You’ve just designed and built the custom wine cellar of your dreams. You’ve joined some wine clubs and ordered bulk shipments of some of your favorite vintages. And why not? You FINALLY have a proper place to store them. Now you’re wondering, “What is the best way to stock my wine cellar so I can easily find the bottle I want when I want it?” Or, “How am I going to manage my collection so that I don’t lose track of inventory?” You are not alone. We hear these types of questions all the time.
We work with a broad range of clients from wine enthusiasts to hard core wine collectors, and wine investors. In the early stages of planning a wine cellar we ask our clients all the same questions. What is in your collection? How would you like to organize it in your wine cellar? Some of our clients have specific ideas based on experience or entertaining style and others are unsure.
Of course, there is no right or wrong way to stock your wine cellar but there are some tips and tricks to organization and aesthetics that we thought you might find helpful.Start with A Functional Wine Cellar Rack Design
Wine cellar rack design includes individual bottle display wine racks, angled display rows and bulk wine storage.
Individual bottle display wine racks can be configured cork-forward or label-forward. Depending on your capacity requirements and design preferences, you can choose one configuration or incorporate both into your design.
In your wine rack consider including an angled display row or two. These rows are carefully angled for keeping corks wet and are a perfect way to showcase your favorite bottles. An added benefit of an angled display row is the opportunity to add lighting to further highlight the featured wines.
If you are building a wine cellar, chances are you’re buying wine in bulk. Be sure to consider bulk storage in your wine rack design. This type of storage is most often located near the floor. That way, when you are stocking a new shipment of wine, you don’t have to lift heavy cases up high or over your head. Safety first!Stock Your Cellar Based on How and When You Will Enjoy Your Wine
Once your wine cellar is finished and it is move in day it's time to consider how best to organize your wines. By having a plan from day one, it will take the time and frustration out of selecting or finding bottles when you are ready to relax and enjoy them. Here are a couple of tried and true approaches.
Organize wine bottles by when you are going to drink them. Keep your “house wines” at arm’s length so you can easily grab them and go. Also referred to as your “daily drinkers,” these are the bottles you want to have near eye level so you can monitor inventory and easily stock. If you have a pouring station or glassware storage, then close proximity to either of these features makes sense as well.
Another way to organize your collection is by wine region. This approach is popular for our clients who travel extensively to build their collection. Designate areas of the wine cellar for each region. Use angled display rows as visual cues for what is stored nearby.
If you love a good wine pairing, and who doesn’t, consider storing your wine collection by varietal. This makes it easy to pull the perfect bottle for dinner. Consider stocking label-foward view bottles so they “point” to more of the same varietal to their left or right.Manage Your Cellar for Maximum Enjoyment
As with everything else these days, there’s an app for that. Free apps are widely available and provide options to scan bottles in and out using labels or barcodes. In addition to inventory tracking, many apps have other helpful features such as tasting notes, alerts to tell you when bottles are ready to drink, recommendations for your evolving palate, and much more.
If cellar management is not your thing, consider hiring a sommelier. Sommeliers often provide a range of services for private collectors from helping you to develop your palate, to building your collection accordingly as well as helping with wine cellar inventory and organization. If you’ve recently completed your wine cellar, it is a great time to engage a sommelier.
Stocking, organizing and managing your wine collection should not be cumbersome or time consuming. Keep organization in mind when working with a consultant to design your cellar, stock your cellar based on how you plan to enjoy your collection and implement a management approach that works for you.
Looking to build a wine cellar that is custom designed for your collection? Contact Vineyard Wine Cellars at 866-973-1100 or email@example.com.
About the author
Megan Hoffman is a marketing professional with a focus on brand development and growth in the wine industry. She is a wine enthusiast with expertise in wine marketing, wine education, and wine country travel. Visit her LinkedIn profile here.