If you aren’t going to drink the bottle of wine tonight, you might consider some form of wine racking system to keep your wines at their peak of flavor. Matt Pelarcik, owner of The Wine Rack Shop in Downington, Pennsylvania, has a variety of solutions, ranging from simple display racks to custom systems used in large wine rooms and cellars.
Pelarcik has been manufacturing and distributing quality wine racks for five years. Because he has a web interface, Pelarcik is able to ship racks anywhere in the world. “We send racks to Great Britain and the Caribbean. Everywhere.”
The Wine Rack Shop makes modular wooden wine racks out of maple. “I think we have the most heavy duty racks available just because they are all maple. It’s a hard wood,” Pelarcik says. “You’ll see a lot of pine and redwood racks.” Those are soft woods that are not as durable as maple, which is often the top choice for builders for flooring, cabinetry, and even fine furniture. Pelarcik uses Northeastern Maple for its natural beauty. “It’s also a very stable wood. It doesn’t move a lot, which wood has a tendency to do in someone’s home in certain conditions,” he adds. “And, all of our racks don’t need to be attached to floor, wall, or ceiling. They will stand alone.”
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This makes them very user friendly for apartments and other rentals. It also makes it easier to move around or adjust the size or configuration of your storage system.
Most people order these racks unfinished, though you can get them turned out in cherry, mahogany, or in a clear varnish. This is an excellent choice for display racks that will be in a prominent place in a collector’s home. These racks are then used for short term storage for a dinner party or a week’s worth of wine or for young wines that will be enjoyed within a short time frame. Or, they may be excellent choices for the new synthetic corks or screw tops that are transforming the wine industry.
Nevertheless, for long term storage away from the eyes of guests, Pelarcik recommends unfinished wooden racks. Stain fumes can sometimes penetrate wine corks and compromise the wine.
If you are building a home wine cellar or installing a walk-in wine room, Pelarcik’s modular racking system is ideal. “We sell racks from a 12-bottle rack all the way to thousands of bottles. You can mix and match any combination, height, width, anything like that. They will all connect together in a modular format,” he says. He also offers different widths. “We offer a rack for 2 or 3 bottles wide up to 8 bottles wide. That way if you have a 70" wide wall, you can come pretty close with several different stacks to maximize your space. You can get within a couple of inches of the room’s dimensions.” In places were space is at a premium such as in New York City, this is a great choice to store as many bottles as possible in the space that is available.
There are even curved racks that can be used in corners. They can be either concave or convex. “You can actually make a complete circle if you wanted to,” Pelarcik says. “Or, you can make an S curve or have rounded inside corners or outside corners.”
The racks come 90% assembled by The Wine Rack Shop. “The end users has to do about 10 % of the work. We just figured that was the best way to do it,” Pelarcik explains. Each rack ordered comes with pre-drilled holes, instructions, Allen bolts, and a simple Allen wrench to put them together. Some of the racks are also stackable, making endless possible configurations.
All of The Wine Rack Shop’s racks are built for undisturbed, horizontal storage of wine with plenty of space between bottles to ensure air circulation and temperature control. Many wine experts have insisted that wine be stored either tilted with the cork either up or down. There are problems with that manner of storage, especially with fragile wines. According to Pelarcik, when wine is tilted upright, the cork may not be kept wet enough and the bottle will need to be rotated a quarter turn on a regular schedule. If the bottle is tilted down toward the cork, the sediment falls into the neck and may remain there when uncorking the bottle, thus spoiling an expensive wine. Pelarcik recommends storing each bottle of wine horizontally and to leave them undisturbed. “This keeps the cork wet as much as possible, and the sediment in the aging process falls to the side of the bottle,” he says.
Then, when you wish to enjoy your fine bottle of wine, you simply decant it. “Some people actually filter it through a coffee filter, depending on how much sediment you get.” he adds.
In addition, Pelarcik is available for consultation about designing your wine cellar. “We can design somebody’s wine cellar or their wine room. We can come up with a configuration for them and lay out their racks for their cellar,” he explains. “We can ship across the country, usually within 2 to 3 weeks.”
For more information about Pelarcik and these modular wine racks, visit his website at www.winerackshop.com.