Stacking wine bottles in your wine fridge can be tricky, especially when you have a lot of them. If you’re like most people, you probably only have the shelves that came with your fridge and may even use it to store more than just wine and beer in it. This process can be hard to get right the first time, but once you know how to stack wine bottles in your wine fridge it becomes much easier with each new addition. Here are 10 steps to help you take advantage of the space in your liquor cabinet and stack those wine bottles properly!
Step 1: Decide on your wine collection
You can stack wine bottles in any wine fridge that holds 750ml bottles, but for a practical and functional set-up, you’ll want to stick with Bordeaux style bottles. These have thinner shoulders and require less space between them than Burgundy style bottles (which are shorter, but also thicker). This is important as you’ll need enough space on either side of each bottle so that you can fit two layers without smashing your tops. So you’re aiming for two rows of eight or nine (depending on if you’ve got more Burgundy or Bordeaux) and then one layer on top of that. For an even more compact set-up, try using 750ml Champagne flutes instead.
Step 2: Choose which bottles you want displayed
Displaying bottles is entirely a matter of personal preference. Some collectors will show off all of their bottles, while others may only display certain types or vintages. The choice is yours, but keep in mind that smaller bottles may not fit on your shelves, so you might need to do some rearranging if you’re hoping for a full presentation. You can even get creative with your racks and choose unusual bottle holders or cool lighting features that set your collection apart from all those other wine fridges out there. Step 3: Place all of your new empty wine bottles inside your pre-cooled refrigerator and watch as they slowly become chilled through refrigeration. This will help prevent them from sweating when you put them on display later!
Step 3: Choose how many rows and columns you want
If you’re storing 12 bottles, you can make two rows of six, or one row of 12. If you want to maximize space, however, then fill up three vertical spaces with four bottles each (you’ll only have one bottle left over). You don’t want them all stacked on top of each other—that could damage them and they won’t be as visible. If they’re staggered or positioned diagonally rather than straight up and down, you can see more labels and it makes them look cooler. Start with a layer of boxes or corks: Place some cardboard or corks on your counter first so that when you start stacking wine bottles they aren’t clanking against hard surfaces like tile floors.
Step 4: Determine your spacing between each bottle
Place two bottles of wine next to each other on your shelf and adjust their distance until you have an arrangement that looks right. Once you have determined a comfortable amount of space between each bottle, place a piece of tape on top of each bottle that shows how far apart they should be (about an inch or so). From here you can start adding more bottles. Just remember, they all must touch! You will notice when adding more bottles it gets harder to stack them close together because as more are added, there is less room on your shelf. However, by keeping them just an inch or so apart at first you will be able to add even more later if needed. Keep stacking!
Step 5: Make sure your bottle are clean & ready to stack
If there is any debris on your wine bottles use a soft damp cloth or rubbing alcohol to clean them. Use a paper towel, or soft damp rag and warm water to rinse off. If you find that you have dust, dirt or grime on your wine bottles carefully wipe each bottle with a damp cloth followed by a dry cloth. Do not use abrasive cleaners when cleaning your wine bottles they can ruin them and make then very hard to stack. Always make sure each bottle is dry before stacking them in your refrigerator
Step 6 : Place the bottom row of bottles
As soon as you get one row of bottles placed, place another straight down below it on a slightly slanted angle. Keep in mind that you want about three inches between each bottle so there’s plenty of space for air flow. Once you have your bottom row positioned, go ahead and place a second bottle row directly underneath it at an angle that points toward where your top row is going to go. Be sure to leave plenty of room between them for airflow.
Step 7 : Stack the second row of bottles on top of bottom row
In order to create uniform rows and avoid any mishaps, you’ll want to carefully stack your second row of bottles onto those on the first row. You can do so by simply inserting a wine bottle into one of those on your bottom row. It will be a tighter fit, but it should go in. Then, you’ll want to ensure that all other bottles are standing straight up and leaning against each other before proceeding with step 8 below. Step 8 : Stack third row of bottles on top of second: This step is essentially identical as step 7 except that you’ll be adding an additional layer as opposed to just positioning another individual bottle directly above one on your lower level.
Step 8 : Keep going! (Repeat until finished)
Start with another bottle, and place it on top of one of your completed stacks. It will be a little wobbly, but as long as you keep everything balanced and hold it upright until you get everything straightened out, it will be okay. This is where having some longer shelves would come in handy. Just make sure that when you are placing each bottle, you are keeping them roughly at an equal distance from one another (3-4 inches between bottles works well). If they’re touching or right up against each other when you put them on top of one another, then your stack is going to lean over dramatically.
Step 9 : Cover entire area with a blanket or towel for aesthetics & protection.
It might not sound like much, but keeping your wine bottles clean, dry and protected will mean you have a better wine drinking experience overall. So protect those expensive corks from any debris or dust by covering them up with some material that looks good enough to serve as your table cloth! You can even add an extra layer of security if you’re stacking full-sized bottles on top of each other by covering them with a towel so they don’t roll off while you aren’t looking. This is especially important if you are stacking high-end wines, because there is less risk of popping out of their labels and causing damage over time. You may also want to consider keeping towels or rags handy for cleaning up any spills that occur.
Step 10 : Inspect your handiwork!
Check for dust or debris and, if everything looks good, close your wine fridge door and enjoy your beautiful new wine display. If there are problems, go back to Step 2. If you hit a step that you don’t know how to accomplish (in my case it was getting level), Google is your friend! Just type in how do I stack bottles into a wine fridge and you’ll get more than enough advice.
It’s easy to be scared by wine, with all its rules and traditions. But if you take a deep breath, relax, and let yourself enjoy it, you may find that wine can be your best friend. Next time you try to stack bottles of wine in your wine fridge just remember: keep an open mind. Follow these steps carefully and pay attention so that when you finally step away from those bottles, they will not have toppled over! And when it comes down to enjoying them, just always remember: Everything in moderation! Good luck! If at first glance any of these steps seem overwhelming, don’t give up- either go slowly or enlist help from friends or a professional for more advice.