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Wine, Wine and More Wine – Organizing a Wine Cellar

Anna organizing wine cellarLast fall, we were contacted by a long-term client that wanted help organizing their wine cellar. The client was retired and had clearly enjoyed collecting wine over the past fifteen years. The cellar was in the basement and had over 1,500 bottles in it. Some of the client’s concerns were around starting to sell some of the collection, being able to track more information about the collection, and really…what was the value of the collection!
Knowing how to set up a wine cellar can be a complicated task. Enter, Your Organizing Consultants, we have helped several clients inventory and maintain their cellars. Here is what we did:
  • On the first visit, we assessed the space. Luckily, it was small enough that we didn’t need to create a floor plan.
  • There were a lot of bottles, so we knew an inventory system was essential.
  • The client was not particular on where bottles were stored in the cellar.
  • Most of the bottles were already racked, the client felt that it was not of value to them to rearrange everything.
  • We worked with the client to create an alpha-numeric system to label the bins and racks that worked for their cellar.
  • Choosing the right system for setting up the client’s inventory requires a proper assessment of the client’s needs.
  • An additional goal was to clear the floor space in the cellar of 20 cases of wine and get them into the racks.
  • We used an app and label/scanning system to catalog each bottle. This way, the client can search, track, locate and maintain their collection. The software really helps to offer the client much more information about their wine, it’s origin and all of our clients love the fact that with an inventory they now know when to optimally drink their wine for the best experience.

organizing wine    


  • The system we set up allows the client to keep track of tasting notes, drink dates, origin information and personal preferences as well as what was in the cellar and what was in storage off-site.
  • The layout and process allow the client to maintain the cellar on their own. With a cataloging system, when the client wants to serve one of the bottles of wine, they simply get the bottle, tear off the special wine labels that we use and file for inventory updating (either by us or the client).

A very important aspect of managing your wine cellar is knowing the value so that it can be properly insured.

Wine cellars in areas that are prone to floods, hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes may not be covered under a typical homeowner’s policy.  If a natural disaster is impending an up to date inventory helps your insurer assist you to get your wine out of danger. We also urge clients to consider that climate control systems sometimes fail and that may be something to discuss with your insurance agent.

At the end of the project, the client was so happy. They rediscovered some favorites that they had forgotten about and they now could find any bottle in seconds…no more searching around. The client worked with us at times and learned the system, how to enter new wine and remove wine that they drank. They learned about the various reports that they could pull to have the latest information.  As the client starts to consider downsizing, they will easily be able to pull reports and sell parts of their collection on their own or through a wine consignor.