Wine Rack Dimensions for All Sizes of Racks


Wine rack dimensions are dependent on quite a few things...

  • the bottle sizes that you intend to lay down in the rack
  • the specific sizes of the wood used for the "frame" of the rack 
  • what style of rack you decide on for each type of bottle
  • how much space or leeway beside and above each bottle you want

So figuring out what wine rack dimensions to use for your delicious bottles of wine can be a bit of a challenge.


Infographic showing wine rack dimensions on a blueprint background.


To make it easier for you, I'll show you what measurements to aim for, so your bottles will fit inside specific styles of wine racks.



How Wide is a Wine Rack?

Or should I say, "what is the space required to lay down most standard bottle sizes"? You can build the racks out of any size of materials, but it's the space that the bottle is filling up that is the most critical design element.

Since Bordeaux bottles are the most popular style used, I went with their sizing to determine the wine rack dimensions.

So if you're building the racks yourself:

Allow for 3/8" (.95 cm) on both sides of the bottle so that the label doesn't scrape when you retrieve it. This added space will also take into consideration any embossed or out of spec bottles that you have. Since this space is on both sides of the bottle, simply add 3/4" (1.90 cm) to the outside dimensions of the bottles that you will place in the rack.

Example: A Bordeaux style bottle is 2-3/4" wide. So just add 3/4". Therefore 2-3/4"+3/4" = 3-1/2" bottle space. 

In theory, this space should be big enough to fit burgundy bottles and most large Pinot Noir bottles too. For bottles larger than than these, you'll need to go with a larger space. 

Take a peek at wine storage racks for more information on cellar racking and how many bottles you can store per foot.

Check out the bottle sizes that you plan to use below. 


What is the Normal Size of a Wine Bottle?

I've learned one thing when doing some research about the sizes of wine bottles...

They're all over the place. For instance, most Bordeaux bottles are 2-3/4", but not all are. Some are 2-7/8" or slightly tapered down from the top of the bottle.

Same goes for Burgundy bottles and many others. And that's just from my own collection of retail bought and homemade wines.

There are so many different bottle manufacturers and different shapes of bottles nowadays. I'm seeing more and more "specialty" bottles with embossed designs that protrude outward from the glass that add to the width of some bottles as well. This can make it difficult to figure out what wine rack dimensions to use if you're building your own racks.

You can still design a wine rack with confidence though, by keeping to the outside measurements of the largest size bottle you plan to lay down in that specific rack.

Below is a list of bottle sizes that should be that size. So if you add enough space surrounding the biggest bottle you plan to put in the rack, you're good to go.


Wine Bottle Dimensions

Infographic showing 7 different bottle shapes with dimensions.



Dimensions for Standard Column Wine Racks

You can check out the outside wine rack dimensions of all the wine racks below to see what fits inside your wine cellar or room.

These wine racks are based on using 1-1/2" x 3/4" wood strips for the joiners, and 3/4" x 3/4" strips for the bottle rests.

Make the joiners the exact width of the rack you'd like to build.

Example:  For a 3-column wide rack, the joiners are all made at 13-1/2". For optimum strength, dado or cut notches at each upright intersection. See my wine rack plans for doing this properly.

A nice length to make the bottle rest strips (which determine the depth of the rack), is 11". That depends though, on how deep you'd like your wine bottles to lay inside the rack. Consider whether you'll be using:

  • bottle tags 
  • or the ease of access in placing and retrieving bottles
  • and the look and feel of the racks (do you want your eye to focus more on the rack, or the bottles and their colorful closures?)

Column wine racks will hold a ton of tasty wine in them, so plan ahead to figure out which wines you want where in your cellar. 


Infographic showing a single column wine rack.


Wine rack dimensions

W= width, H= height

1-column wide (18-bottle) - 5"W x 80-1/4"H

2-column wide (36-bottle) - 9-1/4"W x 80-1/4"H

3-column wide (54-bottle) - 13-1/2"W x 80-1/4"H

4-column wide (72-bottle) - 17-3/4"W x 80-1/4"H

5-column wide (90-bottle) - 22"W x 80-1/4"H

6-column wide (108-bottle) - 26-1/4"W x 80-1/4"H

7-column wide (126-bottle) - 30-1/2"W x 80-1/4"H

8-column wide (144-bottle) - 34-3/4"W x 80-1/4"H

9-column wide (162-bottle) - 39"W x 80-1/4"H

10-column wide (180-bottle) - 43-1/4"W x 80-1/4"H


Diamond Cubes and Bin Racks

Wine cubes/bins come in lots of configurations. They're handy for reducing "eye fatigue" by breaking up the continuity of a full wall of column racks. They will also accept:

  • out of spec bottles
  • specialty bottles
  • larger bottles like turley's and magnums
  • cases, wooden crates or boxes

The depth is up to you and what bottles/cases you'll be storing in them. Again, 11" works here but give some thought to maybe making it deeper so that they really stand out...

