Wine Cellar Innovations Blog

ArchivesJune 2019 - Wine Cellar Innovations Blog

Opening a Bottle of Wine with Household Items

June 27th, 2019

We had to share this funny wine video of how to open a bottle of wine. We’ve all been in that position, haven’t we? Lost your corkscrew and you start scrambling for something to open that gosh-darn bottle of wine? Well, here are a few handy ideas. They are SUPER easy to use? Or are they? Which ones are your favorite?

Customer Service Is “Best Part” Of Client’s WCI Experience

June 27th, 2019

We love hearing from valued clients about their WCI experience. We also appreciate any constructive criticism that they may have. These reviews are very helpful in guiding us to improve both our products and services. But when clients give glowing reviews, that is truly a blessing. It shows that we are on the right track and we are achieving our goal of providing 100% customer satisfaction. So for today’s Testimonial Thursday, we’re sharing this wonderful testimonial from our client Jaeson. Our customer service was the best part of his WCI experience – and we are darned proud of that!

Wine bottles in shallow-depth racking

Jaeson was in the process of completing his DIY wine cellar. He went about purchasing some racking units from our Traditional Series wine rack kits. Our Traditional Series is one of our more affordable kits which is highly recommended for entry-level wine cellars or smaller projects. It was certainly the right choice for the client’s wine storage purposes. As you can see from the photo below, Jaeson purchased some Individual Bottle Storage, Curved Corners, and Open Diamond Cubes. He chose unstained Rustic Pine for his wood option.

You can clearly see from this picture that the necks of the wine bottles are popping out from the racks. This is one of the most distinct features of the series. It provides for shallow depth racking which is perfect for compact spaces. But while the units are real space-savers, the safety of the bottles are never compromised. Each bottle is securely cradled in a 1 7/16″ square cut bottom rail. These rails make it the bottles are stored securely above the floor level so they would not break accidentally by hitting a hard floor. Plus, the bottles popping out are very aesthetically pleasing. The client really enjoyed his DIY adventure with our Traditional Series so check out his full testimonial below:

Traditional Series in Rustic Pine - unstained

“I’m extremely happy and felt it was a great experience from start to finish. Everything was easy from ordering to building to enjoying after. The best part was the customer service because we had an issue with a rack and they sent out a new one immediately. I highly recommend.”

~Jaeson K.~

Technical Tuesday Episode #433: Custom Black Walnut Beauty

June 25th, 2019

If you were to choose your wood for your wine racks, what would you go with? There would naturally be a number of things to consider such as budget and commercial availability of the wood type. Thankfully, we have that covered for you here at WCI. We have stock wood options that are available any time. But for those who prefer specific varieties, we also provide non-stock choices. Since we manufacture our own products, we are able to keep the cost reasonable for our clients. So for today’s Tech Tuesday, we have this beautiful custom project that deviated from the standard wood options:

Project # 298207
Wood: Custom / Black Walnut
Bottle Capacity: 394
Where: Charleston, SC

Custom Black Walnut racksOur customer from Charleston, SC requested for a compact wine storage to host their collection. Since space was quite limited, our design team went for a glass-enclosed layout. A stretch of empty wall space in the client’s home provided enough room for the project. To ensure that bottle storage is maximized, custom racking was utilized. You can see from the photos that there is a nice variety in bottle storage options. You have wine bottle displays, Open Diamond Bins, custom shelving, and even storage for magnums. Plus, glass panels and lighting accessories made the racking assembly appear really  spacious:

Storage shelves for magnumsNow let’s talk about the material for the wine racks. As we earlier mentioned, the client went for a non-stock wood option. They chose Black Walnut for the racks, complemented by a Dark Walnut Stain. Black Walnut is a very stunning wood, known for its rich color. It has an elegant appearance, even when unstained. The wood is well suited for a custom wine cellar or wine rack application. Unstained, the color includes rich chocolate brown tones that slightly vary from a “nutty” to a “dark brown” hue. If left unstained, the wood will develop a natural sheen over time. But the wood also lends itself very well to stains and finishes. In fact, Black Walnut’s dark brown color becomes more enhanced with darker stains and finishes. In this case, the racks take on a really deep hue which works brilliantly with the lighting and glass elements:

