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Many wine lovers are concerned with properly storing their wine for long periods. However, unless you are a wealthy wine connoisseur who purchases aged wine or very old bottles, most of the modern wine you purchase was never meant to be stored and aged for long periods of time. Despite popular misconception, not all wine ages well. Some, in fact, may age badly. Therefore, storing your wine is not as complicated as commonly believed.
See also: Should Red Wine Never Be Chilled?
Most white and rose wines are meant to be opened fresh and young. Among reds, only certain wines are meant to be stored for long periods. The fact is that wines meant to be saved for very long periods are a very small sub-category of wines. Therefore, although you may find yourself with more bottles of wine than you can drink in a few days, you probably do not need to be concerned with storing them for years and year, waiting for them to age to perfection or become more valuable unless you are a collector.
What is Storing Wine?
This may seem like a silly question but it is important! How long do you need to keep wine before it is considered to be stored and not just kept? The general rule of thumb is about a week. So, for most casual wine drinkers, we are not really storing wine at all. Therefore, the biggest concern may be how you display your wine, or simply how convenient or space-efficient you can be when deciding where and how to keep your wine. Although it would be best to keep in mind some or all of the rules below, you don’t have to be overly concerned since you will not be holding on to your wine long enough for most of them to matter.
Again, keep in mind that you aren’t necessarily aging wine. You just want to make sure it does not deteriorate before you drink it. Some wines may actually mature and improve after you store them for several months, while others may not. Regardless, for most of us, storing wine is not nearly as daunting or complicated as it may seem. You do not have to store it in a cool damp basement, for example. Your wine will not know that it is not stored underground!
The two most important factors to consider for most of us, then, are temperature and sunlight. You want to keep your wine in an environment that is as cool as possible, and you want to keep it away from direct sunlight.
If you only keep enough wine to drink in a week or so (and therefore are not technically storing it) and want a distinct place to store and display it, then any sort of wine rack or display case will work. In this case, you can even keep the bottles upright.
Storing Wine Bottles on Their Side (or cork down)
However, if you store bottles of wine upright for too long, the general wisdom states that the cork will dry out and thus the seal on the wine will be compromised, causing the wine to spoil much more quickly. Air should never be allowed to enter a wine bottle before it is opened as this will cause oxidation. So, if you have more wine then you can drink within a short period, you will want to store your wine bottles on their side or with the cork down. This keeps the corks wet so that the seal remains intact.
The instruction to store wine on its side or cork down to keep the cork wet is not without controversy. Some experts consider this to be nothing more than a myth or old-wives tale and say that the humidity inside the bottle itself will influence the cork and keeping it wet will make no difference. Some say that in fact, a wet cork will break down faster over time and thus be compromised. For long term storage, storing bottles upright may actually be superior. For most of us, however, the position we choose may come down to preference, aesthetics, and space considerations.
You’ll have to make your own decision on bottle position, but as someone who’s opened a bottle of wine and had a dried-up cork crumble down into the bottle, my money is on keeping the cork wet.
Temperature is very important to wine storage. Chemical changes take place in a wine while it is stored. According to the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California at Davis, these chemical changes can double with each 18° F increase in temperature. Even for a wine that matures, when these chemical changes are accelerated, nothing good happens. The wine quickly deteriorates. Ideally, the changes should take place very slowly over time. For very fine wines meant for aging, the ideal storage temperature is considered to be about 55° F. For most of us, however, who drink less expensive modern wines that are meant to be drunk fresh, somewhere under 70° F is fine. Therefore, try to pick a spot that is as cool as possible, while still fulfilling your other criteria, including decor. Remember, wine can be used not only to drink but to display.
There are probably several rooms in your house where you could store wine. You may be able to place a wine rack in your den or living room, your kitchen or dining room. The garage, however, will almost never be a good place to store wine unless you live somewhere with very mild weather and mostly cool days.
Avoid leaving any wine in a very hot temperature environment for very long. For example, when you buy wine during the summer, don’t put it in your car trunk to take it home.
General Rules for Storing Wine (for most people)
Taking all of the above into consideration, there are only two simple rules for moderate long term storage of wine that everyone can agree upon:
- Keep in a cool environment below 70 F.
