Wine cellars are for serious collectors. But for those who are
content to grab a couple of bottles on sale at the grocery store,
wine storage isn't about humidity and temperature. It's about style.
In a way, casual wine buyers have it easy. There's no worry about
proper storage, and price becomes less important. After all, most
people need only one wine rack.
Consider space, says Jennifer Stanton, owner of Wines by Jennifer
in Parkville, Mo. Most people need more space in their homes, which
explains why hanging wine racks sell so quickly.
When wine is displayed on the wall, it becomes art, Stanton says.
She plans to order models that hang from the ceiling like plant
holders. Unlike plants, though, wine doesn't need sunlight.
Racks should be placed away from windows, the stove or heating
Choosing a rack for style and aesthetics alone can be daunting,
especially when you consider the Internet, where eBay has more
than 800 listings for wine racks. Want a rack shaped like a horse?
A fish? A bicycle? They're all available.
Movie buffs should check out the rack shaped as a film reel, available
at enhanced ht.com. And you don't have to be a beekeeper to covet
the hive rack at wish ingfish.com. For golfers, distinctive golf.com
has a standing rack made from clubs. You get the idea.
Wrought iron and wood racks are common, and styles range from
classic to funky. For something different, eco-artware.com sells
a six-bottle rack made from recycled bicycle rims. Or try a bright-green
acrylic rack from ewineracks.com.
Racks sometimes function as more than just wine storage. Those
with table tops can double as a bar. And what about your kitchen
shelf that holds cookbooks? Pryde's Old Westport in Kansas City
carries wine racks that serve as bookends.
For a rustic look without spending too much money, Louise Meyers,
the owner of Pryde's, says some customers buy the more utilitarian
wine racks and decorate them with fake grape vines from a craft
Cost Plus World Market carries traditional wrought-iron racks
shaped as a bunch of grapes or the Eiffel Tower. Wine racks can
cost less than $10 or more than $300, such as the hand-made barrel
ones at westsidewinecellars.com. Whatever the price range, they
look best serving their purpose-holding wine bottles. To keep racks
full even when you haven't gone to the store to replenish after
a party, use the empties.
Instead of cutting the metal wrapper to get to the cork, Stanton
suggests sliding the wrapper off without damaging it. When you
finish the bottle, rinse it out and replace the wrapper. Set the
empty bottle back in the rack.
Already have too many wine racks? Fill them with wine bottles
(full ones!), and give them as gifts, Meyers says.
The vine's the limit!