If you were wondering why wine racks are tilted, you’re not the only one.

Surely, it can’t be by chance?

It’s a question that often gets asked in wine forums and groups, with many people convinced there must be a scientific reason for it.

So, why are wine racks tilted?

The answer is actually quite simple.

The reason why wine racks are tilted is based on the orientation of the bottle, allowing the cork to remain moist and swollen and preventing it from drying out.

This, in turn, prevents the wine from spoilage. The angle also allows for the wine to be stored at a consistent temperature, which is important for long-term storage.

There are some wineries that package the wine upside down in the box for this very reason – so that the cork will stay moist.

What Angle Should a Wine Rack Be At?

Ideally, your wine rack should be at a 10-degree angle from a horizontal flat surface.

This allows the cork to be in contact with the wine, while also allowing for proper air circulation around the bottle.

Source: Chiltern Oak

You also want to make sure that your wine rack is not in direct sunlight, as this can cause the wine to spoil.

If you’re unsure about the angle of your wine rack, you can always consult with a wine expert to get their opinion.

What Happens if Wine is Stored Upright?

If your wine is stored upright, then the wine is not hitting the cork and the cork can start to dry out.

This can cause the wine to be quite musty and can also cause the cork to shrink, which can eventually lead to wine spoilage.

It’s important to remember that wine is a living thing and needs to be cared for properly in order to ensure that it tastes its best.

Laid Sideways

As well as the orientation, laying a bottle sideways helps prevent oxidation of the wine.

When a bottle of wine is left standing upright, the air bubbles will slowly rise to the top and eventually pop, which causes the wine to oxidize.

Laying the bottle on its side prevents this from happening, as there are no air bubbles in contact with the wine.

The Different Types of Tilted Wine Rack

  • Wooden free-standing wine rack.
  • Barrel wine rack.
  • Terracotta wine rack.
  • Oak sideboard with wine rack.
  • Oak cabinet wine rack.
  • Dresser wine rack.
  • Iron wall-mounted wine rack.
  • Chromed metal and wood wine rack.
  • Wine fridge.


Should you keep red wine in the fridge?

It is not recommended to keep the wine in a fridge. This is because your average fridge is set at a temperature of between 35° and 38°F (or 1.7 to 3.3°C) which is too cold for most wines. Red wine, in particular, should be stored at a temperature of around  11-14˚c (52-57°F).

Is a wall-mounted wine rack better than a free-standing one?

It really depends on your personal preference and the space you have available. Wall-mounted wine racks are great for small spaces as they take up less room, but free-standing wine racks can be more aesthetically pleasing.

Do wine racks come in different sizes?

Yes, wine racks come in various sizes to accommodate different numbers of bottles. The most common sizes are 4, 6, 12, and 18 bottle wine racks.

Do wine racks come in different materials?

Yes, wine racks can be made from a variety of materials including wood, metal, glass and plastic. The most popular materials are wood and metal.

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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