- Keep away from direct sunlight
The jury is still out on bottle position but for now, the consensus is still that you should store your bottles on the side or cork down. Of those two, the side position will be the most common and practical. You can purchase wine racks for storing bottles on this side with the label out or the cork out.
Storing Wine in the Fridge?
For a wine that is best enjoyed chilled, such as white wine, the fridge is a perfectly suitable environment. However, keeping your wine in the refrigerator is only a good idea if you know you are going to drink it and not end up moving it out of the fridge and back to room temperature because it is taking up too much room or you decide not to drink it. Extreme changes in temperature are not good for wine. It affects the maturation (which may or may not be a big deal) but also can cause the pressure in the bottle to change, thus pushing the cork and letting air enter the bottle.
Types of Wine Racks
As covered, the position in which your wine bottles are stored is one primary consideration. Wine racks store wine in four primary position or orientations, side, upright, tilted with cork down, and cork down (vertical).
Wine racks come in four basic types, floor, wall-mounted, countertop/tabletop, and under-cabinet. Wine racks for the floor are generally meant to hold large numbers of bottles while countertop units are meant for fewer bottles. Depending on their size and shape, some countertop wine racks can also be placed inside pantries or cabinets, while others can be placed on bookshelves or other shelving units. They are made with a wide range and mix of materials including metal, wood, metal and wood, bamboo, and plastic. In addition to natural wood, wine racks can also be purchased made of manufactured lumber, such as MDF (medium-density fiberboard) or MDL composite (medium-density laminate). It is even possible to find leather-covered wine racks.
Racks made of natural unfinished wood can be painted or stained to match your decor or preference, while others are wood-stained, black, brown, white, gray, burgundy, etc.
Wine racks can also be distinguished by how they hold your wine. Diamond-shaped slots are a traditional shape for wine rack slots and hold bottles on their sides more securely than many other shapes. Other racks have rounded slots or made of wood or wire cradles. Racks meant to hold bottles tilted or cork-down may have simple holds for inserting the neck of the bottle.
Wall-Mounted Wine Racks
If you don’t have room to store your wine on the floor, counter-top, or under-cabinet, then a wall-mounted wine rack is probably the option for you. These wine racks come in many styles, from simple to decorative. They can be used to store your wine cork up, label out, or cork down.
Using your wall space is always the best way to maximize your storage potential. If you have a small home or apartment, a wine rack for the wall can free up valuable countertop and floor space. And, unlike many common items you need to store, wine can be a decorative and appealing statement. You can store your wine in any room you want!
Another great thing about wine racks for the wall is that they are generally light-weight and small. If you need to move, they will be one less heavy thing to lug around.
No matter what your decor, you’re bound to find a wine rack for the wall that will be perfect for you.
Black Iron Wall-Mounted Wine Rack, Industrial Design
This set of two black iron wall-mounted wine racks has a clean industrial work instead of a more stylistic and rustic scrolled design. Each unit holds three bottles of wine on their side, label out, for a total of six. They can be used to store your wine with a modern design while being heavy-duty and reliable.
The solid 8.5 mm iron makes these racks capable of holding substantial weight. They can be used for much more than wine, including for liquor or liqueur bottles. You can even rely on them to hold heavy objects in the kitchen. They will not rust so they can also be used as folded towel racks in the bathroom.
Easy to mount, mounting hardware is included.
Side, Label Out
Black Iron Wall-Mounted Wine Rack Set, Rustic Scroll
These black iron wall- mounted wine racks only hold one bottle of wine but they can be attached together so that you can add as many as you want. This set comes with four racks. The black wrought-iron scroll work is perfect for a rustic design, and you can arrange the racks any way you want to come up with your own arrangement.
These are very easy to mount on the wall. They hold bottles of wine on their side, label out, so the cork stays wet, for long term storage.
The 8.5 mm wrought iron is durable and will not rust so that these racks can double as towel holders in the bathroom. Of course, you can use them to hold or hang anything you’d like.
Each unit weighs 4 lbs.
Side, Label Out
Black Metal Wall-Mounted Wine Rack for Cork Out Storage
This modern and simple black wall-mounted wine rack stores your wine on its side with the cork out. This is a true space saver for serious wine collectors who want to store many bottles of wine.
