As an accompaniment to many a delicious meal, whether at lunchtime or in the evening, a good bottle of wine makes a fine addition to almost any occasion. The popularity of wine drinking has increased enormously since drinkers started to discover the wines of the New World, such as the United States of America and Australia, and those of South America from Argentina and Chile. Any household that drinks wine needs a good wine rack to store bottles safely and correctly, and to ensure that the wine is kept in optimum condition. Wine racks come in all shapes and sizes, from those that hold just one bottle to those that can hold dozens. It is usually recommended that wine bottles be kept horizontally or slightly tilted, the neck of the bottle being slightly pointing upwards for the tilt. For tilted bottles, this allows the lees or sediment of wine to settle at the bottom of the bottle, whereas for those laid horizontally, the lees settles in the middle of the bottle and will not spoil the wine when poured. Storage of wine bottles upright is not recommended as the cork will dry out, allowing air into the bottle and spoiling the drink. A wine rack will also keep the kitchen, dining room, cellar, or other storage place tidy, enabling quick and easy access to the bottles when required.
About Wine Racks
Wine, the liquid from fermenting grapes, has been made for many thousands of years and in many parts of the world, was often kept in barrels or vats as well as glass containers with corks. The development of technology for mass-producing bottles meant that it became easy for wine producers to get bottles in which to sell their wine. Although there appears to be no definitive history of wine racks, it is likely that early versions were used for centuries to store and age wine. Most bottles of wine are shaped the same, with a thin, cylindrical neck leading to a wider cylindrical body. These will hold red, white, and rose wines, and they are sealed either with cork, synthetic cork, or metal screw top lids. All of these will fit into standard wine racks that hold bottles containing 750ml of liquid, and usually they will also accommodate bottles of champagne and sparkling wine. It is a good idea to check exactly what sizes of bottle a wine rack will hold if champagne needs to be stored. The glass used in champagne bottles is thicker than for wine bottles as it needs to contain liquid at a high level of pressure. The range of sizes and styles available for buying wine racks from eBay will suit both the casual wine drinker who just wants to have a few bottles available, to the specialist collector who may have a cellar with multiple racks for storing many dozens of bottles.
Wine Rack Materials
Wood and metals are the most usual materials for making a wine rack, with wood proving especially popular for its aesthetic appearance. Due to the flexibility of metal manufacturing processes, there are many delightful and quirky shapes and sizes that can found when real time is taken to review and browse through the possibilities. Metals may include aluminium, stainless steel, steel, and chrome, and with thousands of options to choose from, it is easy to get the right type of material to suit the room where the wine rack will be located. There are also wine racks that are made of both metal and wood.
Most early wine racks were made out of wood, and the champagne houses in France used racks on walls made of oak into which they would insert the head of the bottle. Oak is still a very popular wood used in the manufacture of wine racks, with most wood today being sourced from sustainable forests. Other woods that are used to make wine racks, and that can be found on eBay, include ash, beech, mahogany, rosewood, and walnut. Many home decors can be enhanced by a careful choice of wood type and colour in a wine rack.
Steel and stainless steel are frequently used for making wine racks. Carbon steel has an alloy that is mainly carbon, with stainless steel containing chromium, making the metal resistant to both rust and tarnishing. The flexible nature of the metals during the manufacturing process allows them to be shaped into practically any suitable shape for holding wine bottles. Steel wine racks should be kept in an atmosphere that is as moisture free as possible to prevent any possibility of tarnishing or rusting.
Chrome, or chromium oxide, is a metal that is used to coat other metals to help prevent corrosion. Chrome is known for its brightness when polished, hence its use as a decorative and protective coating on car parts. Chrome is also used for furniture parts and for plumbing fixtures, and it is normally applied by electroplating.
Choosing and Buying a Wine Rack
The first rule when searching for a wine rack is to do thorough research. If, for example, there is not much space to spare either in the kitchen or another storage area, the most appropriate size may be for six bottles or, if space allows, a dozen. When buying wine with corks, as opposed to synthetic corks or screw-on metal lids, it is best to avoid siting a wine rack in a moist atmosphere. Moisture can cause damage to corks over a period of time, and could thus damage the contents of the bottle. If the kitchen has a good extractor fan, it should be suitable for a wine rack, and if the rack can be housed in a cupboard or a room with a dry atmosphere, there are unlikely to be any problems.
Novelty Wine Racks
For special occasions, a wine rack may be found in novelty shapes that will provide a conversation piece for guests at the dining table. These are fun novelty items, and may include a bottle holder in the shape of a stiletto heel, a wine rack shaped like a large cog, or in the shape of a favourite car or truck. Remember to double check to make sure that the wine rack is suitable for the wine being stored. Novelty wine racks, whilst being great gift ideas, may only be able to hold one or two bottles, which, for the wine conoisseur, may not be ideal.
Wine Racks for Collectors and Connoisseurs
Many people are fascinated by wine and are happy to drink it whenever appropriate, as well as enjoying collecting a few bottles of the many different types and vintages. The serious wine collector and connoisseur may wish to build up a much larger collection of bottles, and will, therefore, require a wine rack with potential for growth. It is worthwhile looking for wine racks that can house dozens of bottles at one go, adding to the number of racks as the collection grows. For even larger stores, wines may be arranged by country of origin, colour of wine, or by its age. Different coloured wine racks are easily available to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the wine display, enabling the different varieties and categories of wine stand out in a cellar or larger room.
Types of Wine Rack
The choice of which type of wine rack is most suitable comes down to how many bottles are likely to be housed at any one time and how much room is available in the home. If there is plenty of floor space that can be used, a free standing wine rack could work best. These also look attractive with a number of different designs available, and metal ones work well in rooms that have clean, clear lines. Some kitchens may have a ceiling area where hanging wine racks can be installed. This type can often be seen in pubs or restaurants, and they are an excellent choice when seeking to save space. If there is plenty of space on a worktop, a counter top wine rack should fit in neatly. These are made in stylish and visually attractive shapes and can usually hold up to a dozen bottles. With the choice of thousands of wine racks available, once the decision has been taken as to size, material, and shape, then finding a wine rack on eBay is a simple process.
Finding a Wine Rack on eBay
Wine racks are easily available on eBay and can be found by either navigating through the category tree or by typing in search terms into the search function. Using the category search, wine racks can be found by clicking on Home & Garden followed by Home & Garden again. From here, select Furniture & Living and then head straight to Cookware, Dining & Bar to quickly locate wine racks.
A wine rack can last for many years, though it is important to take the time to compare prices and styles before reaching a decision. Prospective customers should also check out a seller’s reputation, which can be done easily using the tools on the eBay pages. Buyers may also want to consider if their wine-buying and drinking habits will change, making a new wine rack required sooner rather than later. Whatever the decision, there will always be a wide range of choice on eBay auctions and sales.