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Whether you’re a professional wine collector or just someone who likes to keep a few favorite bottles around, wall mounted wine racks are an increasingly popular way to conveniently store and access wines.

Think about it – not everyone has the counter space to just leave them sitting around, but not all of us are lucky enough to have a temperature-controlled stone cellar with wood shelves and torches everywhere (do people in the real world even have those?), so you have to find somewhere to keep them.

With that in mind, a lot of enthusiasts are turning to wall wine shelves to help stash their favorite bottles and keep them safe up above the counters and tables to save space. If you’re thinking about hanging up a wine rack or two but want some pointers on how to most safely install and use them, here’s a couple dos, don’ts, tips, and tricks to keep in mind when you’re figuring out where and how to hang them:

Figure out how many bottles you’re going to store

Wine racks are pretty flexible in the amount of bottles they can store (and how they’re stored in the first place) but you’re going to want to get an idea of how many you’re keeping before you commit to a size. This will help you avoid taking up too much wall space with racks you don’t need, and can also help prevent you ordering a rack that’s too small for everything you want to keep on it. Count the wine bottles you have now and try to be honest with yourself about how many you plan on buying in the future to make sure you have space left over.

Be careful about facing windows

As anyone who has tried to store wine in their house long-term has learned, exposure to direct sunlight and changing temperature can wreak havoc on wines of any kind and may leave them undrinkable (or at least not tasting how you’d hoped). Wherever you wind up placing your wall mounted wine racks, try to keep them away from direct sunlight and open windows, and preferably somewhere with good temperature and humidity control to prevent damage.

The big choice: kitchen or dining room?

Most wine bottles end up in the kitchen or dining room eventually (or sometimes the living room on weekends), and wherever you use them most can impact where you wind up hanging your wine rack. Think about things like where you use your wine the most (for cooking or drinking?), where the walls have the most space and the sturdiest construction to hold the entire rack, and which of the two rooms are going to provide a better environment to keep wine in. Kitchens tend to get a lot hotter which can lead to oxidation and dry corks, but then if you need quick access to wine for cooking you may need to consider keeping them in the kitchen away from any big heat sources. (At this point the living room can also be considered as a way to show off your collection to guests, if you’re particularly proud of it.)

Check the walls before mounting

As with any wall mounted shelves, care needs to be taken before installing any of your wall mounted wine racks. Use a stud finder to locate any bent nails that could be lost inside the walls. Use the size of bolts, brackets, and nails recommended by the manufacturer to prevent accidental falls or damage. Make sure it won’t get in the way of any opening doors or other shelves, and do try to keep it high enough to prevent pets or kids from getting injured on the bottom of it (not that any of us here have ever bumped their head on a low-hanging shelf, no sir).

With these tips in mind, your new wall wine racks should help you both show off and enjoy your wines like never before! (Of course, if it leads to you buying more wine down the road, at least now you’ve got the space, right?)

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