If you’re a wine lover or collector and you’ve suddenly got some time at home on your hands, take this opportunity to create and organize an organic wine cellar. Be it a simple storage design or elaborate cellar, a dozen bottles or hundreds, guest blogger Amy Anthony has some organizational tips for creating an organic wine cellar that is both functional and fun.
The wine cellar…one of my favorite rooms in the entire house. It’s quiet and dark, it’s not cluttered and easy to keep clean, and, most importantly, it’s full of wine! Anyone can walk into the wine cellar with a frown and emerge with an ear to ear smile.
Unless of course, the bottles are a hodgepodge of all the grapes mixed together, and the sparkling wines and reds and whites intermingling, with no order. That does not make for a good time in the wine cellar.
Are you currently in that situation, where you spend forever trying to find something specific in your wine cellar? Or maybe you’re looking to revamp the current organization? Keep reading! I have a few ideas that will help you get that wine cellar into shape, so you don’t have to waste any time searching for the right bottle.
The Organic Wine Cellar Plan
My wine cellar is organized in two different ways. Some may think it’s a little overboard, but please believe me when I say that I never have to spend more than a minute locating the bottle of wine I’m looking for. The plan is two-fold, but, if you would rather just do one or the other, they do work independently of one another.
Before You Begin
A clean wine cellar is really important. Since the room is typically dark and damp, keeping all surfaces clean will prevent any mold or bacteria or mold from finding its way inside. Take all of the wine out and wipe down the individual shelves – a vinegar solution works really well. Save the rest of the vinegar cleaner and use it to clean the floor, assuming it’s a hard surface.
Organize by Category
First, by Type of Wine
While the wines are all out of the cellar, make three separate areas to sort the wine into three main groups:
Then by Type of Grape
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Red Blends
Count out how many you have of each and jot it down. This is just to help you figure out the space you’ll need. Get back in the cellar and map out enough three main sections where you can arrange the different kinds of wines.
Then, assign rows to each type of grape within their sections. You’ll know exactly how many rows you’re going to need based on the numbers you wrote down previously. But, I suggest leaving a few empty spots at the end of each row, or at least within each category of grapes, for when you get additional bottles.
Number the Racks
If you’re going to add the second part of the organization, this part is important to do before adding the bottles of wine back to the cellar. But, if you’re satisfied with how you’ve organized in categories, then skip this step.
Use a permanent marker on the inside of wooden wine racks, or tags that stick onto wire racks to number each one. Start at the very top left corner and work your way across, then down, in the same order that you’d read. Or, if your racks aren’t regular rows, you can just number left to right as you see fit.
Either make or buy tags that will fit around the neck of each bottle. Write the name of each wine on the tag, and the kind of wine it is. As you put them back, if you’ve chosen to number the spots for each bottle, write the number on the tag as well.
You can also make labels or tags for each area of wine, and then labeling the rows as far as the types that are in each one. This makes it much easier to direct someone else if they’re looking for something in the wine cellar, too. Also, you can make really cute labels and that just makes everything extra lovely.
Return the Bottles to their New Homes
As you’re putting the bottles back on the shelves, be very careful not to drop any. A broken bottle of wine is sad, and messy. If you do end up with wine on the floor, be sure to clean it up right away.
If you’re happy with the organization, then you’re done. Now you can pop a bottle of champagne and celebrate all of your hard work.
Organize by Number
Create a Spreadsheet
This sounds way more complicated than it is, especially since you’ve already done most of the hard work. The bottles are already labeled with names, and numbers, and the shelves have been numbered too.
As you’re putting the bottles back into their new homes, either write down the names of each bottle and the number on the tag (it should match the shelf that it’s going into), and then enter it into a spreadsheet. If you’d rather just add the names of each bottle and the numbers directly into a spreadsheet, that will save a little time.
After all of the bottles are on the shelves and they’ve all been added to the spreadsheet, click the sort feature that alphabetizes the list. Print it, and, voila! You have a list of all of your wines in alphabetical order, with the number that corresponds to their location. If you want to be a little extra, you can frame the list and post it on the wall for a little flare.
Now, when you enter the cellar with a specific bottle of wine in mind, you can say to yourself, “where’s that bottle of Koyle Cerro Basalto, locate it on your spreadsheet, and find exactly where it is.
Or, perhaps you’re having friends over for BBQ, and you’re looking for a red blend that would pair perfectly. So you find the “reds” section, and move down to the rows of “red blends,” and pick out the La Joly, because it’s a magical mix of Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Malbec, so it goes well with red meats.
Your wine cellar is now just about as perfect as it can be, but also, picture-worthy when you step back and admire the overall functionality, and the ability to get wine in your glass quicker than ever.
Amy Anthony is a stay-at-home-mom of two, wine enthusiast, and self-proclaimed clean-freak. Amy thrives on having a clean and organized home and enjoys teaching others how they can do the same with minimal effort on her blog Oh So Spotless.