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The Undeniable “Wow” Factor Of Custom Wine Cellars

February 27th, 2020

Who would say no to something custom-made? A dress or suit, a pair of shoes, a bag, even a car – almost anything in this world can be tailor-made to one’s preferences. And of course, wine cellars are  no exception. The reality is that there is an undeniable “wow” factor surrounding anything custom-made.  With wine cellars, the end results really leave lasting impressions. Our Tech Tuesdays are living testaments to that. But not everyone can afford a full-blown custom wine cellar project. That’s why we offer the opportunity to customize in all aspects of the wine cellar process – starting with the wine racks.

The little “luxuries” you can afford…

WCI has developed an extensive selection of wine racking styles over the years. The options range from units that can cater to simple storage needs to extravagant designs that are limited only by imagination. The racking arrangement, after all, is the heart of the wine cellar layout. So if you don’t have the budget to customize from top to bottom, just focus on your wine racks. Even the simplest setup can be made special by tailoring the fit and bottle storage capacity. With this, you’ll get a seamless racking application that is sure to be eye-catching. Nothing is more attractive than a clean layout, with no awkward gaps or rough corners. It’s just like a beautifully tailored suit that hugs your body all the right places!

Now as far as these custom projects go, we often get asked the same questions.  “How big should my wine cellar be?” and “How much will it cost me?” are the most common ones. The answers will vary depending on the circumstances. But as far as cost is concerned, WCI can find ways to work with the client’s budget. This is all thanks to the wide variety of options we have to offer, from the raw materials down to the finished products. So for example, if you’re looking at a low-cost but racking assembly, we can start with the material for the racks. If you want to go with wood wine racks, there are affordable options such as Rustic Pine. If you prefer metal racking units, some series, like Vintage View, are very reasonably priced. This is like having your cake and eating it, too. You get that undeniable “wow” factor without spending a fortune. ^_^


Exploring 3 Types Of Dessert Wines | Wine Cellar Inspirations

February 26th, 2020

We often hear people asking what wine goes best with meat or fish, or salads. But what about having wine with your dessert? Tea seems to be the more popular option for pairing with sweets. We can change that, though! There are dessert wines that can make those mille-feuilles, French macarons, and cheesecakes taste even better. Let’s start exploring!

Exploring dessert wines!

Icewine with tarts and galettes

Icewine (or eiswein) is a type of late harvest wine that comes with a very sweet twist. If the grapes happen to freeze while still on the vine, they can be made into icewine. However, they must be harvested before they have a chance to thaw. That’s because the water in the grapes will freeze, but the sugars will not. Hence, the wines are even more concentrated than their late harvest counterparts. Owing to the intense fruit flavors to match the sweetness, icewine goes especially well with tarts and pies. It’s also a delight to the palette when paired with buttery flavors, like galettes.

Wine x dessert pairings

Zinfandel with fudge & cheesecake

Zinfandel is also known as a “California wine.” A bottle made from the late-harvest grapes is the sweetest. It boasts rich figgy notes that complement creamy caramel and vanilla flavors. We recommend pairing it with caramel pecan fudge or vanilla pecan pie. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try it with some rich red velvet cheesecake. You’ll love that hint of cocoa flavor that comes through without overpowering the fruitiness of the wine.

Dessert wines to enjoy

Traditional red wine and chocolates

Not in the mood for something unusual? Then stick to the traditional dessert wine paring: red wine and chocolates. You definitely can’t go wrong with this! You can have it all in one go. Infuse a liberal portion of your favorite red in a cup of hot chocolate over a slow cooker. For a richer taste, add a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon. You’ll get that warming mulled wine flavor that’s just to die for! ^_^


Technical Tuesday Episode #463: Super Spacious Compact Wine Room

February 25th, 2020

Sending some cheery Tech Tuesday greetings your way today, wine cellar fans! Look at us wrapping up the month of love with our last Tech Tuesday episode. February has really flown by but not without some pretty inspiring wine cellar concepts. We’ll add one more to that with this clever little project for one of our local clients:

