I rely on what I affectionately refer to as my “wine friends” for all sorts of wine guidance. Do they know a wine bar or shop in Tampa I should visit when I’m there seeing family? Is there a winery in Bordeaux my sister can check out when she’s in town? What birth-year wine might I consider buying for my newborn niece to drink in 21 years? I met most of them six years ago when we worked together at a restaurant in New York. They were on the wine team and I wasn’t, so this has been going on for a while.
While visiting one such friend a few weeks ago, I became absolutely goo-goo-eyed over the nearly three-foot-tall, wooden wine rack in her very chic apartment. Surely this was leftover shelving from one of the restaurants she worked in, I thought — it seemed so incredibly bespoke! “It’s from Etsy, can you believe it?” she asked. Truly, I could not. I snapped pictures of it in secret while she refilled my glass of wine, sent the shots to my sister/roommate for validation and approval, and then smashed the buy button.
The root of my wine storage problem is that I buy wine faster than I drink it, because, like many people these days, I buy bottles from my neighborhood shops and restaurants to show support, on top of being subscribed to a wine cub. This wasn’t the first time I came across a seemingly ideal method for storing my inventory — which, prior to the arrival of the 36-bottle Decomil wine rack, was spread out between a corner of the refrigerator and the bottom of a two-tier bar cart. But all the other modes of storage I had considered and let languish in digital shopping carts (read: wine coolers) had me spending hundreds of dollars; this one cost me $60.
Of course, the rack won’t solve what a wine cooler or my refrigerator is able to do, which is keep bottles at sommelier-recommended temperatures and thus ready to open at virtually any time. But I’d guess that most of us feel fine popping a bottle in the fridge a couple of hours before opening it. If you’re really in a pinch, you can wrap the bottle in a wet paper towel and put it in the freezer for about 12 minutes (another pro tip from a wine friend).
Perhaps even more of a detractor than the high price tag, those wine coolers are clunky. They’re not the sort of thing that could easily fit into any room or style of decor. This wine rack, on the other hand, looks incredibly elegant when nestled next to my bar cart. It has been one of the rare home additions that hasn’t prompted me to stare at it for days asking, “Does this look weird here?”
“It’s incredibly easy to set up too,” said my friend and several Etsy commenters. And sure enough, when the bamboo pieces arrived they took about 10 minutes to come together and in a manner that felt incredibly reminiscent of playing with Lincoln logs. (It would’ve taken half the time had I paid attention to either the product shot or the instructions.) So if you’ve been flirting with buying a $400+ wine cooler, consider getting yourself a chic and much cheaper wine rack from an Etsy seller. I’m already thinking of buying myself a second 36-bottle rack to stack right on top.