How To Organize Your Wine Collection

Whether you’re an amateur who enjoys a glass with supper or an aficionado with a taste for the vintages, wine collecting is a rewarding hobby. 

You’ve probably already designated a space in your home for your collection and have invested in specialized coolers to keep your bottles safe, resulting in a literal application of the phrase “aged like fine wine.”

But have you ever thought about organizing your bottles? What happens when your collection grows large enough, and you need to keep them tidy? Here are our top tips for organizing your wine cellar.

Start By Getting the Right Tools For the Job

Wine collectors already know that climate control is a necessity for any long-term wine storage. The right wine cellar temperature range and moisture levels ensure that your bottles stay fresh for however many years you intend to age them. Avoid direct contact with sunlight or fluctuating temperatures.

To that end, invest in one or a few wine cellar refrigerators or some premium racks. An angled display allows the wine to always be in contact with the cork, preventing the latter from drying out and becoming ineffective. You can also add lights to such a display to show off your collection.

Wine tags have become a popular toy for the meticulous wine enthusiast. These paper tags attach to the neck of the bottle and face out when the wine is laid on its side during storage. You can record useful information like:

  • Variety
  • Vintage
  • Price
  • Country of origin
  • Winery

You can even color code these tags. It’s not uncommon to have tag colors denote when wines are ready to drink and when they need to be aged a little longer first.

And finally, some sort of inventory tracking system might be beneficial as well. There are even mobile apps that use your smartphone’s camera to scan barcodes and labels quickly for easy identification. These services also allow you to write your own tasting notes and keep track of the age of certain bottles.

How Do You Fill a Wine Cellar?

If you’re filling in your racks and fridges for the first time, the next question is what order to start shelving the bottles. A few options we recommend are:

  • By region of origin: If your collection is filled with international and foreign wines, then perhaps you can section off the bottles based on country of origin. All Italian wines go on one shelf, while the French ones go on another for instance.
  • By varietal: A fairly practical organization method is putting bottles together that pair well with certain foods. Certain meats or cheeses, for instance, pair well with certain red and white wines. This way, you can quickly find what you need at dinnertime.
  • By order of consumption: The simplest and most obvious option is simply setting up your wines in the order in which you expect to drink them. For the bottles you might be using the most, place them near the entrance of the cellar at eye level to make them the most accessible.

  • When showing off individual bottles, it’s up to the owner whether to show them with the labels facing forward or the corks. There’s no one right answer to cellar design, so get creative and personalize it.

    What Are the Best Ways To Organize a Wine Cellar?

    Knowing how to organize a wine cellar is an essential skill if you’re expecting to purchase a lot of wine in the future or you’ve already ordered in bulk. The earlier you start, the less time it will take down the road to sort everything out.

    The sorting options we presented in the previous section are only recommendations. The truth is that your ideal method of organization comes down to your own needs and preferences. Think to yourself: when you want to open up a new bottle of wine, which one are you likely to reach for first?

    • Would it be the most expensive one for that special occasion?
    • Or do you want a specific country’s wine on a particular day?
    • What if certain varieties appeal to you most?
    • Do you look for a specific vintage?
    • And what if you often look for one specific bottle each time you head down to the cellar?

    The answers to these questions should point you in the right direction as to how you want to organize your wine cellar. Keep in mind that even “categories” of wines can still be subcategorized for even finer sorting. All your French wines could be on one shelf, for example, and then each bottle could be organized by age so that you’re always reaching for a wine at its optimal drinking time.

    For some wine connoisseurs, the answer lies in letting the experts handle it. If you don’t want the responsibility of managing a cellar yourself, consider hiring a sommelier. These wine professionals handle anything from organizing your inventory to recommending new wines to try according to your current palate.

    Get Your Wine Collection Going with KingsBottle

    Whether you need quality wine racks, wall-mounted wine pegs, or high-end wine coolers, KingsBottle has you covered as the ultimate supplier for wine cellar management. Get in touch with us if you want to perfect your collection.