A friend asked me to find her a handsome wine rack for her bedroom because her recent grad roommates consistently drink any "booze" she leaves in the kitchen. Natch, I agreed. There are plenty of stylish wine racks, so I knew it wouldn't be a difficult task. There are lots of interesting modern ones these days, like the Harry Allen Pile Wine Rack ($65), Dennis Lin Cru Wine Rack ($150), and Crate & Barrel Shesham Wine Rack ($30), but when it comes to my own vino, I'm partial to simple, functional storage. To hear my picks for the good, better, and best wine racks,
Good: The CB2 Cellar Wine Rack ($39.95) marks the spot! Its criss cross shape is visually interesting and a bit modern, especially when stacked to hold a larger collection. Made of sheet metal with a gunmetal finish, it's sturdy and will hold up well. Each rack holds 12 bottles, which is a decent amount for someone who's just beginning a collection, or the perfect amount for anyone throwing a cocktail party.
Better: The World Market Riddling Wine Rack ($99.99) is in the shape of original riddling racks used by vineyards to store champagne. Riddling is the process of slightly shaking or turning each bottle to consolidate the sediment in the wine so it could be removed. Vineyard staff had the laborious task of turning each bottle a fraction, sometimes over 30,000 bottles per day. Now, there are machines to do this task for them, but I think using the classic design as wine storage is a nice nod to history. This rack holds up to 35 standard-size wine bottles with corks facing down to keep them properly moist, but it is also available in a 12 bottle size.
Best: The Container Store Design-Your-Own Wine ($24.99) is notably less expensive than the Riddling rack, but there are a few reasons why it's my pick for best. For one, its simple, modular design allows for the storage to be expanded upon so if your wine collection grows, you can stack more racks vertically or horizontally. Also, the natural hardwood can be finished or painted to match any décor. And, it's classic and understated, keeping the focus on the collection of wine itself, rather than perhaps a love for modern design, which could be a passing phase anyways. The Container Store will likely always have this product in their inventory, but if not, it's a common design in wood factories, like J.K. Adams in Dorset, VT.