Project # 317937
Wood: Custom / Vintner / Premium Redwood
Bottle Capacity: 248
Where: Cincinnati, OH

Enter this compact but super spacious wine room“Quaint” is the word that first popped up when we saw these photos. This compact wine room is packed full of design goodies. Moreover, it is super spacious, even with the narrow floor area. The wine racks, as you may have noticed, are a combo of wood and metal materials. The design team decided to throw in some wall-mount metal racking units to increase bottle storage capacity:

Wood x metal racking comboHere’s a better look at the wood wine racking layout.  This is actually a combination of custom wine racks and units from our Vintner Series. See how there’s enough storage for both individual and bulk bottles. Also, check out the countertops. The width may seem a bit narrow, but they provide adequate prep space or for displaying other accessories:

Shelves and cabinets for super spacious storageOne of the attractive features of this project is the contrast between the racks and other elements of the room. The ceiling and flooring are of a similar light-hued, brick-type material. The walls are also painted with lighter shades that help make the wood wine racks pop out. That’s because the units were dressed up in Midnight Black Stain option. If you are not familiar with it, Midnight Black Stain is characterized by a gorgeous, jet black color. The hue is quite a departure from traditional woodworking finishes. While it exudes elegance, the stain also  carries a very contemporary appeal.

Wall-mount metal wine racksBelow are more close-up photos of the wood and metal racking units. We love how everything looks so polished and we can’t wait for the racks to be filled up. We’re pretty sure our clients will have a grand time showcasing their collection. They will also have even more fun growing their collection thanks to the super spacious layout. *Cheers*

Midnight Black Stain on the wood wine racks

The Claim To Fame Of Label-Forward Wine Storage

February 20th, 2020

Why has label-forward wine storage recently become the “it” thing with wine cellar projects? Well, it’s  definitely not something that happened overnight. This bottle storage style has actually been around for a while. But it’s only in the last few years or so that more wine cellar projects have been leaning towards it. So what’s the claim to fame of label-forward wine storage? Let’s talk more about it!

Claim to fame of label-forward wine storageWe have our clients to thank for this opportunity to show the fine points of label-forward bottle storage. They sent us these shots of their gorgeous racking assembly utilizing metal wine racks from our Vintage View Series. As you may have noticed, this is not a formal wine cellar, but more of an entertainment space. But the clients still wanted to have suitable storage for their wine bottles. And here we can see how a label-forward layout really delivers. See how the bottles are not just stored but displayed to maximum advantage. For a true wine lover, this method of wine storage comes highly recommended. You can showcase your best labels as well as organize your collection according to your preference:

Stunning Vintage View rackingNow while this is not a formal wine cellar, it still has quite an impressive bottle capacity. The clients can easily host a few hundred bottles with this kind of setup. This shows one of biggest claims to fame of a label-forward system: space-efficiency. And that’s not limited to compact spaces. Even larger cellars will come to appreciate the additional bottle storage this racking configuration can bring. Also, keep in mind that these metal wine racks are designed to hold standard sized wine bottles when mounted 7.5 inches apart. But they can also be tweaked to hold split-sized bottles by mounting the units 5.5 inches apart. The versatility is not just appealing – it’s REAL.

Clean and classy arrangementThis final photo gives us a nice closeup of the racking assembly. See how the racks work so well against different materials such as wood and stone? More importantly, notice how the bottles are being highlighted by the racks? Since the label-forward configuration is straightforward and clean, your collection will be given the spotlight it deserves. Everything will always look neat and totally elegant – just like our client’s wine storage. ^_^


Wine Cellar Inspirations: Gifts For Wine Lovers Who Have Everything

February 19th, 2020

Valentine’s Day may be over, but the month of love is definitely not! There’s still more than enough time to wrap up something special for the special people in your life. But what do you give wine lovers or casual wine drinkers who have just about everything? Surely, another bottle of wine may be appreciated but won’t be as impactful. So we’re here to help you with that little dilemma. Here are some great gift ideas for all wine lovers on your list that will leave a lasting impression:

