How A Wine Rack Helped Restore My Writing Mojo

Dear Rich

I’m sorry. Really, really, REALLY sorry.

You sent me a lovely wine rack from Black Country Metalworks to review back in January. And here we are, at the tail end of June and I haven’t posted anything yet.

You see, I was full of great ideas back in January. I could have just written a quick piece about the rack. But I had bigger ideas. Oh yes. Ideas about a wide-ranging feature on wine storage, where I’d skillfully weave in a review of your wine rack. Blimey, I’m even boring myself just thinking about that post.

And that was my downfall. Running a wine shop and all the deeply unglamourous, time-sucking admin got in the way. Plus a gazillion trade tastings (well, it felt like that). I also attempted to study for some exams. Oh, and I decided to watch Game of Thrones from scratch. Fatal.

Blogging took a back seat. I fell off the wagon and, despite some degree of guilt at not completing and finishing, I couldn’t get back on. I just lost my writing mojo.

So, here I am, six months later, trying to find it again. With a review of your wine rack. Minus any wordy tome on storage.

You gave me a choice of rack to consider from your collection, which was great, as I am not a fan of ornate ones you put on the wall. Not my taste. At home, I use those utilitarian pine and metal label scratchers. It’s a bit underused, as I have a fancy wine cabinet. But I like utilitarian.

I spotted a black aluminium rack that looked a bit like a Connect 5 frame. Simple, portable and stylish. No filigrees, or vine leaves. The sort of thing you might find in Dwell. I wasn’t so keen on the silver aluminium bosses on one side, but again, that’s down to personal taste. The bosses could be turned against the wall.

How did the “Avant-Garde” rack function? I had a good play around with it with various bottle sizes in the shop.

The big advantage: it doesn’t scratch labels. Also, the top row allows you to slant the bottles to keep any corks nice and moist. But it’s not really needed as it nobody would plan to use this for maturing, I hope. It’s to show off your current drinking collection. To let people admire your choices. Not ruin those wines with annoying things like heat, temperature fluctuations and vibrations….

It wobbles a bit until anchored by bottles. And some of the holes were a bit uneven in their angles. But like nobbly carrots, its part of the crafted charm.


It also discriminates against certain bottle shapes. It’s fine with Burgundy-style bottles and ok with Bordeaux-shaped ones. But it needs shoulders. Tall Riesling bottles feel like they’ll topple out the other side quite easily if you had a party. Or a heavy-footed dinner guest.

And fat-bottomed bottles? Forget about it. Like a budget seat meeting a 600lb passenger, there was no way the latter will squeeze into the former.

For your everyday wines though, it looks nice, it’s made in the UK and costs a not unreasonable ¬£45.99. And, at weighing in at 3.6kg, it’s handy for a few bicep curls. Yes, when empty.

So there you have it. A return to writing AND a review of a wine rack. Bada bing, bada boom.

I do hope I haven’t over-shared.




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