Wine Racks America Ponderosa Wood Wine Rack Review

So, you have space in a dark closet, basement, or cellar (lucky you!) and are looking for wooden wine racks that are economical, robust, customizable, and easy to put together.  Enter Wine Racks America, a company that makes wine racks for a variety of consumers and commercial applications.

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We purchased two Wine Racks America racks in 2013 and were pleased with their robustness and the ease of putting them together. We ended up staining them to fit in with our basement decor, and we still use them there today in our basement, especially for the storage of wines and craft beer bombers that we plan to consume or share in the coming months. 

Things to consider before buying Wine Racks America Wood Wine Racks

The best way to store wines is on their side, and preferably in a dark place away from light, vibration, extreme temperatures, and relative humidity above 50%.  If you have most of these conditions as well as a growing wine collection, you may consider wooden wine racks for storing wines on their sides.

Wine Racks America wooden wine racks are ideal for someone with a cellar, closet, walk-in wine cellar, cave, or off-site temperature-controlled wine storage locker who is seeking sturdy shelving for organizing and laying down wines for in-bottle aging.

Before purchasing a wooden wine rack, consider the following:

  • How much space is available for the rack?

  • Do you want the wine rack to mount on the wall or on the floor?

  • What color of finish or stain do you prefer in a wine rack?

  • How many bottles do you hope to accommodate?

  • Which specific wine bottles will you need to accommodate (e.g., mostly standard Bordeaux or Burgundy bottles or a range of bottle shapes and sizes)?

  • What do you want to store above the wine rack?

You may not be an ideal candidate for a wooden wine rack if the following statements are true about you:

  • You don’t like to assemble products.

  • You need the product right away (manufacture and delivery can take several days).

  • You do not want to sand the item before staining (if you purchase the unstained product).

Wine Rack Americas Ponderosa Pine Wine Racks

Wine Rack Americas has been making wooden (metal, glass, and other) wine racks in Salt Lake City, Utah since 2003. The wooden wine racks are handmade from both hard and soft woods and with or without a finish. They sell five different lines catering toward the wine enthusiast, the serious collector, and the wine retailer.  In this review, we will be covering the Wooden Ponderosa Wine Rack Deluxe.

This product is ideal for the home wine collector who is simply looking to lay down wine bottles in a closet or basement for under a year. Those looking for a more refined or finished product may want to contact Wine Racks America directly for more customized options.  

Pros:

  • Made out of solid wood

  • Available stained or unstained

  • Ships in a flat box

Cons:

  • Some assembly is required.

  • As a natural wood product, there might be some natural variation in the finished product.

  • If most of your collection is Chardonnay, and the bottle has a wider base, they might be a tight fit.

  • If most of your collection is 375 mL or narrower than a Riesling flute, then the bottles might not fit on the brace.

Features & benefits of the Ponderosa Pine Deluxe Wood Wine Rack

How to finish the wood wine rack

The Wine Racks America wood wine rack comes unfinished.  You can stain the unit before you assemble it, or you can choose from over a dozen different finish options.  

We opted to finish the rack ourselves. We simply sanded the entire rack unit, first with coarse sandpaper, and then fine sandpaper.  We spread out all the wood components in the yard (on the cardboard box the pieces arrived in). We purchased some stain from the local hardware store and stained two units within one hour. We let the wine rack pieces dry in the garage for one week prior to assembling.

Wine rack construction

The Wine Racks America Ponderosa Pine Deluxe Wine Rack is made in America (Utah).  It comes with a lifetime guarantee. The Ponderosa pine is a fine-grained pine tree with a pleasant smell.  It is easy to stain and does not splinter as much as other softer pine wood. The entire unit is made of wood - there is no laminate or composite material.  

This freestanding unit does not require bolting to the wall. However, if there are small children in the house who might climb on top of the unit, we would recommending fixing the unit to the wall with some long screws.  

Wine Racks Americas Racks fit all 750 mL bottles

Over the past several years we have stored various bottle sizes in this wood wine rack.  

