by Bryn Huntpalmer
When you want to find that perfect wine for an impromptu night with friends or a romantic Italian dinner, you might not have time to hunt around. Fortunately, with some smart organization, you can guarantee that you can find the perfect vintage in mere seconds.
We at Modernize love how the DIY and home decor crowds have embraced wine collecting. Here are some smart ways to store and organize your wines that will integrate seamlessly into your home’s design, no matter what size collection you have.
The way you organize your wine depends a lot on how you store it; namely, are you going to have a cellar or not? Keep in mind that using a cellar doesn’t necessarily mean you need to construct a new room dedicated just for that. A spot in your basement or another cool corner of your house will work just as well.
Whether or not you decide to spring for a cellar setup depends on what kind of wine you drink. If you’re still new to wines (or just don’t have the wallet for more expensive vintages!) and are largely drinking grocery store brands under $25, you probably don’t need to set up a cellar. There’s no shame in it: grocery store wines are just produced so that they’re generally ready to drink, so they don’t need to age in the bottle.
If you are ready to take the plunge and set up a wine cellar, you’ll probably need a more sophisticated organization system to keep track of your collection.
No matter what type of wine drinker you are, your organization should be whatever works for you. Below are some common ways to categorize your wines to find them fast.
If your collection is relatively small and you’re not picky about varietals, try organizing it simply by type: reds, whites, and sparkling. Since you have fewer bottles, you can get really creative with the way you display it, too. This DIY rack uses recycled pallets for a cool, salvaged look.
If you’ve graduated to a rack with several rows, you’ll probably want to get a little more specific with your organization. After dedicating one shelf or row each for reds, whites, and sparkling, group the same varietals together so that your Rieslings aren’t mixed in with your Chardonnays and so forth. We like this 24-bottle rack from Wayfair for quick sorting.
Now that your collection is getting a little more stately, it’s time to add location and grape varietal to your organization system. A Chardonnay from Burgundy shouldn’t have to shack up with one from Chile if your collection is sorted right. Use this primer on grape types if you need a little help on this. We love the idea of stashing a larger collection in a kitchen island.
If your collection has grown large enough to encompass a large number of aging wines, then you’ll want to further classify your wine taxonomy to include drink-by date, so that you can ensure that you’re popping open your bottles right at their peak. And with that many wines, you’ll want a way to store them that isn’t going to gobble up too much space in your home. Try using a wall rack that’s both modern and compact.
Once your organization system gets really complicated, you might just want a little help keeping track of it! Well, there’s an app for that. CellarTracker lets you search through their huge database of wines to locate your bottle, then allows you to add them to their collection. It shows you the best drinking date, the location, varietal, and vineyard for each wine, so searching through it is a snap. Plus, you can access reviews and ratings for new wines before you buy.
No matter how you decide to do it, wine collecting is an extraordinary hobby that will bring you years of pleasure. Cheers to that!