Discover the many types of wine racks with this Ultimate Wine Rack Buying Guide. We explain the different types of wine storage options.
Welcome to today’s gallery, a guide designed to help you choose the perfect wine rack for your home. FYI, a wine rack is a specific type of wine storage option. If you’re looking for general wine storage ideas, check out our wine storage ideas article or check out our amazing wine cellar photo gallery.
We will be sharing examples for each major type, material, and design of wine rack in an effort to illuminate the myriad choices and help you make an educated purchasing decision.
When shopping for a wine rack for your home, there are several important questions to answer. How many bottles of wine will you keep on hand?
There’s a large difference between someone who has an occasional bottle and someone who regularly entertains guests for parties or tastings.
Will you be using the rack for display, storage, or entertaining? The type of rack is entirely dependent upon this question. Finally, do you require any specific features, such as mobility, easy storage, or floor space conservation?
The answers will narrow your choices considerably.
Table of Contents
- By Location/Design
- Wine Rack Materials
- Other Wine Storage Ideas
- Rack Size
- Wine Rack FAQ
- Additional Considerations
- Where to Buy Wine Racks Online
The first major decision to make when sorting out your options will be what type of wine rack works best. This will tremendously narrow your choices and set you on the road to the perfect purchase.
The floor standing wine rack is possibly the most common model you’ll find while shopping. These are sturdy, can be placed and replaced as needed, and can usually hold a large amount of bottles.
Tabletop wine racks are smaller than floor models, and thus hold fewer bottles. These are designed for convenience, easy placement, and display purposes.
3. Wall Mounted
A perfect way to conserve floor or countertop space is the wall mounted wine rack. We have shared three distinct models here.
Our first example is a carved wood piece that would feel at home in any rustic or modern space.
Our second example features a novel vintage design, with colored panels and metal wireframes seamlessly holding the bottles.
Finally, we have a more elaborate setup, with a full wooden shelf holding upright bottles, with a glassware rack hanging below.
Hanging wine racks are another perfect way to conserve space. This first model is mounted beneath cabinetry, and with its simple wire frame, holds both bottles and glassware.
A second type of hanging wine rack involves being mounted and hung from the ceiling. These typically hang above a table or island for accessibility and visual appeal.
A wine cabinet is much more than a rack, enabling a permanent, closed storage option for wine enthusiasts that will improve any space, from cellar to dining room. These are typically built like a hutch or dresser, with drawers, cupboard doors, and a serving surface, with ample interior storage.
The wine cart design is one of the best methods for serving wine at gatherings, being both mobile and compact. We have two different examples here, including a more traditional rack, and a variation on the cocktail cart.
The first example in dark stained wood features a large rack and surface area, with cabinets and drawers for storage.
Our second wine cart is a wine themed variant of the cocktail cart, with a metal framed serving surface, glassware hangers, and small bottle storage.
7. Kitchen island with wine rack
8. Kitchen cabinet built-in wine rack
Wine Rack Materials
The build material of your wine rack is an important consideration. This will set the tone and texture of the rack, steering the visual element.
As the most traditional and popular of furniture construction materials, wood offers the widest breadth of options and styles available for wine racks. Our example here is a wine table, combining storage and serving.
For contrast, here is a second wood wine rack. This example is a tabletop model, with all-wood box construction housing bottles in a minimalist frame.
Metal wine racks are often the most materially economical models available. The metal can comprise the outer frame and wire-thin racks can hold the bottles in perfect curved shape. Some models combine materials, but all metal racks, like our example here, enjoy wide popularity.
A second example of metal wine rack construction, pictured here, shows the material’s ability to mix with other elements. In this case, we have canvas slings holding the bottles themselves.
For a modern look, you can get a clear plastic wine holder that sits on the counter or any surface.
The final important decision to make on your journey toward owning a new wine rack will be the design. Whether it stands on a table or the floor, mounted on a wall, or otherwise, you will need to choose the shape and style that suits your home and your needs.
A wine holder design is intended as a less formal, permanent storage space for wine than a standard rack. These are decorative, ornamental, and often playfully styled.
The wine holder is usually a tabletop element meant for direct sharing of wine while having dinner with family or a gathering of friends. Perfect for tastings, they set the bottle in an artful, easy to access placement.
The cube design is exactly as it sounds: a cubic frame with interior racks for holding bottles. These can be easily purchased and set up in multiples, for extensive storage.