Glass-enclosed wine storage

This Black Walnut beauty had definitely won our hearts today – was it the same for you? Share your thoughts on this latest Tech Tuesday in the comments below! *Cheers*

Exploring The Designer Series: Wine Cases, Tables, And Displays

June 24th, 2019

The month of June is nearly over and we’re officially in the first week of summer! This is definitely music to our ears. That’s because a lot of home construction projects usually take place during this season. In our case, that translates to wine cellar projects. In fact, we’ve been getting more custom design requests in the last few weeks. Our design teams have also been super busy with both residential and commercial projects. So today, w’re going to keep the momentum going. We’re going to go exploring more racking design options, particularly with our Designer Series. There is more to this wine rack kit than meets the eye, so let’s go and find out:

Designer Series wine cases, tables and displays

We were lucky enough to pull photos from this completed wine cellar featuring units from the wine cases, tables and displays category. Take note that the Designer Series offers tons of bottle storage options, from individual to bulk storage. There are even bottle storage add-ons that can help increase the height and storage of the standard racking units. The kit also includes tasting centers and waterfall bottle displays. While the kit does not have the 3-foot and 4-foot options like Vintner, it has its own brand of flexibility. The racks in this series sport full depth racking. This holds the full body of the wine bottle, along with the 6 foot tall height. Moreover, as earlier mentioned, you can now purchase extra individual racking to stack on top of the racking units. The add-ons allow for an additional 20 inches of height.

Speaking of flexibility, this wine room designed for a client illustrates that feature. We have here Vertical Display cabinets from the series which have been wall-mounted. The units were actually designed to finish off the end of a waterfall wine storage. This is to help create a continuous display of your finest wines. The Vertical Displays can also be utilized for shallow spots where there is not enough room for a standard depth wine rack. But in this case, the displays were mounted on the walls instead. They certainly enhanced the charm of the circular room while showcasing those magnums. As an FYI, the displays are 6 rows high and can accommodate two standard wine bottles or one magnum bottle per shelf. ^_^

Client’s “She-Cave” Is This Log Cabin Custom Wine Cellar

June 20th, 2019

Who says that only guys can have their “man-caves” in the home? Our client Angie definitely shows that if the guys can do it, then the ladies can, too. She sent us some snaps of her completed “she-cave” and it is the coziest spot ever:

Client's "she-cave" and her wine collection

Angie is really living the good life in her recently purchased log cabin. To make things even better, she set up this living space to host her wine collection as well. She purchased several racking units from our Vintner Series. The goal was to create a decent storage system against the wall of her living area. Vintner, of course, did not disappoint. With the help of a nail gun, the client was able to put together this wonderful racking arrangement. She chose to combine Vintner’s tasting centers which offered both bottle storage and prep space. You can see in the photos that there is even room for glassware display as well.

Now since this the ever flexible Vintner Series, the client was also able to customize the racks to her liking. She went with Rustic Pine wood and the Classic Mahogany stain option. Rustic Pine was a smart choice because it definitely worked with the rustic flavor of the log cabin. Moreover, this wood option offers the best value by price per bottle space. Also, it lends itself extremely well to stains and finishes. The natural creamy colors of the wood absorb darker stains and finishes and deliver quite a stunning result. You will notice in the photo below how the racks have taken on reddish hues with the Classic Mahogany stain. They work really well with the furniture, especially with the sofa and coffee table. To balance out the bolder tones, the archway displays a lovely wine cellar art piece in muted colors.

