Living not far from some of California's best wineries, I have a number of clients who have bottles of wine to store. Some have just a few bottles, while some have quite a collection. And they all need storage—and something not as elaborate as the Spiral Cellar.
The terra cotta wine racks from Weston Mills Pottery provide a modular system for storing a few bottles, or a larger collection. The terra cotta helps shield the wine from temperature variations, and it won't deteriorate if placed in a humid cellar. It's also incredibly simple to "assemble"—more so than many other modular options. However, this is a heavy product, and would be a pain to deal with if the end-user was moving.
The modular wine rack from MuNiMulA, made from interlocking pieces of anodized aluminum. Although these pieces can be stacked, I'd be somewhat concerned about having a tall stack in earthquake-prone territory, or anywhere small children could pull at it. That's an issue with a lot of wine racks, unless they can be bolted to the wall.
The Echelon wine rack, made from extruded aluminum, addresses my concerns about stability. This is the retail, tabletop version—but there's also an architectural version, which has a wall bracket. Another concern with many wine racks is whether or not oversize bottles will fit within them; a someone who loves Champagne, this is something that I always think about. The Echelon accommodates bottles with a diameter up to 3.6 inches; most Champagne bottles will indeed fit.
This Trellis wine rack is another very flexible modular design that's incredibly easy to assemble. But wine racks using this design often will not accommodate half bottles—as I have found out from personal experience. It also provides less protection from light than some other designs do.
While "modular" and "easy assembly" will appeal to many end-users, some will just want a wine rack they can plop down on the countertop and be done with it. This wine rack from Cold Edge Gallery would serve users like that.
The Bachus wine rack, designed by Marcel Wanders, would work for end-users who want a no-asembly storage option but need something bigger than the rack above. The body is made of polyethylene.
Wall-mounted wine racks could work for end-users with limited floorspace—as long as they can still keep the bottles shielded from sunlight, heat, and large temperature variations. (The kitchen is probably not the place to put such a rack.) A vertical rack such as this one from Calligaris, designed by Angela Ladeiro and Antonio Lages, is the most common design. As with any wall-mounted product, the end-user will need to understand what type of walls are suited for the specific rack; this one comes with mounting equipment for concrete, brick or stone walls. Note that this design has the advantage of making the labels visible for easy retrieval.
Photo: Claes Westlin/CCDigital
Another approach is to go horizontal, as the Vineyard wine rack from Pack & Rack does—allowing it to fit into a different sort of space than the vertical racks.
And here's yet another orientation; the STACT, designed by Eric Pfeiffer, has the bottles running perpendicular to the wall. STACT mounts on any drywall surface, and it accommodates larger 750 ml bottles such as Bordeaux and Champagne. The bottles rest on aircraft-grade extruded aluminum supports, but I'd be leary of this one in earthquake territory. STACT is designed to be a piece of art—but placing it to serve that purpose, preserve the wine, and ensure end-users don't bump into it would be a challenge in some homes.
The Wine Cell from Fiduz has the same orientation as the STACT, but is intended more for someone with just a few bottles. As a single-bottle option that installs on any drywall, it gives end-users a lot of flexibility—as long as it's positioned so they don't accidentally run into a bottle and crack their heads.
For end-users with a lot of wine, there are these traditional wine racks to help with storage. The diamond bins are nice for accommodating all sizes of bottles, but they do make it more difficult to get to the bottles on the bottom. The regular racks have special versions for magnums and for splits.
The VintageView wine racks allow the end-user to see what's in the cellar—and there's a three-deep version, so the racks can store more than you might first think. There's a special rack for magnum bottles. And they can be installed onto a wide range of wall materials.
If the end-user buys wine by the case—and would prefer to store the wine bottles in the crates they come in—the Modulorack from EuroCave will make that easier.
Some end-users (like my father, who lives in Florida) need temperature-controlled storage for their wines. Such cabinets can range from quite small (like this one from Cuisinart) to very large.
Other end-users may want to protect their wines with a lockable door, and this SuperErecta wine rack meets that need.
For end-users with the space, a riddling rack is a sturdy design for storing bottles, and will accommodate those Champagne bottles I keep worrying about.
We've looked at storage solutions for those with large collection—but what about the end-user who just has a few wine bottles to stack up in a small space? The Stack, from Make My Day serves somewhat like bookends for the bottles, helping that stack of bottles to stay in place. This one can even work in a refrigerator. Of course, there are always trade-offs; in this case, it's somewhat inconvenient to get to the bottom bottles.