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Do the words ‘wine cellar’ conjure up an image of damp, crumbling stone walls where inset bottles languished underground for hundreds of years? If so, welcome to the 21st century, where many wine cellars would be unrecognizable to our ancestors. First and foremost, wine collections aren’t always stored in a traditional, below ground cellar anymore!
For people with modern sensibilities and tastes, wine must still be properly stored, but a collection will do just as well if not better with today’s modern racking systems than in the cellars of yore. All that matters, essentially, is the purchaser’s taste. Here we’ll deconstruct what constitutes a modern wine racking system versus a traditional one.

Modern wine systems – simple, tasteful and minimalist

Today’s modern wine storage systems are designed to put the focus on the wine – not on the perilous journey down crumbling stone steps. Modern wine cellars and the racking systems that define them are designed to have a clean, sleek aesthetic; straight lines and minimal materials are usually used, so that while the design elements are themselves striking in their simplicity, nothing really detracts from the labels. Bottles often appear to float in midair because unlike with traditional wine cellars, modern wine cellars often use metal, cable or acrylic materials that are virtually invisible against their backdrop.
How will you know if a modern wine racking system is right for you? It all depends on your preference. Generally speaking, if you would describe the rest of your décor as striking, minimalistic, modern, clean, sleek or high style, and if you prefer smooth, shiny chrome and a black-and-white palette over hardwoods and natural hues, you may be interested in a modern system that lets the wine steal the show.

Traditional wine systems – an elegant aesthetic

Do you appreciate timeless pieces when it comes to art, furnishings and woodwork? A traditional wine racking system may be for you – but don’t be taken in by inexpensive, pre-assembled wooden racking, which does not stand the test of time and can actually detract from the luxury of your collection. Well-made traditional wine racking can be perfect for individuals who prefer a more classical wine storage look to enhance their home or establishment.
Of course, regardless of whether your existing décor is modern or classic, you can opt for a traditional wine racking system if you are building a custom wine cellar which will stand apart from the rest of the space. In fact, a custom wine cellar with traditional wooden racking made of cherry, walnut, mahogany, maple or oak can be a very elegant way to display your wine collection. You may also choose to incorporate wood wine racking and classic, old–world features such stone walls and arches along with quality metal racking, which, because of its understated nature, tends to blend surprisingly well with fixtures from earlier times.

Modern or traditional, the choice is yours

Wine collecting is no longer the purview of a few elite individuals. For many, having the ability to display their wine collection, no matter its size, is important in this era of wine appreciation. Whatever way you choose to bring the wines you enjoy into your homes, it’s best to showcase it inventively, and with pride – it is a reflection of your tastes and personality, after all!

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