I’m a bourbon, whiskey and beer drinker at heart, so I’ll admit I am a little out of my element when looking at a wine list. Sure, I can list off a few regions where wine grapes come from (Napa Valley, Spain, France, Austria), and I recall hearing that it is a good idea to order an Austrian Malbec with a steak, but beside that my idea is to order red wine with red meat and white wine with white meats. However I have gone through a furniture store or two in my day and can offer aspiring sommeliers some degree of advice which could help them pick out a wine rack.
When it comes to wine, people can be picky. People can like both red and white wines, but usually they like one more than the other. This is the same way people may prefer Guinness, but won’t turn down a Bud Light. Knowing which you like more could help you select a wine rack. Consider matching the color of your favorite wine with the material of the wine rack. If you like the red wines, try selecting a red wood wine rack. Look at the ones made of cherry, rosewood or a red oak. If you are a fan of the darker reds, like the Pinot Noirs, look at an espresso wood, a Brazilian walnut or something made of wrought iron. You can match your love of white wines with oak, pine, or even bamboo.
Those are great tips if you haven’t already created an identity to the room. Obviously if you like red wines but have an minimalist modern home with crisp white walls and black furniture, selecting a rosewood is a bad call. Match the wine rack with the other furniture wherever possible. If you plan on keeping your wines in your industrial style kitchen, look consider a stainless steel. This 4-Bottle Stainless Wine Rack from IKEA might be just the answer, and mounting three or four of them is possible. This can even be mounted under a cabinet to save counter space.
If you are a do-it-yourself kind of guy, look around for old wine barrels. Here is an website which lays out ways you can build a wine barrel wine rack. Try calling the winery that makes your favorite wine and see if they are willing to ship you one of their barrels. The picture above sells at Cabella’s for $799, so doing it yourself could save you a good deal of money.
Wrought iron wine racks have a great degree of popularity as well. The reason is the prominence of wrought iron balconies in Tuscan style homes, which is a popular architecture style on vineyards. I usually find these to be a little “frilly”, so if you choose this style, I suggest keeping it simple. Avoid racks with too many non functional design elements like metal “vines” or flowers. Try looking at this one available from AliBaba.com or if you want something larger look at this one from Amazon.
You may also consider looking at modular wine racks as well, especially if you are just starting to get into wine collecting. This gives you the option of growing your collection as much or as little as you want. Look at almost any kind of stackable shelving, including IKEA’s Expedit bookshelves. The standard wine bottle size is about 11″-12″, and the Expedit depth is 13.5″, making it a wine rack candidate. Even if you choose to buy a magnum of wine, the standar size for that is 14 inches, so the amount that it sticks out would be minimal. This unti will allow you to expands as you see fit, and doesn’t limit you to only wine storage. You can also store glasses or whatever other wine paraphernalia you choose here.
The biggest thing is to go out and look. Pottery Barn, Sears and Target have a good collection of wine racks for sale and probably have a store near you, so taking a quick walk through their stores or taking a look at their websites is a good idea. However, one of my favorite places is Wine Rack Store.com. While I haven’t really compared prices extensively, you can at least find a style you like and then try to find it elsewhere.