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More on the Flat Principle

The FLAT Principle is a proprietary wine storage and enhancement system created by the Editor of the Wine Rack Site.

This article is a reminder of things “Not to do” when storing wine and an example of how to achieve good storage with minimal cost and minimal effort. 

It will take a little thought.

Click the video first and then came back here for more interesting snippets.


Traditionally, wine was stored in bottles, laying down horizontally or, laying FLAT.

The Wine Rack Site hates oxygen exchange letting germs in It is not just tradition that dictates this position.  The preferred method of sealing wine into a bottle has for centuries, the use of a cork.  Laying the bottle down caused the wine to come into contact with the cork and form a better seal to keep the oxygen from the atmosphere from getting in.

If oxygen get into your wine, it can became tainted by the cork, commonly referred to as “Corked”.  Check out our post at Corked Post for more on this topic.

The Wine Rack Site hates it when oxygen gets into a bottle or germs doOxygen exchanged in this manner can also allow airborne contaminants to get onto the wine and this is the last thing you want.

In the 1960’s the Stelvin bottle seal was introduced and many thought this was the end of oxygen exchange or “Corking”.  Many world experts have concluded that corking can and does still occur when the TCA molecule gets introduced to the wine.  AND, when you check this little fellow on the right, who wants to risk this.

So the first principle of good wine storage is to lay you bottle down FLAT or close to it so the wine is in contact with the seal.


The Wine Rack Site preparing our next PostNatural sunlight is essential to your health and well-being.  Just to the left you can see our editorial staff busily preparing her notes of the text of this post and enjoying the warmth of natural sunlight through the glass of this garden window.

That same sunlight is the natural enemy of wine.

The deleterious effects of light on wine have been known to vintners for centuries. Research has revealed that wine may develops off flavours upon exposure to light.  A study by Maujean and Seguin  published in 1983 called the phenomenom of wine tainted by sunlight goûts de lumière or Sunstruck Flavour”.   They demonstrated sulfur containing amino acids can can change the flavour of wine when subjected to excess light as this increases oxidation.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2)  is in many wine and can be photo activated by light and adversely affect flavour.
Artificial light can also affect flavour however, most people won’t leave the lights on in a cellar or pantry for long periods, this should not be a problem.  You surely wouldn’t store your wine in your lounge room, would you?  Those lights may stay on for long periods long periods.
Distance from artificial light can also be significant.  Usually, in professionally constructed cellars, light globes will be well away from the wine being stored.  In you small pantry, this may not be the case so if you can, position your wine as least one metre away from the globe.
You don’t want a lot of light constantly on your wine.  Anything that erodes that erodes the effectiveness of the ageing process will do an injustice to your lovely wine collection.

Wine Rack Site Icon Logo

HintWhen it comes to making a wonderful change to your storage area for minimal expense, get some L.E.D. globes.  An incandescent bulb can be up to 260 Celcius whereas most L.E.D. globes are cool enough for you to touch.  As one of the most likely things to cause damage to wine is a sudden change in temperature, go for the cool L.E.D. every time.


You will want wine storage that looks good and makes your collection look good.  I hear people comment regularly that it simply does not matter what the storage looks like.  That could not be further from the the truth.

The Wine Rack Site has seen wine racks made of horse shoes, in a broken grand father clock and of scrap wood tied together with cable ties.  If it really does not matter to you, you will probably be happy with buying your wine in a cardboard wine cask and throwing the bladder in the freezer to cool down quickly.  I have even seen several wine bladders attached to a Hills Hoist clothesline to use as a Christmas tree (another great saving idea).

If this is you; you are

reading the wrong blog!

The National Wine CentreWith anything in life, if it is worth doing at all; DO IT WELL.  There are many options for doing it well but you can’t go past the classic wooden wine racks on offer right here on the Wine Rack Site.

As an example, check out the National Wine Centre in Adelaide, South Australia.

This is doing it right.

12 Bottle DIY Wine Rack KitYour friends, your family, your wine enjoying work colleagues will all appreciate your efforts.

From the 12 bottle wine rack through to the display at the National Wine Centre.

Wine Rack Site Icon Logo HintRemember this motto “Your Wine; Your Effort; Your reward”.


Probably one of the most important factors to remember. Store your wine in a cool place, ideally around 16 degrees Centigrade or around 61 degrees Fahrenheit. Consistency here is key. A pantry or cellar should achieve this and it doesn’t hurt to purchase a thermometer to track your temperature in your wine storage area.

If you follow the F.L.AT. principle and combine it with a sensible purchase from the Wine Rack Site your collection will be in safe hands.

Wine Supply Australia
Wine Supply Australia

We trust this has been helpful.  For more interesting information and to access a first class selection of Australian wines, check out John Baruzzi at Wine Supply Australia.

           Happy drinking wine lovers!

Wine Rack Site Go Shopping

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FLAT Principle

The FLAT Principle

The FLAT Principle is a proprietary wine storage and enhancement system created by the Editor of the Wine Rack Site.

This principle has been created for the benefit of wine lovers everywhere.  This includes wine connoisseurs who are experts like John Baruzzi of Wine Supply Australia through to weekend guzzlers, the FLAT Principle will help you get the most out of your wine.  Do not think for even one minute that proper storage of wine is not only important if you have a collection of chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 1982 on its way to you from your exclusive Manhattan supplier, because your $7.53 bottle of “Guzzler’s Special” can also be ruined in just a few days if you get it wrong.

As you know, at the Wine Rack Site, we are devoted to excellence in all things related to wine and wine storage.  Storing wine well can be simple if you know the basics.  In the FLAT Principle we will show you just the basics, those things you MUST do to get the best out of your wine.  The FLAT Principle does not cover the specialities of storing in perfectly created, climate controlled facilities.  The FLAT Principle is designed to help you get the most out of your wine, stored in your own home in a way that is accessible to everyone.

We will start here by explaining the acronym FLAT in the FLAT principle.  This will help you keep the principles clearly in your mind: Continue reading “FLAT Principle” »

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Why Store Horizontally

  1. Today the Wine Rack Site explores the wisdom of

storing wine laying on its side or standing up.

Counter Display for 30 Bottles
Counter Display for 30 Bottles

The Wine Rack Site says,

“Store your wine horizontally.  Storing your wine laying on its side allows appropriate control of oxygen exchange between the air and your precious wine.”

You may think that the Wine Rack Site, in the business of selling wine racks to allow you to store wine laying on its side, is somewhat biased.  Keep in mind though, that the original designer of the wine racks featured on this site, had wine stored laying down in mind during his inventive process.  Keep watching this blog to hear directly from him in the coming months.

Let us also look then, to the opinion of someone not connected with the Wine Rack Site at all.  Decanter started as a wine and lifestyle magazine in 1975 and is available now online at and is published in 90 countries.  They publish wine industry news, vintage guides and wine and spirits recommendations.  Decanter also runs the annual Decanter World Wine Awards.  Columnists and regular contributors include several Masters of Wine. Do you agree that this establishes the expertise of Decanter? Continue reading “Why Store Horizontally” »