Gift ideas for wine lovers

1. Wine scented candles

Did you know that you can actually get scented candles with different wine aromas? Imagine the aroma of your favorite wines wafting throughout the room. These hand-poured candles have been customized to evoke classic wine varieties. For example, Cabernet will usually bring about a dark yet sweet smell, akin to cherries and chocolate. Chardonnay brings a blend of aromas: apple, almonds, and cinnamon, with buttery richness underneath. Rosé has fresh fruit and sweet almond notes. Pinot Grigio is airy with a hint of citrus and sassafras wood.

Electric wine bottle opener

2. Electric wine bottle opener

Don’t sweat the small stuff – an electric wine bottle opener won’t waste that much energy. In fact, it will get the job done so quick, you’ll never want to do it manually again. Think of all the messy situations that can be avoided! The best thing about this gift idea is that there are so many options, from sizes down to styles.

Enjoy wine with some trivia or board games!

3. Wine board/trivia games

Forget about Cards Against Humanity – wine trivia games are where it’s at for wine lovers. Wine Wars by Chronicle Books is one of our highly recommended ones. It will make for a fun and competitive night, whether it’s with family, friends or both. Viticulture is another board game that’s definitely worth checking out. It’s like an RPG adventure with wine – so what wine lover can say no to that?

4. Wine Ice Cream

Yup, you read that right! Wine ice cream has officially become a “thing” and we are all for it. For wine lovers who have everything, this will come as a wonderful and sweet surprise. After all, who can say no to ice cream? Mercer’s Dairy is one of the very first ones who came up with these dairy treats – laced with wine. Check out awesome flavors such as chocolate cabernet, red raspberry chardonnay, port, and more! ^_^

Technical Tuesday Episode #462: Grand Mahogany In Graywash Stain

February 18th, 2020

Just last week, we were talking about using unique stains and finishes in wine cellar projects. This week, we’re blessed with this opportunity to showcase that concept. This wine cellar was completed for a client in Naples. We know that Naples residents enjoy their wines with a passion second to none. So our design team made sure to deliver the kind of wine storage that will 100% satisfy the client.

Project # 316528
Wood: Custom / Grand Mahogany
Bottle Capacity: 943
Where: Naples, FL

Graywash Stain on Grand Mahogany racksThe details on this racking arrangement are really impressive. All the wine racks are customized with Grand Mahogany as the wood of choice. Then the Grand Mahogany racks were dressed up in Graywash Stain option. This stain has been carefully tested over several months to bring about an appearance that is both traditional and modern. The stain itself is semi-transparent stain, similar to Whitewash. You will notice from the wood that no texture comes through. What you get is a smooth finish that shows off the beauty of the wood beneath it:

Superb racking combo!Here are some great snaps of the racking assembly. The variation in wine rack styles is just amazing! Since this is a custom job, every nook and cranny was accounted for. You will notice that there is no wasted space in this layout. And yet, there is plenty of remaining floor area to comfortably move around in the cellar:

Cubes and displays in Graywash Stain We are blown away by the details on the racking setup for this project. The Open Diamond Bins with Solid Face Trim, High Reveal Displays, and Individual Bottle Columns were cleverly  interspersed to form this seamless structure. Then the Curved Corner Racks and full Quarter Round Displays finished off those sharp corners. We like how the Grand Mahogany racks in Graywash Stain really popped out against the indigo colored walls:

Quarter Round ShelvesAll in all, this wine cellar has a more modern feel to it. The bright pops of color from the walls and ceilings contrasted well with the lighter hued racks flooring. The racking assembly itself is a mix of modern and classic lines. This is certainly one of our favorite wine cellar designs to date! Do you feel the same way? Comment your thoughts below! *Cheers*


