Wine Rack Dimensions for the Right Height (with Photos)
Whether you’re a sommelier or just like to relax with an occasional glass of wine, you likely have wine storage. Of course, how you store your wine can vary based on a few things, but it probably includes a wine rack.
Wine racks should measure 14.5” or more, and the openings should measure at 3.5”. Wine rack holes should measure no less than 3.2” to hold a standard wine bottle. Lattice wine racks vary in depth, and their holes often measure 4” from frame to frame.
Once you have these basic measurements in place, the remaining dimensions depend mostly on the number of bottles. The construction and materials of the wine rack also play a part in the overall size.
What Is the Size of a Standard Wine Bottle?
The most significant factor influencing wine rack dimensions is the size of the bottles. A standard wine bottle is typically 3 or 3.2 inches in diameter and about 12 inches tall.
What Size Should a Wine Rack Be?
The size of your wine rack depends on several factors. Consider how much wine you want to store, your available space, and the type of wines you have.
Since you typically store wine bottles on their sides, the bottle’s height determines the wine rack depth. For an enclosed wine rack that fits the whole bottle, the depth needs to be 14.5 inches.
This measurement includes the wine rack’s actual structure, whether it’s wood, metal, or another material. The height and width of the rack can vary widely based on how many bottles the rack holds.
Obviously, a wine rack for four bottles will be significantly smaller than one that holds 12 or 18. Also, some wine racks hold more bottles horizontally than vertically, and vice versa, which also affects the overall dimensions.
It also depends on how the rack is constructed. A wine rack made of wood, with a traditional feel, will likely be larger than a more contemporary, metal style.
Plus, a wine rack can be shallower than 14.5 inches. Depending on how much of the bottle you want to be exposed to, the depth can be significantly less. For example, racks with open fronts and backs might only be 7 inches deep.
In open racks this size, the bottle is simply positioned differently. The bottle’s base pokes out the back, and the shoulder of the bottle rests on the front opening.
Wine Rack Hole Sizes
Most standard wine racks feature openings that measure roughly 3.2 to 3.5-inches. This size can comfortably fit standard wine bottles.
However, several types of wine come in bottles with a larger diameter. Some Chardonnays and Shiraz come in 3.5-inch diameter bottles. Also, Pinot Noir comes in wider bottles, measuring roughly 3.5 inches.
These slightly larger bottles often don’t fit in a typical wine rack space. The opening must be somewhat larger than the bottle’s diameter for the bottle to fit in the space smoothly. Therefore, to hold these larger bottles, a wine rack with 4-inch openings works best.
Lattice Wine Racks
The classic diamond, or lattice, wine rack features a series of diamond-shaped openings to store wine bottles. When it comes to which style rack you want, it’s all a matter of personal aesthetics.
Some lattice racks feature openings 3.5 inches from frame to frame, while others are 4 inches. Make sure you think about the kind of wine you will store on the rack to determine the optimal size.
Some diamond racks feature a larger diamond opening in which you can stack several bottles on top of each other. Although you can fit an assortment of bottles this way, including the larger diameter varieties, you should store them thoughtfully.
If you want a bottle on the bottom of the stack, you need to exercise care not to break bottles. Therefore, keep the bottles you want to drink first closer to the top. Of course, you could simply store the same bottles together (if you have that much wine — lucky you).
At What Angle Should You Store Wine?
While it’s preferred to store wine horizontally, there’s another measurement to consider — the angle. Ideally, a wine rack should be tilted slightly downward, to keep the wine in constant contact with the cork.
This practice keeps the cork swollen so no air can enter the bottle and interfere with the wine. A 45-degree angle is best, but even a slight negative angle will do nicely.
Additional Factors to Consider When Storing Wine
How you store your wine is critical to maintaining its integrity. Some of the main factors influencing your wine’s quality are humidity, temperature, and light.
Ideally, you should store wine in a cool, temperature-controlled environment with little exposure to natural light or harsh lighting. These conditions are why cellars are the go-to place for the best wine storage. However, not everyone has a cellar.
