The Best Wine Storage for Larger Collections
Most people begin their wine collection with a few reds in the pantry and whites in the refrigerator. While these conditions aren’t optimal for aging, they’re fine for the short term storage of cheaper wines. As you fall more in love with wine you might graduate to a small wine cooler refrigerator to store more expensive bottles. These might be wines you want to age and enjoy a few years down the line. With this in mind, you’ll naturally accumulate wines more quickly than you can possibly store in a small or even medium-sized wine fridge. As your wine collection grows, how will you handle long-term storage: large wine fridge or wine cellar?
As Dr. Vinny at Wine Spectator explains, wine refrigerators and cellars may achieve the same thing in the shorter term, but only cellars are ideal for long term storage. The consensus among experts is that if you plan to drink the wines within five years, the wine fridge is suitable. Otherwise, you’ll want to invest in a cellar for aging them properly. While wine refrigerators hold constant temperature well, other factors like vibration, light, and humidity are generally not consistent enough.
Still, wine refrigerators are so convenient that many collectors go the hybrid route. Higher capacity wine refrigerators often have dual temperature zones so that you can safely store the reds at 55F and the whites closer to serving temperature. They also take up a lot less space and are less work to set up. Each option clearly has advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to think about what will work best for your needs.
Large Wine Refrigerators
If you’re planning to buy a large wine refrigerator, look for a unit that keeps temperature consistent and has minimal vibration. It should obviously accommodate the number of bottles you need, but don’t forget to look closely at the racking. You should make sure it can handle the sizes and shapes of the bottles in your collection. Make sure the door opens in a good direction for the space you plan to keep the fridge. It’s also helpful if the door is tinted or otherwise treated to protect your bottles from light.
NewAir Premier Gold Series 116-Bottle Built-In Wine Cooler
This built-in wine refrigerator from NewAir is top of the line and we recommend it highly.
It has strong shelves that pull out for easy access, each holding 11 bottles of wine. It’s also dual zone, with each section capable of holding temperatures from 40F to 66F. This is an excellent lower threshold for a large wine refrigerator.
We also love that it has a separate control panel for each zone. No more accidentally changing the wrong zone’s temperature as often happens when there’s just one panel for both.
The door is triple-layered glass, which gives great insulation. The glass is clear instead of tinted, but one of the layers has UV protection. This protects your wine from light while still allowing you to see the bottles clearly.
We also love that this refrigerator has front venting. This means you can use it as a freestanding unit or build it into a space with other cabinetry. Overall, this is an excellent wine refrigerator and a spectacular buy for $850.
Allavino FlexCount 172-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Refrigerator
The Allavino FlexCount is another great wine refrigerator. It has twelve shelves that can hold 11 bottles each and two that can hold 20 for a total capacity of 172. This fridge is also dual zone, but unlike the NewAir, the zones have different ranges.
The upper zone can be set from 44F to 55F and the lower can hold temperatures of 55F to 65F. Furthermore, the lower zone must be set at least 4 degrees warmer than the upper zone, which might be a limitation depending on your needs. Just like the NewAir, each zone has its own digital display for ease of programming.
Despite these limitations, we love the overall design of this refrigerator.
The shelves are strong and the racking accommodates the most versatile collections. It has tinted glass doors and front venting, again allowing for use as a built-in or freestanding refrigerator. The company also boasts the energy efficiency, which may be another consideration for you.
This unit is currently priced at $1650.
Even if you buy a wine refrigerator, it’s hard not to daydream of building a cellar some day. If you’re lucky enough to have a natural cellar, it maybe a fairly inexpensive process. A basement that is cool, dark, and not too damp is a great start. Otherwise, you can work with a contractor to begin the process of designing a cellar for yourself. A small, custom cellar might run you several thousands, but it’s worth considering as your storage needs grow. Your wine collection is an important investment and should be stored as such, at least in a wine rack.
Stackable Modular Wine Rack
Stackable, modular wine racks such as these are an inexpensive way to outfit a new wine cellar. F
or just about $65, this kit allows you to store 72 bottles in six rows of 12. It’s made of unfinished natural pine, so it’s fairly rustic looking.
Still, it gets high marks for being sturdy and economical.
VintageView 9 Bottle Wall Mounted Metal Hanging Wine Rack
Depending on the nature of your cellar, hanging your bottles may be more ideal than stacking them in traditional racks.
In that case, these mounted metal hanging racks from Vintage View are a great choice.
They’re available in satin black, brushed nickel, or chrome. While this unit hold only a single column of 9 bottles, there are variants that store more.
Sorbus 100-Bottle Wine Display
If you prefer metal racking with a more traditional display, these wine shelves from Sorbus are a great option.
They’re easy to assemble and the kit includes all the hardware to construct a 10 by 10 wine rack.
In addition, it has wall-mounting hardware to give it more stability.
Unstained 2 Column Wine Cellar Kit by Wine Racks America
If you plan to buy an extensive collection of wine and are looking for a unit that will keep your wine safe and presentable to your guests, you need a special wine rack.
If you have limited space but plenty of height in your room, then this special 2 column wine cellar kit would be the perfect solution for your wine storage needs. It can handle up to 36 wine bottles safely.
One of the most notable features of this rack is that it is fully integratable with other wine racks from Wine Racks America. This means that if you decide to expand your wine collection over time, you can just attack each new rack to the old.
When picking a wine rack for your wine collection, the most important thing is the material that it is made out of. An excellent construction will prove highly beneficial if you want your racks to age alongside your wine and not have to worry about replacing your storage units.
All the edges of this wine rack are softened to ensure you won’t get nicks or splinters during assembly. As you feel more in love with wine, you might understand the specialty of these wine racks. It can be used as a freestanding unit.
Should you decide to make this wine rack part of your wine collection, you can enjoy a money-back and lifetime guarantee.
- High-quality construction
- Safe storage space for your wine collection
- Lifetime guarantee
- Can easily be knocked over if not assembled properly.
Unstained 82 Bottle Solid Diamond Cube Rack by Wine Racks America
If you are planning to build a large wine collection, you need a high-quality wine rack that will help you store away all of your precious wine safely.
If you have quite an extensive wine collection, this American-made wine rack is just perfect for you. It has a capacity of 82 wine bottles and can fit any 750 ml and 1.5 L bottle. Its essential feature is its decorative toe kick. It enables you to create your own entire seamless wine cellar.
These racks are designed for seamless integration with each other. Should you expand your wine collection over time, you can upgrade your storage capacity with back-to-back units without requiring more access area.
Another advantage is that you can put different kinds of wine separately to keep things nice, clean, and organized.
One thing that is highly beneficial of this particular wine rack is that it has quite a large base, which means that all of your wine will be much safer because this rack can’t just be knocked over by an accidental push.
Furthermore, should you decide to make this rack part of your wine collection, then you can enjoy a 100% money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty.
- Back to back units provides high-capacity storage areas
- Separate racks are available for various kind of wines
- Price is a little high