How to Organize Your Wine Cellar
You finally have a beautiful wine cellar with enough room to store your impressive collection of wine. It's such a great feeling to know that your wine has its own home in your home.
But there's just one problem: Your wine is completely unorganized. That makes it both difficult and time consuming to locate the perfect bottle in your cellar.
In this post, we’ll give you tips on how to organize your cellar (and why you should). Let’s get started.
The Benefits of Organizing Your Wine Cellar
There are a lot of reasons why you should take the time to organize your white cellar:
When your cellar is disorganized, you'll spend a lot of time trying to locate that one bottle you're looking for. And because your wine cellar is probably somewhere between 55°F to 57°F, you probably don't want to spend too long inside there searching for your favorite bottle of Merlot. You want to get in and get out quickly.
Reduce Chaos and Clutter
A cluttered wine cellar? It's possible. Especially if you're an enthusiastic wine collector and have joined a wine club—or several! Before you realize it, those wine subscription boxes have stacked up and created major clutter in your space.
Having a spot in your home that's disorganized can be stressful. Even if you don't spend a lot of time in your cellar, just knowing that you have an untidy cellar can make you feel stressed out.
When you've organized your cellar, you can determine what you have and what is obviously missing from your inventory. That gives you a green light to buy more.
Sure, you can buy more, but you can also save more by not buying redundant labels that you already have.
Tips to Organize Your Wine Cellar
1. Start With a Great Shelving System
If you haven't already, it's crucial that you install racks or shelves in your wine cellar. This way, you can make the most of every square foot in your cellar. Plus, you can organize your wines into a system that makes sense and looks aesthetically pleasing.
Not sure where to start?
We offer a collection of wine racks to fit various interior styles. Whether your wine collection is small or large, you'll find the right wine rack accessories to fit in your space.
In our wood rack collection, we have slat bins, individuals, and racks that can accommodate cases. For screw tops or wines that you'd like to display, we also have shelving that fits into tight corners.
In our metal rack collection, we offer a wide selection of sleek and modern wall panels that are easy to install. These wall panels can allow you to store you wine horizontally with the label forward or with the cork forward
Check out our wood wine racks here, and our metal wine racks here.
2. Decide How You'd Like to Sort Your Wine
There are many different ways to sort your wine bottles. Here are a few suggestions:
One of the simplest ways to organize your wine is by color. But just because it's simple does mean that it's ineffective. Many wine sellers and grocery stores choose this method because it's easy to organize, especially if you're just starting your wine collection. Plus, adding new wine to your collection is super simple when you choose this option. Store all of your reds together, your whites together, and your sparklings together. This arrangement works well if you have a balance of these different colors.
Organize your wine by grape type, such as Merlot, Syrah, and Sauvignon. If you've decided to group your wines by color, this is the next layer of organization. For example, if you have plenty of reds, you may wish to further organize them by varietal, such as Malbec, Grenache, and Pinot Noir.
Do you have a global collection? Even if you have a national collection of wine, you'll find that your collection represents several different regions in a particular country—that includes the United States. In the US, the top wine regions include California, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Arizona. Every region offers its own unique flavor.
Find where each bottle of wine in your collection was produced. This can help you determine if organizing by region is the best option for you. If most of your wines come from the same region, it makes more sense to choose a different method of organizing.
Not all wines should be cellared. Most wines are meant to be enjoyed within 2 to 3 years after purchase. If you have wine that should be aged, consider organizing your collection by “best drink by” date.
In your wine cellar, you may have wines that vary considerably in price. The least expensive in your collection will probably become your everyday wine. It's best to organize this wine in a more accessible spot. And you can tuck away the more expensive wines you intend to age or you wish to reserve for special occasions. This arrangement is good if you have an even mix of both expensive and inexpensive wine. This way you can organize based on price, with the least expensive bottles being the most accessible. However, if most of your wine falls within the same price range, it's probably best to go with a different organization system.
By Wine Producer
As you collect more wines you may find that you prefer certain wine producers over others. These brands may produce the same varietal but offer different vintages.
3. Tag Your Wine Bottles
When storing wine long term (i.e. longer than a week), you should store it horizontally, on its side.
Storing your wine on its side is important for two reasons: First, storing wine horizontally saves space. Second, and most importantly, it protects your collection. Doing so ensures that the wine bottle corks do not dry out. If the cork dries out, it can shrink and allow air to enter the bottle, which will prematurely age the wine.
But even though it's best to store wine on its side, this arrangement does create a problem when it comes to organizing your cellar. You can't read the labels. And the last thing you want to do with the wine that you're storing long term is to handle it more than necessary. Vibrations, even though they may only be small movements, unsettle the sediments in your wine which can corrupt its delicate flavor. This is why you don't want to move the wine after you've settled it into one spot.
But how do you know what wine you're choosing if you're unable to move the bottles to see?
Add tags to your bottles.
Tags make it easy to identify every bottle in your cellar at a glance—and without handling them. Tags are also easy to apply. They simply slide onto the corks of your bottles.
What should you include on your tags?
- The name of the wine
- The type of wine
- The vintage
- The region
- The best drink by date
- The price of the wine
- When you purchased it
- Where you purchased it
Adding this information to your wine tags can help you remember the special circumstances around your wine purchase (if you received it as a gift or purchased it on a vacation). These can be conversation starters when you enjoy a bottle with your friends and family.
You can usually find information about your wine online through a Google search.
You can purchase wine tags online or you can buy all-purpose gift tags and turn them into wine tags. Wine tags don't really need to be fancy. They just need to be informative.
4. Create a Digital Inventory of Your Bottles
After you've gone through the painstaking step of labelling every bottle of wine in your cellar, it's time to transfer that information onto a spreadsheet or wine inventory app, like VinoCell or InVintory. These apps let you remotely manage your wine collection. You can scan labels into your database, add notes, and quickly see what you have in stock without taking a trip down to the wine cellar.
Which wine cellar organization method works best?
There's no right or wrong way to organize your wine. Choose any of the above systems or create your own method that will work best for your personality and your space. Ultimately, the way you organize your cellar is a personal choice, because what works well for one person won't be as effective for someone else.