The column design stores a large quantity of wine bottles vertically. This can be accomplished via floor standing construction or wall-mounted racks.
The column design can also save space by wall mounted design, as seen here.
The shelf design is a common element among many types of wine racks, including free standing floor models and tabletop examples alike. Here we have a simple, direct, natural wood wine shelf.
Modular design means that the furniture can be added to, modified, and expanded. These types of wine racks are meant to grow with your collection, with simple add-on materials you can purchase in sets.
Like modular design wine racks, stackable variants are meant to grow right along with your bottle collection. With square or rectangular frames, these racks can be stacked vertically to create ever-larger storage space.
Other Wine Storage Ideas
18. Stand-alone wine fridge
19. Built-in Wine Fridge
20. Wine Cellar
21. Table with Wine Storage
Wine racks are available in a wide variety of sizes, no matter the type and style you choose.
A few key factors to keep in mind when deciding on the right size for you include:
- Type of Rack – A wall-mounted or countertop model must be small and lightweight enough to safely mount on a wall or set on a counter.
- Location – A dedicated storage room can fit a much larger rack than a normal dining room or kitchen.
- Size of Bottles – Wine bottles come in various sizes. Most cabernets are 3 inches in diameter while champagnes, burgundies, and Pinots are 3.5 inches in diameter.
- Size of Collection – The number of bottles you have in your collection will influence the best size model for you.
- Room to Grow – Do you plan to keep your collection to the same number of bottles or grow it over time? Invest in a larger model if you plan to grow your collection in the future.
Those starting with a small collection who hopes to grow it should invest in a stackable rack that can easily be expanded as needed.
Wine Rack FAQ
Below are answers to common questions about wine racks.
What materials are wine racks made from?
Wine racks are made from various materials. The most common material for building wine racks is wood. Plastic and metal are popular choices for these types of shelves. They can also make wine racks from glass or stainless steel depending on the look and style someone wants. Many people choose the design or material by picking an option that blends in well with the rest of the decor in the home, office, or party space.
How many bottles of wine can wine racks hold?
Standalone racks will hold two or three bottles to 70+ bottles. People who want to store more bottles may want to look at a shelving system that attaches to the wall (this would be for the larger racks). These systems anchor to the studs ensuring the rack will not fall over spilling the wine. Wall systems can hold a few bottles up to hundreds of bottles depending on the dimensions of the system.
Do wine racks store wine upright or on its side?
Most wine racks store the bottles on their sides. Bottles with natural corks will lose their moisture and let the wine evaporate when standing. Screw-on lids and wine bottles with plastic corks are fine for horizontal storage. When you plan to use the wine right away, there is no reason you cannot stand it up in a rack. However, when you want to keep wine for several years or months, then it is best to put the bottles on their sides.
Can white wine be stored in a wine rack?
Yes. It is best to keep white wine at room temperature until two days before using it. Storing it in a wine rack is acceptable as long as the shelves are in a cool place away from moisture and light.
Is it okay to put an opened bottle of wine on a wine rack?
Unopened wines are safe for storage on a rack if the person intends to use them within three to five days. Most people prefer to use white wine after chilling it, so it is a personal preference whether to chill it or store it on the rack. The main thing to check is the condition of the cork. If there are any cracks or shrinking, then the wine could leak out. One way to prevent this problem is to use a bit of shrink wrap and a rubber band to cover the opening.
Can you store other types of bottles on a wine rack such as liquor bottles or soft drinks?
Wine rack designers build the racks to hold standard size wine bottles of 750-milliliter volumes. Storing sparkling cider or water bottles of this size and smaller is acceptable for these racks. Soft drink bottles may not fit well on these racks because they are often too big to fit into the diagonal structure of the rack. Even though these bottles can fit on the top of folding wine racks, the weight of the bottles can cause tipping. Using racks that fit on the counter or in a pantry is not a good idea when using it for soda bottle storage.
What else can wine racks be used for?
Wine racks make excellent decorative holders for linens. Homeowners can style the rack in any color paint or stain and use it to hold towels in a bathroom with few shelves. Owners can set the rack on a counter or hang it on the wall to keep the space clear when the counters are small.
Other ideas include using the racks to store water bottles, juice, and coffee cups. A unique way to use the racks is by outfitting each opening with a clear plastic cup. The cups can hold bath toys, makeup, kitchen utensils, craft items, and small hand tools making common household items more accessible.