Clients Show Big Love To Their Wine Cellar Closet

February 13th, 2020

We’re just one day shy of Valentine’s Day, wine cellar buddies! What are you guys planning to pour for tomorrow’s special occasion? Well, we hope you will have a lovely and memorable time with your special someone. And to get the mood going, let’s check out this elegant wine cellar closet by our client from Hingham, MA:

Gorgeous Sapele wine cellar closetThe client had this empty space in their home to spare for wine storage. As you can see, it’s a rather small, closet-sized room. So the goal was to maximize the bottle storage capacity. This was pretty easy on both the design and budget since the space was relatively small. The client opted for custom wine racking units which proved to be a smart choice. The racks were built to scale – from floor to ceiling. Because everything was customized, the racking arrangement was a perfect fit. You can see how it flows around the compact closet space with no awkward gaps at all. This wine storage can comfortably host around 320 bottles!

The wood option for this project is Sapele. Sapele’s natural colors range from golden to dark reddish brown. The wood’s colors darken and get better with age. It finishes and glues really well, which is why it is also a favorite for furniture pieces. For these racks, a Distressed finish was chosen to give them that “antique” appearance. The Distressed finish is one of the more complex finishes and takes quite a bit of work to achieve the desired result. Basically, the wood is strategically gouged, dented and scratched to give it the character of old pieces of furniture. A dark coat is wiped on to fill in the gouges, dents and scratches to highlight them. Then a medium dark background coat is applied and completed with a lacquer finish. The end result is this classic, very “antique” look which also reminds us of the “shabby chic” style. Well, the clients definitely had some big love to show for their wine cellar closet – and so do we! ^_^


Wine Cellar Inspirations: Considering Eco-Friendly Products

February 12th, 2020

Climate change is arguably the biggest concern in the world today. The start of 2020 had been inundated with unfortunate incidents that threaten to completely destroy Mother Nature. Whether we like it or not, we are responsible for what is happening to our planet. That’s why every little thing that we do to help restore the balance in the environment is now crucial. WCI has been a staunch  supporter of the green campaign. We are constantly developing and promoting eco-friendly products for wine cellar projects. We want to inspire environmental consciousness in every aspect of our business. So we’re sharing with you guys today some of these highly recommended eco-friendly wine cellar products:

Choose eco-friendly products for your wine cellars1. Switch to LED lighting accessories

LED technology has become very popular in the recent years because if its many advantages. Specifically, these are advantages over incandescent, fluorescents, compact fluorescent lamps and other lighting devices. This includes an exceptionally longer lifespan amounting to 60,000 hours. It also means a much lower energy consumption. It is 90% more efficient, with reduced maintenance costs, and higher safety to boot. WCI offers a great selection of the more eco-friendly lighting accessories. This includes the LED ribbon lighting kit which is super easy to install.

Consider these eco-friendly products!

Stick to water-based stains 

Why choose water-based stains? First off, water-based stains are the most environmentally-safe and friendly ones you can use for your wine cellar. The actual finish is suspended in the water, not “thinned” by it, which allows it to dry quickly and have limited VOCs. Some VOCs are carcinogenic or neurotoxic and pose dangers to your health, the health of our planet, and the health of your wine as well. Second, by switching to water-based stains, exposure to VOCs is greatly minimized, as well as to fire hazards. Keep in mind that water based products are more UV resistant than solvent products that will get hazy and lose their color clarity. Lastly, they’re also odor-free!

Use formaldehyde-free products

In 2016, WCI announced that we were officially formaldehyde-free. Check out this detailed blog explaining our journey to a more clean and green business. Here at WCI, our cabinet-grade plywood for wine cellar and wine cellar furniture purposes comes with the Timber Products CARB Certificate. This covers our wood products like Mahogany, Walnut, and Red Oak, among other varieties. Moreover, we are still continuously working on expanding this program to cover more of our wine cellar products. ^_^

