THE OENOPHILE’S GUIDE TO VINTAGE WINE RACKS
While we won’t pretend to be wine critics, we will say this: we love wine. And sometimes, our wine buying obsession gets a little out of hand—we’re going to blame our proximity to Napa on this one—But when it does, let us say just this: a vintage wine rack comes in very handy.
An oft-overlooked piece of barware, vintage wine racks can hold anywhere from one to ten bottles, with some outliers holding up to hundreds. Other options for vintage wine racks include tabletop racks and wine racks for the wall. Lucite and bamboo are common materials for vintage wine racks, although perhaps none are as popular as the vintage metal wine rack. If that’s enough to get your head spinning (and you haven’t even had a sip yet), read on! We’ve outlined our picks for all levels of wine lovers. Whether you’re a lightweight or an enthusiast, it’s time to meet your pair!
About You: Okay, so you’re not really what one would consider an oenophile. You’ve been to a winery once, and that was at the insistence of your best friend from college. You did however, pick up a dreamy bottle of cab, and now you need an uber cool wine rack to display that baby.
Your Pick: A single bottle holder
Be on the Lookout For: If you’re looking for an unusual wine rack, you can’t do better than a single bottle holder. Often, these pieces are crafted of metal and feature minimalist, sculptural forms. Details can also include rattan or leather wrapping as well. Thanks to their pared-down forms, these wine racks are perfect for highlighting a special bottle (be it sentimental or one with a killer label) without adding clutter. If you’re not into something so abstract, look for figural bottle holders. Manufacturers like Arthur Court are pros at making aluminum wine racks shaped like everything from quacking ducks to darling rabbits.
THE WEEKEND PICNICKER
About You: You might spend all week in an office, but on the weekends you’re a stylist extraordinaire dreaming up ‘gram-worthy getaways that involve sun-dappled locales, decadent cheese boards, and lots of sparkling rosé. Now all you need is an ingenious way to carry all that wine.
Your Pick: A handled bottle carrier
Be on the Lookout For: With their basket-like form, vintage bottle holders evoke the laid-back romance of the French countryside. Galvanized metal and iron are common materials for these vintage wine racks, but look for bottle carriers crafted from rattan and wicker for a more casual feel. In the event you’re not storing wine, these wicker wine racks can be used to hold mason jars full of flowers or condiments at a backyard BBQ.
THE DINNER PARTY SOMMELIER
About You: Some call the dinner party a lost art, but not you. You still get Saveur delivered hardcopy just so you can plan your next affair old school-style—with a glass of wine in hand. Unsurprisingly, you meticulously pair every course with a tasting, meaning that you need a few bottles on the table, and few more stowed in a handy vintage wine rack.
Your Pick: A sleek, stack-and-pack wine caddy
Be on the Lookout For: If you’re looking for a small wine rack, options are plentiful. Metal wall wine racks are common, as are brass wine racks shaped like animals (yes, this is a thing). However, it’s the Danish Modern designs that steal our hearts, thanks to their award-winning combo of function and looks. Frequently featuring wood and metal construction, these vintage wine racks will fit easily in a recessed cabinet, but are pretty enough to pull out when entertaining. If you’re looking for something a bit more avant-garde, however, look for the barware forays of designers like Aldo Tura or Dorothy Thorpe. Their unusual wine racks are just the thing to dress up a bar cart.
About You: You own a wine fridge, but thanks to yearly jet-sets to Chile, Napa, and La Rioja you still have overflow. While you’re looking into getting estimates for that underground wine cave, a large wine rack would be a glorious thing to store those wines that can withstand room temps, like malbecs and merlots.
Your Pick: A large wine rack
Be on the Lookout For: Industrial wine racks are clean and unfussy, making them perfect for just about any interior, but for those looking for a statement piece, we recommend one of the metal and wood wine racks designed by Mid-Century godfather, Arthur Umanoff. With an eye for basic forms and a penchant for mixed media, Arthur Umanoff’s vintage wine racks are unmistakably barware, but feel deceptively like furniture. Umanoff wine racks come in a few different forms, all of them insanely chic, but we absolutely love his large wine racks, which use leather slings to support your wine bottles. Seriously, don’t be surprised if you nix your climate-controlled wine fridge for one of these—they’re that good.