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How do you physically arrange your home wine storage?

I’m expecting the stocks of wine in the domestic cellar to hit about 300 bottles soon, as EP arrivals are delivered on the society’s Red Vans du Vin. This will necessitate some reshuffling of existing stock, and possibly something more strategic than “I’ll just plop this plonk here”. I need something that allows me to find what I want, to stick the long term stuff in the farthest darkest corner, whilst making sure that other people’s hands are kept off the good stuff in favour of the everyday drinkers (there is a painful story somewhere on a thread about the drunk brother in law and the Musar, which I don’t want in my house). Provide me with inspiration.

So, how do you physically arrange your home wine storage?

I suspect that there is a mix of spreadsheet geekery and haphazard chaos, and all points in between. I reckon also that there are people who arrange their wines by region, vertically stacked by vintage.

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This.

In terms of of how I have my wine physically in the house. It’s mostly around when it can/should be drunk. Cheap wines drinking now are always the easiest to access with the most expensive/needing most time ones literally locked away, to prevent a tipsy me deciding to try and see what they’re like.

As long as I stick to this and keep the spreadsheet mostly up to date, all is well! I get occasional surprises, but so far they’ve all been pleasant ones!

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I have around 300 bottles in two wine cabinets, one small and one large, these are all my more expensive wines and are therefore mostly wines being kept for a while, sometimes a decade or more. The remainder, around 100 bottles, are in a wine rack in my hall (generally does not get above 18C). These are generally cheaper wines for more immediate pleasure.

I used to organise by region etc. but this became impractical as wines are removed and new ones added. I now try to keep the wines for longest storage at the back and bottom of each shelf. Also not always practical.

Once a year I generally do a complete stock check as, inevitably, sometimes removals do not get properly documented.

My spreadsheet is my key to it all and that can be sorted by all sorts of criteria.

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I have about 250 bottles at home, stored in a chaotic arrangement in my garage.
However, I find that using Cellartracker to keep track of what I have in stock is enough. I can usually then hunt down the bottle I need (most of the time).

The key aspect of Cellartracker is the App, it makes it convenient to update the inventory as I go so it keeps it fairly accurate. Problem with a spreadsheet is the ease with which you can do casual updates as you drink.

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Around 90 loose bottles, scattered in a couple of garage racks & in a beer fridge. No arrangement whatsoever except those not ready to drink or more expensive are towards the bottom.

4 cases unopened (so that’s 48 bottles) stacked on the floor - not ready to drink for another 5 years or so.

2 half cases in member’s reserves (12 bottles) - both are not ready to drink & to keep them beyond temptation.

A couple of cases E.P. waiting to arrive in Stevenage next year (24 bottles)

Total 174 ish ! I’m shocked.

Not a ‘system’ per se, but works for me. I enjoy firkeling around to see what might be there, to suit my mood and whatever will be for supper. I simply don’t have the time or inclination to be more organised.

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I gave up trying to have any system to where each bottle goes years ago. Some easily identifiable cases on the floor; those in racks are just numbered/lettered by column and letter, so in theory if my list says it is in q3, it should be easy to find. (Except if I was putting too many away at once and it is actually a different wine bought at the same time, of course.)

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CellarTracker for sure. I had a spreadsheet for ages but it kept degenerating into chaos. Took ages to get the data into the app but it’s enabled sudden searches for obscure bottles last seen years ago since. Codes include ‘UtB’ (‘under the bed’) and ‘BoSC’ (‘back of shoe cupboard’)…

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CellarTracker for me too. Pretty easy to keep up to date and its useful for tasting notes and other info. My 154 bottles are stored on racks in a small cellar in a fairly disorganised way though I roughly know where to start looking for what. But I think there is a lot more functionally in CellarTracker that I don’t use that can allow specific rack locations to be noted and even individual barcoding of bottles. I’m sure all that can be done DIY via a spreadsheeet too, but not by me!
Incidentally, I see that they also have a method for recording bottles that have been partly-drunk using Coravin!!

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CellarTracker here too and two wine fridges. TBH I only go to numbering shelves and keep no more details than that.

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Create a table on a word document that mimics the size of your cellar. I have four 90-bottle wood and metal standard racks. Make the spaces in the table big enough the enter each wine’s name (you may have to abbreviate) and simply delete and add new ones as you change/buy/drink your wine.

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There is no other game in town other than CellarTracker.

Once you get used to it’s functionality, it is truly breathtaking what you can do with it. I speak, by the way, as what I consider to be from a lay person’s perspective. I’m reasonably computer literate, but I’m no fan of spread sheets. CT does the work for you. :smiley:

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I also use CellarTracker to document wines I have but only use the storage location to differentiate between those in Reserves and those in my ‘cellar’ (large wine racks at home). I use the CT drinking date report to determine when to draw down wines from reserves.

As far as organising the wine racks at home goes, I have a system where wines are stored by drink by date, so the columns nearest the door have the most recent drink-by-year (currently 2022 as I have finished all my 2021s), the next columns cover the next year, and so on, depending on numbers purchased. Again CT breaks this down nicely and I use it to roughly allocate space. The first 1 or 2 columns of each year are for whites, the next 2 to 4 are for reds, which reflect the ratio of my purchases and the tendency for reds to have a later drinking dates and so bought earlier.