Technical Tuesday Episode #461: Conquering Narrow Spaces With Vintner

February 11th, 2020

It used to be that you had to have an actual house in order to have decent wine storage. Thankfully, that’s a thing of the past. These days, you can live in a condo, apartment, or even just a studio apartment and still have enough space to store your wine bottles. Conquering narrow spaces has become so much easier and fun as well because there are wine cellar products made just for this purpose. Our Tech Tuesday today will give you some terrific ideas on how to accomplish this:

Project # 320947
Wood: Vintner / Premium Redwood
Bottle Capacity: 936
Where: Mason, OH

Conquer narrow spaces in your wine cellar project!Our client from Mason, OH commissioned for this beautiful wine cellar project. You can see from these photos that straight off the bat, the space is not the biggest. However, the client owns a healthy wine collection that is slowly but surely growing. This means that they needed not just bottle storage. They also needed extra storage to accommodate future bottles. So our professionals got to work designing this amazing space for them:

Beautiful and seamless rackingVintner racking units were utilized to equip the narrow room with generous bottle storage. You will probably be surprised to learn that the entire racking assembly can hold over 900 bottles. As you can see from the additional photos below, the layout was really well-thought out. Lots of individual column racks were incorporated into this arrangement. But Open Diamond and Rectangular Bins were also added for bulk bottles, as well as wine boxes and crates. This gives variety to the bottle storage options which you normally can’t have in a small space.

Generous bottle storage capacityNow just because you’re working with narrow spaces, that doesn’t mean you can’t have room for style. You can see in this project that small but significant elements were added to make the racking assembly more attractive. One of those would be the  moldings and center seam trim. Notice how the racks flow really seamlessly throughout the entire room. The design team also put in an archway with tabletop. That gives this small space an area for prepping and pouring drinks or just displaying other wine cellar accessories. Conquering narrow spaces has now become an enjoyable endeavour that inspires creativity. And it’s all thanks to WCI’s versatile racking products! *Cheers*

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Stains And Finishes You Need To Try Out

February 5th, 2020

We are a big fan of stains and finishes on wine racks and wine cellar furniture. But we also understand that it’s not for everyone. Some prefer the natural look on their wine racks. However, if you want to create a unique appearance to your wine cellar, stains and finishes can definitely give you the results you want. Just keep in mind that there are tons of options for you to try out. So don’t be afraid to explore! Here are some stains and finishes you should try out:

Unique stains and finishes for you to try out!

The Dusty Weathered Finish

The Dusty Weathered Finish option is the best choice when you want a timeworn look for your wood. The process is quite complicated, but the results are absolutely satisfying. The wood is run through a proprietary process that strips intergrain material down below the grain. This is basically the same fashion that outside exposure striates barn siding over 50-70 years. The process has been proven to work particularly well with certain types of wood: pine, redwood and oak. The next step involves the application of a  custom topcoat. This results in the grayish-brown hues to complete a beautiful, weathered appearance to the wood. If you want a darker, even more dramatic effect, you can also try out the Dark Weathered Finish option.

The Distressed Finish is one-of-a-kind

The Distressed Finish

If you desire that vintage feel to your wine cellar, the Distressed Finish is the way to go. This finish actually requires quite a bit of work because of its unique properties. The wood is strategically gouged, dented and scratch to give it the character of an old used pieces of furniture. Then a dark coats is wiped on to fill in the gouges, dents and scratches to highlight them. Last but not the least, a medium dark background coat is applied and finished off with a lacquer finish. The look reflected on the wood is very classic – definitely the “old-country” charm.