Wine bottles with wider bases like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir do fit. However, the fit is a little snug.  We have found that the wood is flexible and forgiving, so with a little elbow grease, we’ve gotten in all the bottles.

Special 500 mL or 375 mL bottles often don’t fit, in that most will fall through the slats. We’ve placed these smaller bottles in our EuroCave or placed them at the bottom of the wine rack on the lowest shelf so that they don’t fall through the slats.  

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Weight of the wine rack, with and without wine

Assembled, the wine rack weighs 50 lbs. Of course, you’ll add weight for wine bottles in the rack - you can easily put up to 250 lbs of weight on the system. If you are located on the second floor (or higher) of a building and are uncertain about the quality of the flooring under you, you may want to consider setting up your wine rack perpendicular to the floor joists so that your floor does not sag due to the weight. 

Storage on top of wine rack

With this unit, yes, you can store other items on top of it (including another wine rack, if you fasten them together appropriately!). We store some glassware on top of ours, as well as a collection of carboys containing fermenting beer.  

Wine Racks America’s standard wood wine rack allows for growth

Unlike many other wood wine rack companies, Wine Racks America knows that wine enthusiasts have evolving needs. If your collection grows to a large size and you’re considering adding more units, rest assured that other products have uniform height or width to allow for later expansion. 

Wine Racks America Wood Rack social proof

We did a lot of research on how others felt about the on-demand wooden wine racks from Wine Racks America. Overall, the evidence was overwhelming that the racks work as expected, are sturdy, and hold the wines as intended.

Negative reviews focused on aesthetics: that the wine rack did not always look perfect and that a little cosmetic work (sanding, staining) needed to be done by the buyer to smooth out any rough spots.  Occasionally there were wood knots that were aesthetically unpleasing, especially to people used to the perfect look of laminated or synthetic products. However, it was noted that wood knots did not interfere with the structural integrity of the product.  

Alternatives to the Unstained Wine Rack

Still undecided on the right wood wine rack for you?  Here are a few alternatives

Wine Racks America Ponderosa Pine 64 Bottle Two-Tone Deluxe

The two-toned Ponderosa pine model is good for those who want a finished or furniture-looking wine storage system. This unit is almost identical structurally to the unfinished version. The rough edges have been smoothed out and there are a few choices of finish colors available.  Some assembly is still required.

Stackable Modular Wine Rack Stackable Storage Stand Display Shelves 

If your collection is mainly comprised of Bordeaux-style wine bottles (Merlot, Cabernet, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc), and you want a less expensive, more “palet lumber” look to your wine shelf, then this might be an option.  If you collect Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Champagne, you will likely not be happy with this wood wine rack.

This item will likely have more knots and be less aesthetically pleasing. However, if you just need some robust wood wine racks, this might fit your needs.  Since it is made up of a much softer type of wood than the other racks reviewed, it is going to show dings and scrapes more easily.

This wood wine rack looks very easy to put together.  Once you get this unit filled up, you might need to brace it with some more wood.  This might be a good wine rack for someone who enjoys wine who will be living in their home or condo for a couple of years and wanting to make a minimal investment in a recyclable wine rack. 

Wine Racks America Wood Wine Rack, our conclusion

We purchased our wine racks in 2013 and still use them today for storing value wines for weekday wines, large format (750 mL) beer bottles, and mead.  

The Wine Racks America wood wine racks enable the home wine enthusiast to store wine on a rack at a reasonable price in a location such as a basement or closet.  If the wine is going to be stored in an area with visibility, you might want to finish the wine rack yourself to give it a more polished look, or spring for the two-tone deluxe mode. 

Some less expensive options do exist out there to consider, especially if you are in temporary housing.  These units are typically easier to put together and less flexible to bottle size than Wine Racks America wood wine racks.  Wine Racks America seems to be focusing on the wine enthusiast and wine obsessed market, and not the low end of the wood wine rack market.  

If we needed another wine rack, especially for the storage of beer bombers, we would purchase the Ponderosa pine wine rack again.  

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Thank you, and cheers, from KnowWines!