Classic Mahogany Stain on Rustic Pine racks

“Yes, I received my wine system in great shape; no shipping issues.  Assembly took a while but the nail gun did make it much easier!  I bought an oil painting as well and absolutely love the entire system.  This is in the basement wine cellar of my brand new log cabin….and I am very happy with it.  Very happy with the product!”

~Angie S.~

Technical Tuesday Episode #432: Unstained But Lacquered All-Heart Redwood Racks

June 18th, 2019

Are you a fan of lacquered wine racks? If you’re not yet, then this Tech Tuesday feature just might turn you into one. The understated elegance of this wine cellar project is all thanks to the choice of wood finish on the racks. Our design team shied away from the fancy stuff this time around. But this was definitely the right decision. The client wanted something classic and clean and this is exactly what they got:

Project # 312986
Wood: Custom / Allheart Redwood
Bottle Capacity: 811
Where: Yardley, PA

Custom racks in All-Heart Redwood

This wine room borders between the small to medium size, with a bottle capacity of a little over 800 bottles. The floor space is actually quite compact. But selecting custom racking for this project really brought very satisfactory results. You will notice that the racking assembly wraps around the room seamlessly. Every corner was utilized well, maximizing the room’s bottle storage capacity. Moreover, you can also see the variety in bottle storage options. That includes storage for wine boxes and/or loose bottles. Albeit a tad smaller, our team was also able to put in a beautiful archway with tabletop. Plus, there is custom shelving underneath, as well as glassware storage on both sides of the archway. The wine room still has enough floor space to function as a proper tasting room. It does not look cramped or busy at all. This is the beauty of custom racking – you can get a perfect fit anywhere!

Small but beautiful archway

Now let’s talk about the finish on these wine racks. As we earlier mentioned, the units are all unstained. The wood option is All-Heart Redwood which is beautiful enough in its unstained state. It is, after all, one of the top wood choices for custom wine cellar projects. These Redwood racks showcase the natural, eye-catching colors of the wood. The wood comes exclusively from the center of the log and is consistently in the reddish hues. Of all North American woods it is the most resistant to moisture, mildew and rot. It also lends itself extremely well to all kinds of stains and finishes. But for this project, our design team went for a lacquered look instead.  Lacquer, in general, gives the racks a smooth, gleaming finish. With a top-quality wood like All-Heart Redwood, the result is an elevated elegance. *Cheers*

Wine cellar door

Tips On How To Create A Fairytale Wine Cellar Theme

June 17th, 2019

A late but warm Father’s Day greetings to all the wine dads out there! We hope your weekend Father’s Day celebration was a very happy one. Today, we have something that will make you dads prepare for that big Frozen 2 moment this 2019. Yes, that’s right! Frozen 2 will be on its way to the theaters this Fall. Naturally,  you just HAVE to take your little princesses to see Anna and Elsa on the big screen. So why not bring that fairytale touch to your wine cellars as well? We’ve put together some tips on how to create a fairytale wine cellar theme:

Fairytale themed wine cellar!

This wine cellar project for one of our clients is a wonderful example of how you can achieve a magical charm for your wine cellar. The secret is actually lies in incorporating the right details here and there. Let’s start with the wine racks. The racking arrangement has a great variety of bottle storage options and very cleanly assembled. We love the use of the Curved Corner Racks to wrap the assembly around the entire room in a seamless manner. But what we love most of all is the stain option. These are Rustic Pine racks coated with our Graywash Stain. Graywash is one of our newest stain offerings. It’s a semi-transparent stain, so no texture that comes through. The final product is a smooth finish while showing the beauty of the wood beneath it. When applied to Rustic Pine, you get a dusty hue with blush undertones. It is the perfect color for that whimsical atmosphere in the wine cellar! That goes to show how the right wood x stain or finish combo can create the theme you want for your project.

