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Sometimes, even the pickiest wine lovers need a little help with making a decision on how to store their bottles. Not everyone has the space or need for an entire wine cellar, but once the time comes that your kitchen cabinets or previous storage methods just aren’t cutting it anymore, it might be time to invest in a rack or two.
Just as there are qualities that go into each bottle of wine that you may or may not love, there are factors to keep in mind when shopping for a rack, including material, capacity, expandability, and stability. Typically made of wood or a sturdy metal, the ultimate goal of wine racks is to save precious space in your home while maintaining the integrity of your bottles.
Here are the best wine racks on the market to help any wine connoisseur find the perfect match.
Best Overall: J.K. Adams Wooden Ash Modular Wine Rack, 12-Bottle
What We Love: Easy assembly, modular design options, expandable, sturdy
What We Don't Love: Basic unfinished look, no plugs for empty dowels holes of assembled rack
Clocking in at around $50 or less, this wine rack is a sustainably sourced ash wood one from J.K. Adams, made in Vermont. This modular design holds twelve bottles (it also stores bottles on the top of the rack), but additional sections can be purchased as needed to house your ever-growing collection.
Another added bonus? This sturdy rack can also be assembled in a traditional square or in a creative design of your choosing to fit your space and home design. One reviewer was even able to make two wine racks that hold six bottles each. Keep in mind that it takes a bit of time to assemble, but the included instructions are easy to follow, users say—just make sure to use a rubber mallet.
This rack comes with extra joining pins and a lifetime guarantee.
Material: Ash wood | Dimensions (LxWxH): 13.25 x 13.25 x 11 inches | Capacity: 12 bottles (expandable)
Best Budget: Oceanstar 18-Bottle Stackable Bamboo Wine Rack
What We Love: Tool-free assembly, can be painted, versatile, simple but elegant design
What We Don't Love: Cannot hold large bottles
Take your pick of stacking these tiers on top of each other by interlocking the blocks and the wave bars together, or keep them side by side, and add on more pieces as your home wine collection grows! The durable bamboo material (whose stained finish gives it a rich look) and timeless wave design will keep your bottles safe, no matter where or how you decide to store your collection.
Reviewers like how simple and quick it is to put together, no tools or screws needed, and that it's surprisingly sturdy. You can also add more tiers to the rack as needed. Note that this rack only fits normal-sized wine bottles (750 mL).
What exactly are the benefits of a wooden wine rack? According to Melissa L. Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services. “In California, wooden racking is necessary because of earthquakes (they absorb vibration), and in other parts of the country that might not be necessary (although I always think it's a good idea simply because it is a softer material)."
Material: Bamboo | Dimensions (LxWxH): 34.5 x 11.9 x 12 inches | Capacity: 18 bottles
Best Space-Saving: Pottery Barn Iron Caddy Tall Wine Rack
What We Love: Handle allows for easy transporting, simple and space-saving industrial design
What We Don't Love: May not accommodate large bottles
Made from sleek and sturdy steel, this caddy features a powder-coated distressed black finish and holds up to 12 standard bottles. This is all while not taking up too much space, thanks to a narrow and simple industrial design.
Tuck this into a dark corner of your kitchen to keep the bottles in ideal condition and easily whip your bottles of booze out as needed.
Material: Steel | Dimensions (LxWxH): 9 x 12.5 x 34 inches | Capacity: 12 bottles
Related: The Best Wine Gifts
Best Countertop: Crate & Barrel 11-Bottle Wine Rack
What We Love: Can be placed horizontally or vertically, multiple finishes available
What We Don't Love: Large bottles may only fit on top section
“If you are looking for a regular wine rack then there is no reason you can't get creative," says Don Adams, general manager and wine enthusiast at Regional Foundation Repair. "You can mount something on the wall, create a stand to sit on top of a sideboard, or a free-standing wine rack; it all boils down to space, really.”
This honeycomb-inspired rack can help you get creative. It will absolutely steal the spotlight on your bar cart or dining room credenza! Featuring slim iron rods and available in four different finishes to suit your style, place this horizontally or vertically to display your favorite bottles for dinner parties or daily use. Not only that, but it's also surprisingly compact despite holding 11 bottles.
Material: Iron | Dimensions (LxWxH): 17.25 x 6 x 11.75 inches | Capacity: 11 bottles
Best for the Fridge: mDesign Plastic Free-Standing Wine Rack Storage Organizer
What We Love: Easy to clean, simple and chic design, bottles do not slip out
What We Don't Love: Doesn’t work for large collections, some larger bottles won't fit
These BPA-free clear plastic stacking storage racks hold two bottles of your favorite rosé or white horizontally each. They're also shatter-resistant. Standing at 4 inches tall and 8 inches wide, they’re easy to fit in nearly every size of refrigerator. The stacking design also makes them great for organizing the bottles at your next wine tasting party.
