Capacity and Upkeep: The Versatility of Metal Wine Racks

For hundreds of years, people worldwide have relied on all types of wood to construct their wine racks. But over the last few decades, a new style of racking has come into vogue–one that offers some distinct advantages that wood cannot match. While wooden wine racks will always be a safe and reliable method of storing wine, there are a variety of reasons metal wine racks have been gaining in popularity.

Once you have decided to have a wine cellar built, the choice of wine racks will be your next crucial decision, and there are a few important factors that this decision should take into account.

Before this becomes a battle over traditional design vs modern design, we will not be comparing the aesthetic quality of each. Instead, we want to focus on two key areas: bottle capacity and the difficulty of upkeep.

If your wine collection is large, or your space limited, optimizing the capacity of your wine racks will be essential.


Broadly speaking, when it comes to determining the size of your collection and the capacity of your wine racks, metal wine racks can be a significant space saver when compared against wooden wine racks. Wooden wine racks demand at least an inch of thickness–possibly more, depending on the size of the bottles–as compared to a few millimeters for metal wine racks. This is because of the different structural integrity of the two materials. Metal can be condensed and composed of several durable ingredients, allowing even a few millimeters of metal to bear a large amount of weight.

Unless you are constructing your wooden wine racks with composite wood (not recommended in the slightest), the wood will need to be at least an inch thick to maintain its strength and integrity. That thickness spread across many wine racks and shelves will quickly cap your cellar’s bottle capacity at a point that metal racks would not.

Another major factor you should consider when weighing wood against metal wine racks is their respective ease of maintenance.

When it comes to metal wine racks, a clean cloth, some rubbing alcohol, and a little compressed air will keep your metal racks sparkling clean, free of any grime or particulates.

Wooden wine racks require a little more tender loving care to keep them looking brand new. Depending on the wood, anything from a semi-coarse cloth to super fine sandpaper may be necessary to prevent dust from taking over your wine racks.

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Finally, we wanted to bring attention to a minor detail when choosing the wood of your wine racks.

If you are not careful about the construction of your wine cellar, you could end up with an aromatic wood that affects the flavor of the wine through the cork.

One such example is cedar wood. While experts argue over how strongly cedar wine racks can affect the flavor profile, it remains a risk not worth taking, especially if you are just starting to assemble your collection. Unless there is something very wrong with your metal wine racks, you should never have an issue with aromas potentially interfering with the quality of the wine.

Considering these factors for building your wine cellar can help you determine the right kind of wine racks to show off your collection. If you would like help seeing the wine cellar of your dreams in your home right now (with wooden or metal shelves), give our VR Demo a try or give us a call at (800) 659-WINE (9463).

Posted in Wine Cellar Tips

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