Graywash Stain on Rustic Pine racks

Now the next tip would be to put in some fanciful touches to your wine cellar. You can easily do this by selecting the right accessories. Take a leaf out of this project, starting with the wine cellar door. If you’ll notice from the first image up top, the client installed a beautiful glass door with wrought iron. The design is both delicate and intricate. It certainly matched the theme of the entire cellar. Then of course, you have the gorgeous artwork on the wine cellar archway. This is further augmented by more artwork on the walls on top of the racking assembly. They even created an illusion of more archways. These are the little details that gave this project that magical touch! ^_^

Whimsical, artistic details on the racking assembly

Gorgeous DIY With Vintner Racks In Dark Walnut Stain

June 13th, 2019

If you haven’t worked with WCI’s wine rack kits before, now’s the time to get started. These kits are not just easy on the budget, they can also really bring it when it comes to style. A lot of our Testimonial Thursday blogs feature satisfied clients using these kits. Today is no exception. We have another DIY project to showcase and it is a keeper:

Michael with his Vintner wine cellar

We have here our very happy client, Michael, and his newly completed wine cellar. It is a glass-enclosed beauty, featuring our Vintner Series. As far as wine rack kits go, our Vintner Series is the most popular one. It can definitely give custom racking some serious competition, thanks to the variety of designs it offers. In fact, Vintner has been called as “the next best thing to custom,” owing to the many options available for the racking units. Michael’s wine cellar is a terrific example since you can see the quality of the racks in the completed set-up.

If you carefully look at these photos, you will surely notice how seamless the racking arrangement is. The racks are nicely tucked into the corners and beautifully framed out by the rough-hewn stone walls and pillars. Unless someone spills the tea, one would most likely think this is a custom job. But everything came from the Vintner Series and put together with the use of a nail gun. The client went for Premium Redwood as the wood choice for the units. He also chose a bold Dark Walnut Stain option that elevated the elegance factor of the wine room. But what really pulled this gorgeous DIY together are the crown moldings and center seam trim. Thanks to these accents, the racking arrangement flowed seamlessly around the room. There are no awkward gaps between the different racking units and they actually look like they’re built into the space.

Glass-enclosed beauty

“I’m very happy with the outcome and everyone loves it. Let me know what you think. I did use a nail gun to put the racks together. I couldn’t imagine doing it without a nail gun. Then again, I did have a lot of racks to put together. It started slow trying to follow the instructions but once I did a few the rest went quickly. I think my cellar holds 1,150 bottles.”

~Michael C.~

Technical Tuesday Episode #431: Wine Racking Styles Mash-Up

June 11th, 2019

It’s another awesome Tech Tuesday, wine cellar buddies! And just so you know, our Grand Mahogany wood option is really killing it this year. We’ve gotten so many projects with Grand Mahogany wine racks, both custom and with our kits. Today, the spotlight shines on this wood choice once more. Check out this mash-up of wine racking styles and see why it works so well:

Project # 313908
Wood: Custom / Vintner / DKS / Grand Mahogany
Bottle Capacity: 974
Where: Southfield, MI

A mash-up of racking stylesSo here we have a nice sized room that’s perfect for an entry-level wine room. The client obviously wanted to maximize the space and our design team certainly did that. They put together this versatile racking arrangement that utilized several of WCI’s best products. Specifically, this arrangement combines our Vintner and Designer Series kit, as well as several custom pieces. All the racks are dressed up in Light Stain option which matched the flooring and ceiling very well:
Vintner, Designer, and custom wine racksAs you can see, there is a great variety of racking options here. You have Individual Wine Racks, Solid Diamond Cubes with Face Trim, Archway with tabletop option, and Open Diamond Bins. Accents were also thrown in to give everything a totally finished look. There are full-height Quarter Round Shelves that work perfectly with the entire racking set-up. To create the clean lines and remove awkward gaps, center seam trim and moldings were also added:
Elegant Light Stain optionHere are some more snaps of the racking assembly up-close. As we earlier mentioned, Grand Mahogany is the wood option for this project. Grand Mahogany is one of our most popular woods for custom wine cellars. It is a refined wood, with uniform color that is quite sought after. It has a few slight variations that go from medium to pale pink. As for the hardwood, it sports a moderately coarse grain pattern. For the most part, the grain pattern is straight but can be slightly interlocked in some cases. As far as hardness and density are concerned, the wood matched up to sapele and cherry. And when it comes to durability and stability, it is no slouch as well. It can match up to sapele, hard maple, or cherry wood. If you want to see more projects featuring Grand Mahogany, check out our extensive photo gallery. *Cheers*
Solid Diamond Cubes with face trim