Each unit takes up minimal space and many units can be used together, enough to store an entire wall of wine, if desired.
These sturdy metal racks are available in three different black finishes (matte black, satin black, and wrinkle black) as well as chrome. They come in sizes from one through four feet to hold 3 to 12 bottles of wine. Mix and match to your needs!
You do not have to mount the units vertically, you can use your imagination and mount them in different arrangements to create a statement piece, like the one shown below.
1 foot: 3 bottles
2 feet: 6 bottles
3 feet: 9 bottles
4 feet: 12 bottles
Side, Cork Out
Simple Modern Metal Wall-Mounted Wine Rack
This simple metal wall-mounted wall rack can hold six bottles of varying sizes, including wider wine bottles. It’s simple yet decorative design is great for those looking for a functional wine storage solution without using limited floor or counter space. It will not clash with most designs and lets your wine stand out.
The metal supports of this unit have just enough flourish to make it attractive without being overstated. It’s wide cradles make placing and selecting bottles of wine easy, while wine is kept secure and safe. It is designed to hold your wine bottles on their sides, so the cork stays wet.
You can hold other types of bottles in this rack, including water, soda and seltzer bottles. It is also perfect for storing folded bath towels.
It’s easy to install and comes with mounting hardware.
This unit weighs 2.6 lbs.
Side, Label Out
Rustic Wooden Wall-Mounted Wine Rack
This rustic wooden wall-mounted wine rack from Sodoku has a simple wood-plank design with a slight curve and iron metal wine holders that store your wine bottles on their sides. Made to hold five bottles of wine, the burgundy stained wood clearly stands out, providing an attractive backdrop to your wine bottles while the antique metal hardware gives a rustic old-world providing appeal.
Wine racks for the wall are already a great way to save space, but this unit’s slim design makes it an even better space saver. You only need vertical space wide enough for wine bottles and 32.7 inches high.
This unit is made of pine wood and iron metal hardware and no other material. It mounts easily on a wall with three screws.
Wine bottles are not the only thing you might want to store on this rack. It can accommodate folded towels, magazines, and many other items.
This unit weighs 2.43 lbs.
Side, Label Out
Decorative Metal Scroll Wall-Mounted Wine Rack
This simple and elegant decorative metal scroll wall-mounted wine rack holds six bottles of wine properly on their sides. It also doubles as a folded towel rack. Done in metal with a black enamel finish, it adds a great accent to any wall while saving space in your home.
You can easily add more racks vertically if you need more storage space for your wine. These wine racks mount easily on the wall with minimal assembly and hold six standard wine bottles or champagne. All the mounting hardware is included. They will hold plenty of weight although they are very light.
Wine bottles rest on their sides in metal-wire cradles with decorative loops at their ends. The wine can be placed in either direction, as you wish.
Instead of wine, you can use these racks to store six folded bath towels.
Depth: 6 1/2”
This unit weighs 2.4 lbs.
Side, Label Out
Black Wall Mounted Wine Rack, Stores Label Out
No matter if you want to store only three bottles of wine or up to 36, this simple black wall-mounted wine rack in has an option for you. Designed to show the wine labels out while still storing the wine bottles on their sides, this wine rack, with multiple size options, is perfect for those who lack space on the floor or counter.
Some want an understated and functional way to store their wine and using wall space is always a great way to maximize your storage potential without cluttering up your home.
This satin black wine rack will let your wine do the talking while giving you the flexibility to choose how many bottles you need to store.
Matte black, satin black, and wrinkle black.
This unit is available in vertical sizes from one foot to foot feet with options to store wine bottles one deep to three deep. This allows you to choose just the right dimensions and number of bottles to suit your space. It is available in:
1 foot 1 deep (3 bottles)
1 foot 2 deep (6 bottles)
1 foot 3 deep (9 bottles)
2 feet 1 deep (6 bottles)
2 feet 2 deep (12 bottles)
2 feet 3 deep (18 bottles)
3 foot 1 deep (9 bottles)
3 foot 2 deep (18 bottles)
3 foot 3 deep (27 bottles)
4 foot 1 deep (12 bottles)
4 foot 2 deep (24 bottles)
4 foot 3 deep (36 bottles)
For flexibility and simplicity, this rack is a great choice for your wine storage. Even if you have minimal space available, you’ll be able to find an option that works for you!
