There is a reason people call me the Wine Lady. I don’t take offense. I do love the fruit of the grape and can extol its virtues for hours on end. I have been known to offer wine tastings in my home for special friends and family.  I have my preferences, but my collection is pretty eclectic. I don’t buy cases of the same thing in order to titillate my jaded palate. My issue for today’s blog is storage. What on earth to do with the overload when the wine fridge is full and your wine cave is basically your empty basement. You look around for scraps of wood.

For now, the basement will have to do until I move—and who does that just to house more wine? I am not discounting it, but for now I am thinking temporary solutions. I have looked endlessly for nice wine racks and most are decent enough, but limited in space. They come in just a few sizes, maybe for twelve at most, and wood finishes. They are often seen as a décor item, which doesn’t suit my needs for maximum storage. My basement does not have a particular “look” so I am going for the biggest I can get—and maybe the cheapest, too.

While most whites feel at home in a cold, temperature-regulated environment such as a wine refrigerator, the reds flourish in a cool room without excessive heat. You can stack them in a closet or your garage if you have the space. I like the idea of keeping everything together and organizing them according to type: merlot, pinot noir, zinfandel, etc. My basement therefore is going to be the proud recipient of some new shelves to accompany the almost industrial size refrigeration unit I bought last year, when my collection started spilling over the kitchen. I couldn’t drink it fast enough! Ha! Seriously, I am building some simple wood shelves with slots for category divisions. I don’t think you need a lot of fancy tools or skills for this kind of job.

Rejecting the few wood scraps I found lying about, I decided to go ask the pros. After consulting the salesman at the local lumber yard, I arrived at the ideal size and had the wood cut to size on their router table. It looked like one of these ones. Easy! Then I sanded each piece so I don’t get splinters. A few whacks of the hammer and some sturdy nails were all it took to fashion some real storage, not unlike what you find at the wine merchant. The fun part was putting all the reds away. I hadn’t really surveyed my collection in a while and I took the opportunity to do a proper inventory. Then I know just what gaps existed and how many bottles to acquire to round out the array.