We absolutely love the Gray Wash stain

The Gray Wash Stain

Gray Wash stain is one of the newest additions to WCI’s stain offerings. This stain has been carefully tested over several months to bring you an attractive look that is both traditional and modern. It is quite similar to Whitewash in that it’s a semi-transparent stain. That means there is no texture that comes through. What you get is a smooth finish while showing the beauty of the wood beneath it. We highly recommend this beautiful and modern color. You can request samples of wood swatches to see what works best for you! ^_^




Technical Tuesday Episode #460: Natural Beauty Of Rustic Pine

February 4th, 2020

First Tech Tuesday for the month of love is up! Yep, we are getting into high gear for one of our favorite months of the year. February is the love season, as we are all quite aware of. We also expect a lot of fine dining and, of course, wine tasting all this month. That also means wine establishments everywhere are bound to get busier. So today’s Tech Tuesday will definitely provide some useful inspiration. Let’s check out the amazing racking arrangements on this commercial project:

Project # 319527
Wood: CDR / Vintner / Rustic Pine
Bottle Capacity:
Where: Coral Springs, FL

Natural beauty of Rustic Pine wine racksThe star of the show, so to speak, is the wood option utilized for the wine racks. All the units were crafted from unstained Rustic Pine. As you can very well see, the natural beauty of the wood is really enhanced in this set-up. We especially love how the soft, creamy colors of the wood stand out. Note that Rustic Pine is characterized by this really light color of the wood. It is combined with subtle streaks and structurally sound knots, giving the wood a rustic architectural appearance.

Custom commercial racksNow let’s talk about the various racking styles used in this project. Since it’s for commercial purposes, the client wanted to maximize on the bottle storage capacity. WCI’s extensive selection of commercial racking units made all of this possible. We made a huge improvement on our commercial wine racks by creating two main categories for the products. We have the Classic Commercial line that allows clients to have their racking units completely customized. But for those on a budget, fret not! We also launched our Vintner Commercial series just a a few years back. This line combines the flexibility of our Vintner racking with the high volume storage capacity of commercial wine racks. And of course, since it’s Vintner, it is absolutely affordable!

Merchandisers and Island DisplaysHere are more snaps of the variety of racking styles in this commercial project. Apart from the standard island displays and merchandisers, our team also installed some individual columns with display bins. This style is quite popular with wine stores because it can easily call attention to popular or new labels. Also, you can see from the photos below how the racks pop out against the flooring and ceiling. The moment those racks are filled, the wine bottles will definitely be the center of attention. Indeed, the natural beauty of Rustic Pine really shines through in this simple layout without overpowering other elements. *Cheers*

Natural beauty of Rustic Pine display bins

Creating Retro Vibes In Your Wine Cellar

February 3rd, 2020

It’s definitely a fine first week of February for wine cellar fans! We have lots in store for you guys – new racking products, wine cellar accessories, and other goodies. We’re also going to be showcasing more unique wine cellar designs – starting with today’s blog. It’s all about the retro vibes that you can bring to your wine cellar projects. It actually doesn’t take much, especially when it comes to the budget. So we’re pretty sure you will love these unconventional yet tasteful concepts:

Setting the mood with the right accents

When it comes to creating a retro mood, it is really all about choosing the right accents. We were quite lucky to have these terrific photos from a client who decided to go the retro route. The first thing you will immediately notice are the lighting elements. Lighting is indeed a clever way of setting up the ambiance that want in a certain space. That’s why restaurants and bars really invest in good lighting accessories. The concept is not that any different with wine cellars. As you can see here, vibrant lighting colors turned the room into something reminiscent of the air of a 1960’s diner. So go ahead and try stringing some colorful LED lights in your own wine cellar!

Another great accessory that can bring about these nostalgic touches would be choice pieces of wine cellar art and photographs. Artworks that depict scenes and other mementos of the past are one of the easiest ways to creat some retro vibes. The same is true with framed photographs. We suggest selecting artwork or photos of old vineyards, pubs, and the like. And if you want something customized, don’t forget that you can commission custom wine cellar art with us here at WCI.

Last but not the least, put up some old-fashioned decor! It’s time to scour those basements or attics for your parents (and grandparents!) well-kept treasures. Clean that turntable and put up those Beatles records! Bring out the bumper stickers, the  kitchen canisters, the beat-up suitcases and more. There might even be an old wall clock or bar stools somewhere. And don’t forget those funky photo frames and posters. There’s no need to spend those extra dollars to bring the retro vibes to your wine cellar. ^_^