Side, Label Out
Diamond Shaped Wine Rack, White Wall-Mounted, Multi-functional
With this white wall-mounted wine rack with diamond-shaped bottle slots, you can store six bottles of wine on their side while displaying other bottles upright. There is an additional shelf up top and two wine glass holders racks underneath. This unit is truly multi-functional.
This rack and shelf unit is made of high-quality MDF and stainless steel for sturdiness and lightweight. There are additional wooden piles behind the shelf to help make sure it doesn’t move inward and upset the contents. The wine holders are meant to store your wine on its side with the corks out. The two metal racks at the bottom can each hold up to three glasses.
With proper mounting, the unit will hold around 24 lbs.
Perfect for those wanting a contemporary and multi-functional way to store their wine without taking up floor or counter space. The materials are easy to clean and will resist stains.
Side, Cork Out
Bamboo Wine Holder Shelf for Wall
This bamboo wine bottle holder for the wall is functional, stylish, and made from sustainable material. It can store up to four wine bottles in an upright position and has slots underneath for hanging stemware glasses.
The bamboo look of this rack is perfect for those wanting a rustic farmhouse look, a coastal or artisan design, or anyone who lots of wood and nature-inspired decor.
Made from a mixture of bamboo and MDF wood, this wall-mounted wine rack would look good in your kitchen, dining room, den, or any other room. It is moisture, mold, and mildew resistant. It mounts easily to the wall and mounting hardware is included.
The unit holds most standard wine bottles and four glasses. The glasses are hung on slots cut into the wood, underneath the wine shelf, instead of wire hangers.
This unit stores bottles upright, cork up.
Rustic Farm-House Look Black Metal Wine Rack Shelf for Wall
This rustic farm-house look black metal wine rack shelf for wall with glass holder has a farm or industrial feel, with black satin finish and wooden layered shelves for wine and additional items like wine accessories. It stores wine upright on the lower shelve, protected by a metal guard.
You can store six bottles of wine, depending on the shape. Unlike racks that hold wine bottles on their sides or tilted, a shelf-rack like this will allow you to display any type of wine bottle, even oddly shaped. However, depending on the type of wine bottles you store, you may be able to fit fewer bottles. When using the standard most common shape, it easily holds six. There are hangars underneath for stemmed wine glasses.
If you like an industrial or farmhouse look, this rack may appeal to you. Unlike many wall-m0unt wine racks, this one can support a great deal of weight. Ultra-sturdy!
This unit weighs 13 lbs.
Upright, Cork Up
Rustic Metal Pipe Wall-Mounted Cork Down Wine Rack w/ Glass Holders
This rustic metal pipe wall-mounted wine rack with glass holders has a distressed industrial with two vintage-look pipes supporting two distressed painted wood shelves in walnut stain.
The additional bottom shelf provides extra space to display whatever you’d like, along with glass holders underneath for hanging your stemmed glassware.
You’ll love the rustic stain with a distressed look on these floating shelves. The wood grain shows through so that it looks like it was reclaimed from an old farmstead. The metal pipes look like something you’d find salvaged from an old building. Altogether, it gives a great vintage industrial look with a down-home touch.
This unit weighs 14.3 lbs.
Cork Down, Vertical
Decorative Wall-Mounted Tilted Wine Rack with Glass Holders
This wall-mounted tilted wine rack with glass holders makes a statement. It holds seven Bordeaux bottles and most standard wine bottles cork down in a half-moon ray configuration. It also has a shelf for stemless glasses and a hanging rack for stemmed glassware. The glasses hang upside down so that dust does not collect inside them.
With beautiful metal scrollwork and a black finish, this metal wine rack will show you wine in elegant fashion while being lightweight and sturdy enough to last for years and years. All mounting hardware is included.
Store your wine properly with cork down! This keeps the cork moist helping the wine to stay fresher for longer. While most wine racks for the wall store wine on its side or upright, this one ensures that the cork stays as moist as possible while securely protecting your wine from accidental wobbles or falls.
This unit weighs 6.1 lbs.