Working With Stains And Finishes In Your Wine Cellar

June 10th, 2019

There is much to love about stains and finishes in one wine cellar projects. Choosing the right stain or finish can really bring it in your wine cellar game. It’s also a clever way to refresh the look of your wine cellar without having to spend a fortune. But working with stains and finishes can also be a bit tricky. It’s like choosing the most suitable outfit to wear to a special occasion. There are details that you should carefully think through. We’ll help you out with that, using this gorgeous project we completed for a client as an example:

Grand Mahogany wine racks

When choosing your stain or finish, the first thing you need to consider is your theme. Are you going for a traditional look for your wine room? Or are you going down the contemporary route? Or perhaps you want something clean and open to create an illusion of a bigger space. You might also be a huge fan of the rustic, weather-beaten look. Once you have decided on a theme, select stains or finishes that can bring that out. Here at WCI, we actually have a very handy tool that can help you do that. Our Wood Swatch Simulator allows one to see the swatches of various wood species with our extensive selection of stains and finishes.

Dark Walnut Stain option on the racksAfter you decide on a theme, the next thing to think about is the number of coats you want for your stains or finishes. Will one coat be enough or will you need at least two or even three coats to really bring out the colors you want. Also take note that there are wood types that do really well with darker stains and finishes. Their grains patterns become more visible and attractive. One good example of this is Grand Mahogany. These beautiful racks on our client’s custom wine cellar is proof of that. The wood choice is Grand Mahogany, dressed up in Dark Walnut Stain. As an added option, a triple coat lacquer was also applied to the racks. We love the glossy and elegant finish that gives the entire wine cellar a truly luxurious look. Below are more snaps of the completed wine room. It is definitely a show-stopper! ^_^
Fixed shelving units Various wine displays

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Best Locations For Home Wine Cellars

June 5th, 2019

The legendary question in the wine cellar community is whether or not you can build a wine cellar anywhere in your home. We talk about this on the blog every now and then as well. Over the years, developments in technology and other accessories has made it possible to build a wine cellar just about anywhere in the home. Even so, there are still “best” locations that will prove to be more beneficial, especially in terms of cost. Let’s get to know what these best locations are:

The basement location

The basement location…

We’d rate this area of the home as top-notch in terms of a wine cellar project. Why so? For one thing, basements emulate environmental conditions that are closest to the underground caves in Europe where early wine storage began. It has the right humidity and temperature levels that will allow your wines to age at a graceful pace. That means you do not need to spend that much on creating the proper “wine storage environment.” You will also not be needing a larger and/or more energy consuming wine cellar cooling system. This will save you tons in terms of your energy usage (yay for lower electric bills!).

The garage location

The garage location…

While not as ideal as the basement, the garage is still another “best location” for a wine cellar project. It’s especially the case for those with large or fast-growing collections. If you have a spacious garage, it will be easy to section it off for your wine cellar project. It will also be relatively easy to build since the garage is separate from the house. You will not have to deal with the inconveniences during the construction stages.