A good general size for these wine diamond bins and cubes is (72+ bottles) 36-1/2"W x 40-1/8"H. These are stackable to match the height of the column racks above.


Infographic showing six different configurations of wine diamonds and cubes to store wine in.Just a few of the styles that you can build!


For optimum strength, "let-in" the shelves into their perimeter supports and each other by cutting notches and grooves where necessary. Shelf dividers should be beveled where they intersect 90° corners as well.

Tip: Use wood glue and pre-drill/screw together for maximum strength... wine racks are super heavy!




How Big is a 750 ml Bottle of Wine?

Image of a character standing beside a huge bottle of wine.750ml sounds like a lot of wine... yet it disappears so quickly! :(


750 ml bottles come in a few different sizes and shapes as you can see above. So let's make some comparisons to other bottle sizes and how many glasses of wine each size holds.

750 ml bottle:

  • holds 25 ounces (5 glasses of wine at 5 ounces each)
  • holds exactly 2 split bottles (375 ml x 2) 
  • x 2 equal to a 1.5 l bottle (10 glasses of wine)
  • x 4 equal to a 3 l bottle (20 glasses of wine)

The above "glasses of wine" assume a 5 oz pour. But if you're at home and among friends and family, you may prefer the way that the French approach a glass of wine...

You pour just a small amount of wine into the glass at each "fill", say about 2-3 ounces. That way the bottle has to "make it's rounds" more often and stimulates conversation and thanks. It's a social thing that's rooted in sharing and enjoying something of sustenance.

Now if you're a customer at a restaurant, then you would usually be served a 6 ounce pour since that's what you're paying for. Just keep an eye out for being short-poured, since 5oz goes conveniently into 750ml exactly 5 times.


Wine Rack Dimensions for Larger Bottles

Larger bottles can be a problem if you don't plan ahead for them when designing or building a wine rack. Bins without the diamond inside work well for plain storage but they're not too exciting to look at.

What you can do instead, is to take into consideration the bottle dimensions of the large wines you enjoy. Then go ahead and build that section of rack to those measurements. Because the bottles are taller, you need to consider their placement in the rack.

For instance, will the bottles be stood:

  • upright
  • horizontal front to back
  • horizontal left to right
  • or at a slight angle leaning away from the front of the rack?

The extra height of these large bottles can change the depth of the wine rack dimensions considerably if you are laying them down front to back horizontally. A standard wine rack's depth is designed for bottles in the 11-1/2" - 13" range. These large bad-boys can go right up to 18" or more.

Take a look at the wine bottle dimensions above to help you plan things out.


Are Wine Rack Kits from Different Suppliers the Exact Same Size?

No.

Every manufacturer has different wine rack dimensions. This usually means that you won't be able to join one rack up beside or above another rack from a different company. 

But, there are ways around it. Putting something between the two racks for instance, like:

  • stonework
  • tasting bar
  • barrel
  • waterfall
  • double-deep rack
  • cubes or bins etc

You just have to give it some thought. Check out this wine rack gallery here for some inspiration on design.


Can You Build a Wine Rack Cheaper than Buying One?

Yes, if you don't factor in your time. Lots of people just love the challenge and good feeling you get from handcrafting your own stuff. I know I do.

If you're thinking about building wine racks for your cellar, my wine cellar design and building a wine cellar pages will show you how to do this properly. There's even a cubic feet calculator on both of those pages.

Let's take a look at all of the materials you'll need to make a 108-bottle standard wine rack for the cellar. This rack would be 6-bottles wide and 18-bottles high. It should fit bottles from Bordeaux right up to most large Pinot Noir.

The wine rack dimensions would be:

  • 26-1/4" Wide X 80-1/4" Height. 

Materials list:

  • 1-1/2" X 3/4"  Qty. of 8 - finished at the above width
  • 3/4" X 3/4"     Qty. of 126 - finished at the above height
  • wood screws and glue

To build this step by step, it really helps to follow a good set of wine rack plans. That way you won't have to guess at the construction, measurements and methods of assembly.

You can use finished pine, mahogany, redwood or hardwood. Pine is by far the cheapest wood, but be sure to buy only clear pine. Knotty pine in wood of this size can seriously weaken the rack. Full of wine, this rack will weigh over 500 lbs!

The cheapest way to build this wine rack is to buy larger widths of 3/4" wood and rip the wood down to 1-1/2" and 3/4" strips. Most building stores and sawmills will do this for a small fee if you don't have a table saw.

You can also buy 1-1/2" X 3/4" wood in different species straight from your building store. Make sure to sight down along the length of the wood for straightness. 

Wine is heavy, and you don't want this rack tipping over...

Make sure to attach it to the wall securely with L-brackets or angle iron.

Image of L-brackets to fasten wine racks to the wall.

Once you've priced the material list out, check out the price of the same standard wine rack. Will it be worth it for you? Or do you have other things to do that you'd rather be doing?

If you've decided to go ahead and build, here's some wine rack plans for different racks you might consider. These plans include the wine rack dimensions for each style.

Enjoy.


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