Cork Down, Tilted (one bottle vertical)
Stackable Iron Metal Wine Rack for Countertop or Cabinet, Bronze
This stackable metal wine rack for the countertop or cabinet has an attractive bronze finish and a simple and practical design. You just stack the units one on top of another to store up to 12 bottles of wine. Unlike other stackable racks, however, each unit can be used alone. So, if space is tight, leave them unstacked. This way they can look great stacked on your counter or tabletop but be adapted for smaller cabinet spaces.
There is no assembly required. The unit comes as three easy to stack racks. The top of each unit has holes to receive the feet on the bottom of the unit on top.
Sturdy, this unit is made of thick iron wire with strong frames and powder coated with a choice of two bronze finishes.
Hold standard wine bottles on their sides with the cork out.
This unit weighs 5.45 pounds.
Side, Cork Out
Black or Terra Cotta Wave Wine Rack for Countertop
This stylish black wave wine rack for countertop holds 12 bottles of wine on their sides. It has a sturdy and wobble-free design with a modern and innovative look that is sure to go well with any decor. Due to its modular design, it’s even adaptable so that you can build yours to store the number of bottles you want.
Easy to assemble, if you need more storage, additional units can be stacked on top of one another. Perfect for the kitchen counter, you can also place them inside a cabinet or any other convenient place. Choose black or terra cotta,
Each rack includes four wave-shaped units that are easily snapped together with the screws provided. They are made of durable plastic.
This unit weighs 4.4 lbs assembled.
Side, Cork Out
Diamond Shaped Bamboo Countertop Wine Rack, 8 Bottles
Small enough to fit into some kitchen cabinets but elegant enough to display on your countertop or table, this diamond-shaped bamboo countertop wine rack safely holds eight bottles of wine. The diamond shaped slots and stable design make it harder to bump over or for your wine to fall out. And, its made of a sustainable material.
Great for a small apartment or a cramped kitchen, this unit holds your wine securely on its side with the cork out. You could easily store other bottles in it, such as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sparkling cider, or even soda.
The bamboo rack is finished with a natural light wood look, so you can’t go wrong with almost any decor.
Height: 11.8 inches″
This unit weighs 3.9 lbs.
Side, Cork Out
Diamond-Shaped Leather Look Countertop Wine Rack
Leather meets wine in this diamond-shaped leather-look countertop wine rack for eight bottles. It’s a freestanding rack covered in synthetic black rubber and contrasted with white stitching. The geometric diamond pattern makes it sturdy and reliable while bringing a touch of style to your wine display.
Made of wood that is covered with high-quality synthetic leather, you don’t have to sacrifice quality for looks, as with many stylish but flimsy racks.
This unit would look good throughout the home. It holds your bottles on their sides and can be set on any surface. The slots are not open, so your wine is even more protected. It’s compact enough to fit into a tight space, can be turned to stand in two orientations, and comes fully assembled.
A five-bottle version is also available.
This unit weighs 5 lbs.
Side, Cork Out
Diamond Shaped Countertop Black Metal Wine Rack
This diamond-shaped countertop black metal wine rack holds up to ten bottles a horizontal position. Built solely out of sturdy metal wireframe, this freestanding wine rack has diamond-shaped slots for an elegant contemporary look and functional design.
Perfect for the kitchen, dining room, or bar cart, the advantage of this rack is that even though it is lightweight and compact, it is difficult for the bottles to fall out due to the open diamond shape of the slots. Even if you bump it, your bottles will stay secure.
Features a cutout of the word ‘wine’ on both sides.
You could use this rack to store other bottles such as liquors like whiskey, tequila, and rum. The manufacturer suggests balsamic vinegar, olive oil, or sparkling cider, for instance.
This unit comes fully assembled and ready to use.
This unit weighs 2.2 lbs.
Side, Cork Out
Black Iron Scroll Bookend Wine Racks
If you like books and you like wine, these black iron scroll bookend wine racks may be just for you. Perfect for those who don’t keep too many bottles of wine around but need a great way to store them without wasting space, these little racks can hold three bottles each while serving as decorative bookends. They can, of course, be used individually without books.
Made of wrought iron and done in decorative scrollwork, these units are meant to hold bottles on their sides, with the corks out. Each rack only weighs four pounds and is sturdy enough for a lifetime of use.