The spare room location

The “spare room” location…

Transforming an empty section of your home into a wine cellar has become even more popular in the recent years. It can be a spare room, a coat or shoe closet, or even an unused kitchen pantry. If it’s a full room, the benefits are pretty obvious. You get tons of space to work with and you will be able to host a large collection. Moreover, you can even set up a tasting area and make that wine room a place for wine tasting parties. For smaller spaces, the big advantage is that maintenance cost will be low. Nonetheless, you will have proper storage for your wine collection. ^_^

Technical Tuesday Episode #430: Compact And Creative Closet Transformation

June 4th, 2019

Hello there, June! The beautiful, sunny days are here at last and we’re definitely all for that. It’s a great time to get the creative juices flowing and work on some home improvement projects. In our case, we’re talking about wine cellar projects. So today, we want you to check out this compact and creative closet transformation. It’s a unique design that can serve as a great inspiration for residential wine storage:

Project # 311997
Wood: Custom / Vintner / Premium Redwood
Bottle Capacity: 637
Where: Irvine, CA

Custom and Vintner racking

As you can see from the photos, this is a smaller-sized wine cellar and the bottle capacity is just a little over 600 bottles. But thanks to the clean layout and quality racking, it looks very spacious and elegant. Our team utilized both custom racks and units from the Vintner Series to put together the racking assembly. The wood choice is Premium Redwood and the design team went for the unstained version for the racks. This was a great choice since the natural colors of the wood worked well with the flooring. To further accentuate the pinkish gold shades, custom LED lighting accessories were also added. We are loving arched lighting that adds a little fancy touch to the simple racking assembly:

Unstained Premium Redwood units

While this may be a compact project, you can still see that the racks accommodate both individual and bulk bottles. Plus, the use of center seam trim really helps create a smooth transition in the racking set-up. This is the beauty of knowing how to use wine cellar accessories. You can give your wine cellar more character just by adding a few accents here and there. In the case of the center seam trim, it helps remove any awkward gaps between the racks. This is especially helpful when you are transitioning between different racking styles. We also recommend investing in crown and base moldings and/or base platforms. These will close off the gaps between your racks, the ceiling, and flooring. *Cheers*

The Art Of Mixing And Matching Your Racking Styles

June 3rd, 2019

Wine cellar styles really have evolved over the last decade or so. It’s no longer those cookie cutter racking arrangements that are kind of like the equivalent of your IKEA shelving. These days, there are so many racking styles to choose from. There are also various materials you can work with, not just wood. All these changes have helped develop more creative and beautiful wine cellar projects. And the magic formula involved here is quite simple! It’ all about learning the art of mixing and matching your wine rack styles.

Learn the art of mixing and matching your wine racks!

“It turned out nice!” ~Eric M.~

There are a few essential points to keep in mind when combining your wine racks to achieve your wine cellar goals. These points will really help you especially if you are not working with a professional design consultant. For a DIY project, particularly if you’re a newbie, gathering as much input during the planning stages is highly recommended.

Now the first thing to consider before selecting your racks is definitely the size of your wine cellar. You will obviously have more freedom with a more generous space. But that doesn’t mean that you should disregard maximizing on bottle storage capacity. With smaller wine cellars, you will need to choose more space-efficient racking. For example, utilizing wall-mount units is highly recommended for compact cellars. That includes wine pegs and rails. Mix and match them with standard racking to get the most out of your space.

The next thing to think about would be the theme of your wine cellar. If you want to go for a modern one,    we recommend mixing and matching traditional wood racks with metal racking units. Our Modern Wine Cellar series can give you lots of wonderful design insights. Apart from metal, there are also other materials that you can incorporate to really bring out that contemporary feel. One of our favorites is the Acrylic Invisible Wine Racks that make your bottles look like they’re floating. We also love the unique silhouettes of the STACT racking.

Last but not the least, always take into account balance and symmetry with your racking arrangement. When mixing and matching various styles, make sure that there is still a good flow from one type of rack to the other. Remove awkward gaps by using the right accessories such as center seam trim and crown and base moldings. Also don’t forget that stains and finishes can greatly help in keeping your racking transition as smooth as possible. ^_^