Wine appreciation has skyrocketed in recent years – along with the prestige of U.S. winemakers. Many American vintages, produced from California to New York, have also developed a high level of sophistication. As more homeowners add to their wine collections, many are looking for a practical way to store and display their treasures.
Most vintners will tell you that wine is fragile and that light and temperature can affect its shelf life and drinking quality. That’s why wine was historically stored most often caves, which often have constant temperatures and little or no light.
While storing wine over a refrigerator might be convenient, the heat generated from the appliance could, indeed, be harmful. Storing wine for long periods next to windows or where there’s bright light can also compromise flavor. Keeping the lighting low helps preserve wine. Following those two guidelines on wine storage will help ensure that each bottle tastes great when finally you pop the cork.
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Of course, if you’re like most people, you don’t keep a coveted stash of Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon that you want to preserve for years. You buy a bottle here and there for entertaining, drinking or cooking, and you pour it long before light or temperature can do any damage. In this case, it’s easy to incorporate wine storage into your decor.
One of the most popular ways to display wine is with a riddling rack – a standing wooden rack that’s used in the making of champagne, with holes that hold the bottles by the neck on an angle. A riddling rack can be freestanding or mounted to a wall and makes a statement in the room.
You can buy an oak rack imported from France ($265, riddlingracks.com) or a reproduction riddling rack ($249, potterybarn.com). You can also get one that’s freestanding to hold two cases of wine ($110, thekingsbay.com).
To store your wine in the kitchen, install racks that go into standard kitchen cabinets. An 18-inch, three-rack model made of maple costs about $400 and has simple installation. This model will hold 18 bottles, and a 24-inch cabinet model will hold 24 bottles of wine ( wine-logic.com).
If you like to buy your wine by the case, create wine storage space with stacking racks meant to hold wooden wine boxes ($99, wineenthusiast.com). Or put your bottles back in an antiqued wine barrel to store your favorite wine ($176, wayfair.com).
Another storage option is to display wine bottles in a place where the labels are easily readable. A 12-bottle black, finished, wall-mounted rack will display your bottles beautifully ($86, vintageview.com).
These racks come in a variety of finishes and are made for single rows of vertical storage, or you can buy the holders that hold your wine two or three bottles deep in a vertical line. This storage uses little more than vertical wall space, making it space-saving and eye-catching at the same time.