The drawback here is that these racks will not function as bookends unless they have wine in them. They are too light. The addition of small rubber feet can help, but unless you always plan to have six bottles of wine on hand, these would be better used as standalone wine storage units. If you have the counter space, however, they are perfect for the kitchen.
Each unit weighs approximately four pounds.
Side, Cork Out
Stackable Wooden Wine Rack for Floor, 36 Bottles
This stackable wooden wine rack for the floor is a great way to safely store a large number of wine bottles without having a huge unit that is hard to move. You can even expand the rack by stacking additional units for a large collection.
A modular wine rack, it is composed of stackable units that each hold six bottles. These sturdy and stable racks are made of thick pine wood with a natural finish. All of them together hold 36 bottles.
There is also a larger model available which stores rows of 12 bottles for a total of 72 bottles of wine.
This unit holds your wine bottles on their side with the cork out. It will store standard wine bottles such as Cabernet or Merlot bottles and even wider Pinot Noir bottles as long as you place them between two standard bottles.
Add your own touch by finishing with the stain or paint of your choice. This unit is made of unfinished wood. You can stain it and add a coat of polyurethane or paint it to match your color scheme. Or, just leave it as it is for a natural look.
Modular wine racks like this one can be very wobbly and unstable. This unit is not! It’s simple to assemble and it stacks easily and safely. Add more storage space by stacking additional racks.
This unit weighs 10 pounds.
Side, Cork Out
Elegant Black Wrought Iron Floor Wine Rack with Glass Tabletop
This elegant black wrought iron wine rack combines traditional iron scroll-work with a smoked-glass tempered tabletop to produce an artistic and dignified way to store and serve your wine. This floor rack would look great in a dining room or a kitchen but could be used even in your living room.
The delicate scroll-work underneath the glass table-top can hold up to 15 bottles of wine on their sides, cork out. The table can be used for glasses and wine accessories and serve as a place from which to serve your wine, or for anything else you deem appropriate.
Designed to be placed on the floor, this unit is compact enough to be easily moved from place to place. It weighs around 18 pounds and the tabletop can support up to 20 pounds.
This unit weighs 18 pounds.
Side, Cork Out
Arched Floor Black Metal Wine Rack for 23 Bottles
This metal wireframe floor rack with a decorative arch design will safely hold 23 bottles of wine. Painted in a black, protective finish, it is simple yet elegant enough for any decor.
It features a handle on top to easily move the rack from one spot to another, is made from heavy-duty metal and is easy to assemble.
This unit weighs 5.64 pounds.
Side, Cork Out
Black Iron Under-Cabinet Vertical Wine Racks, set of 2
These black iron under-cabinet vertical wine racks each hold two bottles of wine in a stacked vertical arrangement. This space-saving design is a great way to display your wine while freeing up valuable counter space. Made of strong gauge iron with a black finish, you can display your wine with style while knowing it’s safe from wobbles and falls.
Simply mount each rack underneath an upper kitchen cabinet with the mounting hardware included. Each unit holds two bottles of wine.
Many countertop wine racks are wobbly and no matter what you do, will always be in the way. If you want to store and display your wine in the kitchen while utilizing wasted space, this may be a great solution for you.
These units are great for small apartments or houses where space is scarce but keep in mind that these store bottles two bottles deep so if you do not have enough space between your upper cabinets and your countertops, you may want to consider these black iron wine single layer under-cabinet racks instead.
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Black Iron Under-Cabinet Wine Racks for Six Bottles
These simple black iron under-cabinet wine racks mount underneath your upper kitchen cabinets for a space-saving way to store your wine. Each rack holds three bottles. Made of sturdy wrought iron with a black finish, these wine holders are great for when you have no space to store your wine and need to use a space that would otherwise be wasted.
Simply use the mounting hardware included to attach the racks to the underside of your kitchen cabinets.
Each unit consists of three u-shaped cradles. Your wine bottles are stored on their side with the cork facing out.
If you need to save space while storing and displaying your wine, these stylish holders may be just the solution you need. Your wine will be right at your fingertips. Perfect for those with small apartments with limited counter-space and no extra floor space.
Side, Cork Out