Each wine has a neck label so that I can see what it is without removing the bottle.

Periodically I’ll pull back some more supplies from reserves and use that as an opportunity to move wines around in the racks to fill up space and remind myself what is still there. Again I’ll use the cellar tracker’s ready to drink report, filtered for location:Reserves and with a ‘drinkability date’ a few months in the future to determine what to draw down.

For consumption, I’ll use a combination of the ready to drink report, filtered for location:cellar or just glance over the labels to see what I fancy drinking at that time. Normally its the latter.

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A fine thread for the more (and occasionally less :wink: ) those-who-should-get-out-more oenophile :slight_smile:
Most by drink date in a (previously used as a) north facing windowless shower room.
Apart from those picked to be drunk this year or bought for immediate consumption which live briefly in a basement pantry.
These are organised by country/colour/sparkle.

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Combination of cellar tracker and a google spreadsheet for keeping note of where each bottle is in the wine fridge. Don’t bother with every day wines though, they’re just in a TWS delivery box on its side in the garage - gets moved about a bit (still got some sorting to do in the garage).

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Cellartracker keeps tabs on the 437 bottles I have currently in the wine room and the 128 bottles in bond/awaiting delivery.

I keep them in red, white, rose and sweet sections and then broken down within each section by country.

And then there are the ones still in the OWC’s that sit on their own shelves.

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I have a small rack holding 42 bottles for current drinking. Wines for longer term drinking are in TWS reserves.
An Excel spreadsheet keeps a record of what is in each slot in the rack so the wines are stored rather randomly but the spreadsheet means I know the location of every bottle and don’t have to keep removing bottles to find out what I have! It is important to keep the spreadsheet up to date.

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Regarding wines being cellared, I’ve got about 25 dozen under the stairs & 8 dozen in the cloak room. Wines drinking now, there’s 3 dozen in a bed room and a couple of dozen in a wine rack… There’s another 7 dozen on EP orders yet to arrive, but ‘no place at the inn’ for them unfortunately. So going to have to start paying for storage at TWS.
My biggest concern is that the floorboards are going to be OK with the 450 kg weight that’s on them as the under the stairs and cloak room are next to each other and it’s an old house.
Rotating stock can be hard work when a case arrives needing long cellaring and I need to pull it all out from under the stairs in order to get the new stuff in at the back. But I view it as healthy exercise, like digging the garden, which is good for me.
Record keeping is very basic. I do enough work on spread sheets and word documents etc at work. So, with the wine I just record what it is, vintage and drink dates on a sheet of paper, and then cross it out when the case is finished. I’m pretty good at remembering how many of each I’ve got left once a case has been started and I rarely make tasting notes.

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FWIW, I have all my wine in my home cellar:

-one rack by the cellar door which is designated as “death row”, when someone needs to grab a bottle. About 40 bottles there, in haphazard order
-one rack at the back with about 45 bottles to keep for better occasions. Some ready to drink, others need up to another decade.
-a crate on the floor with of everyday drinkers that I’m holding back for next year. Partly this is an exercise in self-regulation. I’m not allowed to buy any more everyday drinkers until “death row” is emptied, and I can move the “death row class of 2022” into their vacant cells. I generally like to keep cheaper Rhone etc for a year or so after purchase before drinking
-another crate on the cellar floor with the start of “death row class of 2023” in it.
-100 or so bottles in original boxes. Some of these boxes will stay unopened for a few years, which is no problem logistically. The problem is what one does when a box is half-empty, and you can’t stack them properly, and there isn’t enough room in another location.

All these wines, plus EPs, are recorded in a spreadsheet, but the spreadsheet doesn’t list where the bottles are located.

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I have two large wine fridges (~160 bottles each) in my garage which are used to store wines that are more expensive and/or require significant ageing. As a Tuscan red wine obsessive these fridges are basically split between Super Tuscans and Chianti Classico in fridge 1 and Brunello / Barolo / Rest of world (mostly Portuguese red) in fridge 2. I try to keep the same wines together and order by vintage with older (i.e. more ready to drink) vintages towards the front. But it’s super annoying when you receive a new bottle and your existing shelf/space for that wine is already full, so I’ll often just put newly received wines wherever there is space and then every 6 months or so do a full rejig.

More everyday wines are stored mostly under the stairs and in a WC cupboard. The latter is actually reasonably suitable for wine storage - dark, consistently cool and relatively humid - and so is increasingly acting as overflow storage from the two completely full (!) wine fridges. Under the stairs is unfortunately not much cooler than room temperature and so is reserved for wines I intend to drink over the next year or two.

Sadly even this is not enough space as I am now having to increasingly stash wines in other places around the house that are vaguely cool/dark. Sigh…

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Once a box of 12 is half empty I put the last 6 into a six pack box. Once the six pack box is half empty I mix the wines in the box and write on the box what it contains.
That way all the boxes are pretty full, they stack OK and I’m not wasting space storing partially empty boxes.

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