The objective of racking is to carry bottles securely in a horizontal position, in as dense an arrangement as possible.
It is important for bottles sealed with corks to be laid down to keep the cork moist.
Bottles with screw caps can be stored standing upright but generally this is less space-efficient.
Racking can be individual cells of timber, steel or plastic, simple shelving or bins.
Individual racking is the most convenient for selecting bottles. Some racks can cause damage to bottle labels; designs vary in bottle density; price variations are more to do with aesthetics than efficiency.
Bins carrying 12 or 24 bottles are ideal when large numbers of the same wine are being stored but the resident bottles can be susceptible to destruction if subjected to earthquake movement. Diamond cubes and rectangular bins can be useful for storing wine bought by the case, however, as you drink your way down through the bin you will create more and more wasted space. Mixing different wines within a bin will lead to constant disturbance, as you have to move the wines on top to see which wines are stored below!
There is much more info on choosing wine racks in “How To Build A Wine Cellar”, available now from www.winecellarsecrets.com