You can either build a temperature-controlled wine room or, for a more accessible option, get a wine fridge. Wine fridges help you create the ideal conditions for storing your wine. You might opt for one large cooler or two smaller. For example, you might keep your reds in one wine fridge and whites in another.
Keep in mind, just because it’s a chiller doesn’t mean you’re trying to make your wine cold. It’s about keeping your wine at the correct constant temperature so that you would set the chiller accordingly. Many wine fridges feature shelves that make them more versatile for storing different sized bottles.
What Are the Dimensions of a Wine Chiller (Cooler)?
Wine coolers are like wine racks with cooling capabilities. They come in various sizes depending on how many bottles they store.
Here’s an average breakdown of some of the more common sizes.
Average Sizes of Wine Fridges
|4 Bottle Units|
W 6 x D 14.25 x 20.75 (on the vertical)
|The vertical option is usually the most popular.|
|6 Bottle Units|
W 10 x D 20 x H 14
|Usually, these consist of three shelves with two bottles on each.|
|8 Bottle Units|
|W 10 x D 20 x H 18 (on the vertical)||This size could also hold 6 broader bottles (like Pinot Noir).|
|W 16 x D 20 x H 11 (on the horizontal)||This size could also hold 6 broader bottles (like Pinot Noir).|
|12 Bottle Units|
|W 9.9 x D 19.7 x H 25 (on the vertical)||12-bottle coolers are great for beginning wine enthusiasts.|
|W 14.2 x D 20.1 x H 19 (on the horizontal)||12-bottle racks make it easy to always have a few properly stored wines on hand.|
|18 Bottle Units|
W 13.6 x D 20 X 35.5
|Most 18-bottle designs are vertical. This size lets you store a lot of wine while still being compact.|
|32 Bottle Units|
W 15.75 x D 20.25 x H 33.5
|This larger size is ideal for event venues, small businesses, or just if you really, really like wine.|
The sizes of wine chillers vary based on type and design. However, these averages provide a good idea of the different available options that are out there.
Can You Install a Free-Standing Wine Fridge Under a Counter?
You can purchase stand-alone wine chillers or under-the-counter chillers. However, you should not use a free-standing chiller as an under-the-counter unit. The ventilation would not work properly since stand-alones are not designed for this type of use.
Space Needed for an Under-the-Counter Wine Chiller
If you plan to install a chiller under your counter, there are a few extra dimensions to consider. Basically, you need to account for adequate space around the unit to allow for proper airflow.
Ideally, leave roughly one inch of space on each side, two inches in the back, and four inches on top. Always measure carefully before purchasing your wine fridge or wine racks.
If you’re concerned that you don’t have the proper space, you might need to rethink your plan. You can either opt for a smaller unit, create a bigger opening, or get a stand-alone chiller.
Do you have to store wine on a wine rack?
Wine is typically stored horizontally on a wine rack to preserve the taste and quality. However, the main reason for this is to keep the cork moist, so air doesn’t enter the bottle.Therefore, bottles with screw tops or plastic tops might be fine if stored upright. In fact, screw-tops are becoming more and more prevalent due to their lower cost. But, there’s no reason to store these bottles upright, and placing them on their sides won’t ruin the wine. Plus, keeping wine on a wine rack makes a real aesthetic statement.
How many wine bottles can you safely stack on top of each other?
Many large diamond racks hold stacked bottles of wine. (This is when you lay one bottle in between the groove of the two bottles below).While you might think stacking a bunch of glass bottles on top of each other is bad news, it’s not. People with very large quantities of wine often store their bottles like this, especially in large wine rooms or cellars. Many restaurants also showcase their wines this way.Still, to play it safe, keep your stacks around 35 to 40 bottles max. If your rack’s design is meant for a lesser amount, ensure you don’t exceed the minimum. When it comes to storing your wine, dimensions are just a part of the puzzle. Consider your wines and available space carefully so you can find the wine rack that best suits your needs.
Wondering Where You Should Put Your Wine Rack?
Most people prefer to store their wine in the basement. If you don’t have a basement, what do you do? You could store it in a walk-in pantry. Visit our Walk-In Pantry Dimensions article to learn how you can build the perfect size pantry to include your wine rack.
Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.
More by Stacy Randall