With so many different options available, it’s essential to look at every factor when deciding on the right type of rack for you.
Here we look at a few additional considerations to keep in mind. These will help you select the best storage method for your collection.
Some of these considerations we’ve mentioned above, others we haven’t.
- Location – Measure the area you plan to store your bottles in to make sure the storage option you select will fit.
- Climate – Unless you have a very small or inexpensive collection, it’s essential to select a storage type and location that minimizes temperature and humidity changes. Your bottles should also avoid direct sunlight.
- Size of Collection – Larger collections require larger storage methods. The same goes for small collections you expect to grow. If you entertain often, consider a dedicated storage room plus a smaller rack for your dining room or kitchen.
- Bottle Resting Position – Most racks hold your bottles vertically or horizontally. Some hold them upside down or at an angle. The horizontal position is best for proper aging and protection, although the vertical and angled styles can look more decorative.
- Bottle Capacity – Many racks claim to hold more bottles than there are bottle openings available. Most are actually designed safely hold more bottles than there are openings though.
- Durability – Cheap racks are made with cheaper materials. Many pre-fabricated wooden models are made from thin wood. These might work fine for a few years, but likely won’t stand the test of time.
- Investment – Like anything you else, you get what you pay for when it comes to a wine rack. Pay more upfront for a model that will last longer. Quality models also ensure the safety of your valuable collection.
- Closet – A lot of people opt to store their collection in a closet rather than a dedicated type of storage. Though plenty dark, closets, unfortunately, are prone to temperature swings, especially if the door isn’t louvered. If it’s a solid door, keep it at least cracked open to prevent the buildup of warm air.
Selecting a storage method isn’t something to rush into. Chances are your collection is expensive, so it pays to consider all your options, from all angles, before making a final decision.
Installing a wine rack in your home isn’t exactly the most difficult DIY project.
Most of your storage options don’t even really require installation. Instead, all you have to do is put the device together and set it where you want it to stay.
Stackable and table/counter racks are two examples of this. Both are very simple to set up and put in place. They’re great options for those that don’t want to break a sweat.
Wall mounted and cabinet racks are a little more complex. The wall-mounted variety requires some installation in the form of safely and securely attaching it to a wall. The cabinet variety requires some light building to set up.
Custom racks are the most difficult to build and install. In fact, this is one option that’s best left to professionals.
Most professional contractors will be able to properly build a custom rack. However, you might consider opting for someone with specific experience with wine.
Contractors that specialize in wine racks and cellars offer the best quality products for storing your collection.
The same goes for cellars. If you’re building one from scratch in your home or converting a basement into one, hiring the help of a professional is essential.
Houzz provides a great resource that discusses the seven steps to create a connoisseur’s wine cellar.
Cost and Budget
The cost of wine racks varies wildly depending on the type and style you select.
The cheapest models include the wall-mounted and counter/tabletop varieties. These run from as low as $20 all the way up to $250 and more.
The stackable variety tends to run in the same general ballpark. These models cost anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on size, materials used, and other factors.
The cabinet variety tends to be slightly more expensive. Expect to pay anywhere from $150 up to $500 for these models. Larger, designer models can cost well over $1,000.
Finally, you have the custom variety. These models are the most expensive. Because of their custom design and construction, you should expect to pay between $500 to $1,000 for the simplest, most basic models.
Then you have refrigerators and coolers. The price of these models depends largely on their size and capacity. Most cost somewhere between $150 and $1,000 when all is said and done.
The nice thing about all these varieties, except for custom-built models, is that little to no installation is required. You won’t have to pay additional installation fees on top of the price of the finished product.
Last but not least is a wine cellar. Creating a cellar is often a huge undertaking that requires a professional hand.
Most storage cellars require at least some renovation, even if you’re simply converting a downstairs closet instead of an entire basement.
Expect to pay at least $1,000 for a basic cellar conversion project. Top-of-the-line full-blown wine cellars can cost upwards of $5,000 to $10,000 – and sometimes even much more.
Where to Buy Wine Racks Online
Dozens upon dozens of retailers offer great deals on wine racks.
But a few do it better than the rest. We’ve narrowed down the options to those online retailers with the absolute best prices on the best selection of products. The user-friendly search tools they offer allow you to find the exact product you want based on type, style, price, and more.
Here is our choice of the best places to buy wine racks online:
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