How should you organize your wine cellar or wine refrigerator? This can be a debilitating question, leaving you frozen in your tracks, just thinking about the endless options of how best to organize your wine. By varietal? By region? By vintage? By drink dates? Red here, white there? Before the anxiety attack takes you over completely, take a deep breath. We have advice that can help you decide your best method of organization.

Home Cellar Organization

When we have handled the home cellar organization projects, I usually spend a little time with the collector to get a better sense of their ‘wine habits’. Do they like to drink their wines younger or with age? Do they prefer red over white, or do they enjoy a true variation of wine? What is the bulk of their collection, is it Napa reds, Burgundy, Bordeaux…etc. From there, I evaluate the space to see how it can be best utilized, based on their habits. If there are a few whites, but mostly reds, I will keep the whites together, then organize the reds further, usually by varietal and region. If a client has a large cellar and many wines that need to be enjoyed(because they are in their prime), I will keep those together, then organize the rest by when it will be ready to enjoy, especially when dealing with full cases of wine. I’ve found that there is usually a bulk area for ‘daily drinker’ type wines, or for less expensive wines. I usually put the most commonly enjoyed or largest quantity type of wines in an accessible area of the cellar.

Tracking your Collection

Perhaps the most important thing to do: Put the collection into Cellar Tracker or Vinfolio. This keeps track of what is in the cellar down to the bottle, can help when choosing a wine to enjoy with dinner, or a collection to pull for a gathering. These software systems also offer detailed tasting notes and the ability to add your own tasting note. You can also keep track of purchase information, when you drank the wine or if you gifted a bottle to a client or friend. You could also barcode your entire collection, making it nearly impossible to lose track of or delete the wrong wine. I prefer Cellar Tracker, because they utilize an app called VinoPal that is very visual and easy to use.

Put the collection into Cellar Tracker or Vinfolio

To have a detailed bottle inventory can really help with valuation of the collection as well. Both Vinfolio and Cellar Tracker offer the ability to determine the value of your wine collection, which can be useful when insuring your wine collection.