No wine in the house? Use these space-saving racks to hold similarly sized bottles of water or soda, or perhaps your growing reusable water bottle stash!
The racks are easy to clean with a simple cloth and some mild soap and water—but note that they are not dishwasher-safe.
Material: Plastic | Dimensions (LxWxH): 7.6 x 8 x 4 inches | Capacity: 2 bottles
Related: The Best Wine Fridges
Best Square: Wine Enthusiast 24-Bottle Wooden Wine Rack Cube
What We Love: One-year warranty, easy assembly, can hold large bottles
What We Don't Love: Basic design
Made of Scandinavian pine wood, this cube rack was hand-cut and hand-sanded to give an even grain and color finish that will make a beautiful addition to your home, all while maximizing space. And on top of the beautiful design, users say this rack is stable and sturdily constructed.
Whether you have a penchant for Bordeaux, or save by shopping for larger bottles, this provides ample room for big bottles that many other racks cannot always accommodate.
This cube rack is easy to put together, though it does require tools and may need more than one person to assemble.
Material: Wood | Dimensions (LxWxH): 9 x 20 x 20 inches | Capacity: 24 bottles
Related: The Best Stemless Wine Glasses
Need something budget-friendly that can be expanded over time? Our best overall pick can also check that box. Find the J.K. Adams Hardwood 12-Bottle Wine Rack at The Container Store. The Oceanstar 18-Bottle Stackable Bamboo Wine Rack is also affordable, and cheaper than some on this list (view at Amazon).
What to Look for When Buying a Wine Rack
Are you a novice collector? Or do you consider yourself to be a seasoned pro? The number of bottles you typically have on hand at a time will be the main determining factor in deciding exactly how much storage you need. Luckily, most racks can accommodate expansions as needed.
In addition to how much wine a rack can hold, keep in mind what type of bottles you’ll be storing. Some bottles are on the wider side, while others are more narrow, and not all will fit safely in every rack and may need to be stored only on the top.
“Not all bottle sizes are the same, and you need to take that into consideration when purchasing racking, as well as where and how they will be stored, says Melissa L. Smith of Enotrias.
The amount of weight each rack can hold depends on how many bottles it is designed to fit, which you can easily determine when shopping. One standard bottle of wine usually weighs around 3 pounds, which the manufacturer has likely kept in mind when designing the style of the rack in question, no matter the material.
Mounted or Freestanding
If you’re looking to save space, mounting your rack might be the right move. But for larger collections, choose freestanding storage. Depending on the retailer you’re shopping with, assembly may be required to put your rack together, with some sites even offering expert assembly for an added cost. So don’t sweat it if you aren’t feeling handy!
In case you live somewhere prone to earthquakes or other potential natural disasters, look into manufacturer warranties and your home insurance policy to give you added peace of mind.
"If you have a basement, or even a crawl space then I recommend you use that to store your wine," says Don Adams of Regional Foundation Repair. "Of course, you can have some bottles readily available within easy reach, but if you are a collector, like myself, start looking for solutions.”
Whether you’re looking to keep it simple with a minimal design for your large collection or to highlight select bottles on a modular option, there are plenty of design options out there, just as there are plenty of wine options. If you’re looking for something multifunctional, take a look at credenzas that contain additional storage and racks that come complete with a glass rack for easy access to your favorite glasses.
Are wine racks necessary?
Those who enjoy wine collecting know that it simply takes up a lot more space than collections of other items. If you don’t usually have more than a few bottles on hand or only stock up for special occasions, a countertop rack that can be used for function and design will be right up your alley. But if you consider yourself a connoisseur, a larger storage solution that keeps your bottles safe and sound will give you added peace of mind and save a lot of kitchen space.
Are wood or metal wine racks better?
Wooden racks are more traditional, as they are commonly seen in wine cellars, while metal or plastic options tend to have a modern design. Metal racks tend to be on the more narrow side in comparison to a wooden rack, perfect if you’re living in a small space! Racks made of wood are usually larger in scale, are equipped to hold large quantities of wine, and are sturdier and more durable by design.
Where is the best place to put a wine rack?
At the end of the day, if you aren’t storing your wine in the right space, the type of rack you go with doesn’t matter. Wine is best stored in a cool and dark area, away from direct sunlight, with the bottles horizontal so the cork can stay moist; this prevents oxygen from entering the bottle and spoiling the flavor and odor.
“Depending on where you live, the weather is a bigger factor in wine storage than how you store your wine. Wine needs to be at a steady temperature; overheating wine can ruin it. For example, if you store your wine in Florida and it's 80 degrees one day, and then you turn the AC on and bring the temperature down to 65 degrees then back up again, this is not great for wine storage.” - Monique Soltani, Wine Oh TV, Host + Wine Expert
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
To choose the best options for this article, freelance writer Jacqueline Weiss consulted third-party and consumer reviews, spoke with experts, and considered functionality, design, and price.
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