How to Organize Your Wine Cellar
A wine cellar stores and displays your beloved wine collection in a contained area set up to be approachable and designed to protect your wine. If put together properly, the shelves should allow easy access based on varietal, size, winery, vintage and more. However, the only way to do this right is to know how to organize your wine cellar.
Reasons to Organize Your Wine Cellar
Here are a few reasons to keep your wine cellar organized and safe.
Safeguard From Vibration
Vibration can make your vino lose aroma. This will take place gradually based on the impact. If you’re looking to age and preserve the collection, a well-built cellar ensures that external conditions do not damage the bottle contents.
Increase Home Value
A customized cellar for your vintages is a convenient storage area, and it increases the property’s value.
Greater Appreciation of Your Collection
With organized wine cellars, you have a greater chance of diversifying your collection. The larger and more organized storage area will be instrumental in keeping you informed of what you have and what you’re missing. You’ll learn more about wine and expand your tastes.
Wine Cellar Organization Methods
There is no single way to put together a wine cellar. But there are a few tricks and tips you can apply to maximize the aesthetics and practicality of the ecosystem.
Organize by Expense
Should you buy randomly or keep your collection small (less than 200 bottles), organize your stock by price.
Organize by Producer
Many connoisseurs and wine club members buy new releases by allocation. The collecting method is profitable as the volume is usually intended for later sale. For the producer organization, it’s best to set up by variety or region than by the producer.
Organize by Consumption
Organize bottles based on when you’ll partake. Place house wines where they’re easily accessible. Have them near eye level for easy stocking and inventory monitoring. Should you put in glassware storage or a pouring station, install these solutions close too.
Other Stocking Methods
At the end of the day, how you organize your wine cellar depends on the collection, size and personal preferences.
Manage a Grid
Grid systems are an excellent way to locate bottles. Set up columns and rows with letters or numbers or both. Use an Excel spreadsheet or software to track the collection.
Keep the Expensive Stuff in the Back
You can keep bottles intended for special occasions or planned for aging in the back. Bottles you plan to drink sooner can be more accessible.
Design a Functional Rack Ecosystem
Whether you buy single bottles or in bulk, consider a bulk design that takes into account growth. Bulk storage is also closer to the floor. This means you won’t have to raise heavy cases.
Consider angled displays. Angling keeps the corks moist and gives you a better visual of what’s stored on the shelves.
You’ll also have the opportunity to put in unique lighting to showcase vino. But you want to use a solution that won’t result in premature aging. Wines in clear or transparent bottles are more at risk to minute UV light exposure. UV can destabilize even dark bottles and harm wine elements like tannin, so it’s important that your lighting is well-placed and safe.
If you go with individual bottle storage, you’ll have an impressive look. Store bottles with labels or corks forward. There are a variety of designs to customize your wine cellar.
Stocking Based on Preferences
Think about wine regions. This approach is excellent if you travel to build your collection. Your angled display will make great visual cues for how to navigate storage areas.
Many vino lovers keep it simple, breaking their wines down by sparkling, rosé, red, white and dessert categories.
With a well-organized wine cellar, you also have better wine pairing. Storing by varietal, you’ll always be able to pull the perfect taste for dinner or a gathering. Stock label views for “pointing” to more of the same.
Maximize Enjoyment of Your Collection
Use an app like Cellartracker to scan barcodes and labels. You can also use an Excel spreadsheet. Other apps have features for tasting notes, recommendations for your palate, alerts for the best time to open a specific bottle and more.
If you prefer someone else to manage the cellar, and you have the budget, you can consider getting yourself a sommelier.
An appropriate climate is critical for any wine cellar. The proper wine storing temperature should be a constant 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 14 degrees Celsius) with humidity of 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you don’t manage a consistent climate, your wine ages at a faster rate. Climate changes create contraction and expansion of wine. The process affects cork integrity, forcing air penetration. Getting a sound cooling unit will keep your inventory suitable for longer periods.
How you plan to age wine is another factor. The longer you plan to wait, the more important it is to invest in a cellar that’s well cooled, nicely lit and safe from vibration. Here are some things to protect the collection.
Knowing how to organize a wine cellar includes understanding the best practices for wine positioning. Poor positioning contributes to bad wine. Properly installed cabinets and racks make all the difference. Horizontally stored bottles keep better, especially if corks point down. Corks that don’t point down tend to get wet and will shrink. Air gets in, which turns good wine into vinegar.
Putting in Wine Cellars
Ideally, you want a cool basement wine cellar with endless walls lined with vintage spirits. But, you can realistically place your wine cellar almost anywhere. All you need is a softly lit, cool place. Amazon has a nice no-frills wine rack, which includes adjustable leveling that will hold between 100 and 168 bottles.
You can build a storage space that fits your budget and size in the basement or other appropriate area. Your wines can also go into a commercial storage space. The only thing that matters is knowing how to organize a wine cellar and develop the space to keep your wines safe.
Are you thinking about building a wine cellar on your own? I’ve broken down exactly what you need to know in this blog post.