There are many aspects to consider when providing the right conditions for maturing wine:
- maintain humidity at acceptable levels,
- keep the temperature constant at cellar equivalent,
- minimize direct and bright light,
- eliminate any movement of the wine.
All of the above conditions are important but can be completely negated if your wine is not stored correctly. This is even more the case if you are storing wine for any amount of time and also you will want the wine located in a safe place. There are lots of ways to store wine but the safest and smartest is to use wine racks.
Wine racks are the most common form of wine accessories and the choice of a wine rack should be governed primarily by its ability to properly store your wine. In this regard there are several styles to choose from, including wine racks that stack, wall mounted wine racks and side mounted wine racks.
Size of your wine rack is also an important consideration as racks can vary enormously, ranging from those capable of storing just a few bottles to wine racks able to store hundreds if not thousands of bottles.
There are many varieties and designs to select from – contemporary, antique or utilitarian, and much will depend on your wine storage needs, the space available and your budget.
Undoubtedly the best type of wine racks are those that provide horizontal storage. Horizontal wine racks are very affordable and easy to extend – more racks can be added to the design with little to no problem.
Many people think that vertical racks are a good choice for storing wine but this is not the case. Wine that is stored on vertical wine racks have the bottles pointing skywards which means that the cork will dry out and eventually will start to shrink. This is a most unfortunate occurrence as it brings air into the wine and ruins it. Only if you are storing wine for a very short period of time should you consider vertical wine racks.
It is best that tilted wine racks also be avoided as they too can dry out the corks or just as bad, deposit sediment too close to the cork. So stay with horizontal wine racks and you cannot go wrong. Horizontal racks keep the cork moist and prevent unwanted air from entering the bottle and making contact with the wine.
The most popular materials used for wine racks are wood or metal. The placement of wine racks is limited only by imagination – there are hanging wine racks (suspended from ceilings), wall mounted wine racks and floor standing racks.
Metal wine racks are obviously the strongest, coming in steel, iron and chrome usually. However, wood is a more flexible material and racks made from wood can always be easily added to. Building wooden wine racks is something many home handymen can do and the end result is invariably visually appealing, durable and strong.
In summary, a wine rack is more than a good investment for if you appreciate your wine. Certainly it enables you to show off your wine collection and it provides a convenient means of storing your wine in the one place. Most importantly though, horizontal wine racks store your wine in a manner which is most beneficial to the maturing process and protects the contents against the intrusion of unwanted air.
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