01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

The Society's Community

Innovative (and cheap!) Cellar storage solutions?

I was wondering if anyone has any ideas of innovative, maybe green, and cheap storage solutions for wine. Basically I’ve a bit of cellar in my house that’s long and thin, under the stairs, that I use for wine storage. Cool and dampish, so really quite perfect. However just now I’ve got a mix of old shelving that’s doing ok but really not storing as much as I’d need.

I’d probably want the storage going up along one wall and it would be nice if I could see the labels - but beggars can’t be choosers.

So has anyone got any suggestions of good storage solutions that don’t break the bank, don’t deforest the rain forest and are relatively cheap and cheerful?

2 Likes

roughly what dimensions ?

I looked at a cellar air con unit (when I thought bout building a room and before deciding upon a spiral) - they were about £2k

I was going to suggest TWS self assembly wine rack (which I have) but hey ho… no longer available. however its generic so you can buy anywhere. Cheap as chips and … it stores wine bottles !

Get the biggest modules you can, ie: 120 bottles, dont mess around with anything smaller, and just stack them up to increase capacity. I’ve seen restaurant cellars which line whole walls with this kind of rack - its THE standard wine rack… exists everywhere simply because it works. Dont forget to screw back to the wall at intervals - you dont want it crashing down.

Or you can spend £thousands… for something purpose made that also stores wine bottles. Or get creative with bricks & scaffold board, and make something that does the job (but actually costs more than the generic rack)

8 Likes

Agreed.

A few houses ago I bought a couple and made them cupboard under the stairs shaped, which was really effective too. I couldn’t get them out without wrecking them, but they’re cheap enough that that really didn’t matter too much.

2 Likes

I just put up a wall of these - best value storage out there I think!

31 Likes

A beautiful thing. I’m assuming you’ve got Your planagram sorted now, before it’s too late :fearful:

4 Likes

Depends on your budget really. I know to my cost that in damp environments such as yours, the wood and metal racks can erode over time - which in extremis can release brett-like compounds, depending on how the wood was treated at manufacture (something which is very hard to ascertain). ISTR they’re also not exactly cheap for what you get either (about C. £40 per 36 bottles?). I think you start getting discounts on the larger sizes, and if it’s only a bit damp, shouldn’t really be an issue.

I built mine from brick and paving slabs (which is about the same cost, but more sturdy and damp proof), but a solution that I think is best moving forward is using drainage manhole surrounds (which work out at around £10 per 15 bottles). With a dab of mortar you could fill a whole wall - they 're damp-proof, sturdy, and cheap (If you interlace them, you’d have to buy less too :smiley:).

https://www.jdpipes.co.uk/products-and-services/underground-sewer-systems/rectangular-concrete-chambers

You’d probably have to go to a builders yard for them, I suspect it’d be a lot cheaper than sourcing from the internet.

2 Likes

I’ve always wondered about knocking up something like this, making as many as you need or have space for. It would be very cheap and easy to make:

3 Likes

:+1: Cellartracker is my friend here, coupled with trying to keep things organised by region to aid with finding what I want.

3 Likes

I also got some storage units from TWS a few years ago. The wooden joints are treated with something, looks like creosote but without the smell, and the metal is galvanised. Corrosion might eventually be a problem, but I think the units will outlast me.
As somebody said, you do have to make sure the shelving is attached to the wall every so often or it will topple. The only real negative is that you can damage the labels moving bottles in and out without due care (guilty!).

7 Likes

I’ve found the most space efficient way to store wine is to have double depth standard pine wine racks made to the size you need, from memory I used A.W Moore and they seemed very reasonable and the racks are very well made, in fact they are so strong I can easily stack another 3 full cases on top. They may also be able to build your rack to accommodate a sloping design to fit under the stairs.

1 Like

How about this:


Can’t imagine finding anything much easier or cheaper!

9 Likes

You have to decide whether you are more likely to buy/store at home cases or individual bottles. Some of these solutions would be inconvenient with 12 different wines in a box and the one you want, always, at the bottom corner. With a grid system your list can tell you that a wine is at M6.

3 Likes

there are some great images for ideas if you simply google under stairs wine storage

some that look amazing but wouldn’t cost that much

3 Likes

Yes, but I don’t understand all the ones that are totally lit-up.

I thought that optimum storage conditions included darkness (possibly more important than vibration or humidity). Even green bottles are susceptible to light strike and the more light you have, the more likely they will suffer from it. Even most the ones that don’t have individual spotlights on all the prime spots seem to be open to regular daylight or standard lighting.

Am I wrong?

3 Likes

All I’d say on the subject of light is avoid buying wines from Harrods that you haven’t picked yourself - they have the place lit up like a christmas tree. I remember picking up a bottle of Jurancon (because I was surprised at them having it) in there, and it was hot (not warm, hot) to touch because it was so close to the halogen lights. I’d want a bit more care taken with a £100 bottle of wine, personally.

1 Like

led lights are a lot cooler that traditional filament lamps (dont call them bulbs electricians get annoyed!)

The glass screens normally have a layer laminated in them to reduce UV transmission by upto 99% (like your windscreen on your car)

2 Likes

I know! I have ranted about this on other threads. My cellar is dark, and I think I may just geek out and think of a red LED way of lighting it - or find a red LED bulb- which may be a lot easier actually…

I think I’m going to go for a bottle option - I’m not buying anything that expensive yet - average about £15 but maybe max around £30, but you never know…

1 Like

That’s what I’m figuring - but I’m thinking of getting the usual stackable shelves - the RTA ones you self assemble - but I might add a bit of vibration damping to the bottom (though not really sure I need it but over-engineering is fun). But I can also maybe change the bulb in that room to a red LED one, and if I use my phone do what astronomers do seemingly and create a red filter out of… a Baby Belle wrapper! :smile:

5 Likes

They are good, but I spent so long on my knees with a hammer I could have had a lifetime’s worth of redemption from sin.

6 Likes