoilage. But it’s not an issue for most, since they buy ready-to-drink wines. It’s more of an issue for fine wines that you want to age gracefully and enjoy at a much later date.
Wine Storage For Kitchen Cabinets
If you’ve got an extra shelf inside a kitchen cupboard, you can easily customize it to accommodate a small wine collection. It doesn’t matter if the materials you use are an exact match to your kitchen cabinets – or in stark contrast. you can always come of with something that looks great.
You can make – or have made for you – a solid wine rack that will accommodate your needs. Some people choose not to use their kitchen cabinets to store their wines simply because the kitchen may be warmer than the rest of the house. Since higher temperatures is something you want to avoid when storing wine, make sure your wine cabinet is far away from the oven.
Wine Storage For Pantry
A pantry can be an excellent place to store wine. Again, you can customize your wine rack quite easily using a variety of building materials. The easiest of all is to cut out half-rounds from a softwood like Pine or Cedar, and build a box, with one of the half-round panels at the front, and the other at the back. Anybody can do this – you don’t have to be a skilled cabinetmaker. Building a wine rack is an easy do-it-yourself.
There’s a variety of materials that can be used for wine rack building including wood shelving, old pallets, cardboard tubes, copper pipe, and barn board planks. You name it and someone has probably built a wine rack out of it.
Wine Storage For Small Spaces
Wine storage for small spaces often requires ingenuity and flexibility. When you have limited space – there’s no room to waste. This means maximizing available space by getting as many bottles of wine as you can into the designated areas possible.
Think outside the box. You can mount a small wine rack over a door, or fasten it to the door frame, or design something for an unused corner. Another option is to use available wall space. You could easily turn wall space into wine storage that’s attractive and eye-catching, serving two purposes at once. It would free up floor or cabinet space and create visual appeal. It is possible to provide attractive wine storage in space that otherwise isn’t being utilized.
Another option is to use space like under the stairs to create your own wine storage area. You could go simple here – or quite elaborate.
Which Storage Choice is Right For You?
There are countless options when considering wine storage for your home. It really boils down to what you’re looking for and the available budget. You could construct a simple wine rack for next to nothing using reclaimed materials.
Or you could spend thousands of dollars and have something that’s truly exceptional. It really depends on what suits your needs and desires.