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How to build a riddling wine rack

Riddling is a traditional method for clarifying wine, especially champagne. The bottles are stored with the necks pointing downward. They are turned a quarter-turn each day until any sediment in the bottle gathers next to the cork. At the end of the process, the necks of the bottles are frozen, they are uncorked, and the sediment is removed. They are then resealed. The racks used for this process have become desirable to have as decorative wine racks. You can make your own riddling wine rack with basic carpentry skills.

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  1. Measure 17.5 cm (7 inches) from the end of a 2.5 by 15 cm (1 by 6 inch) board that is 90 cm (36 inches) long. Measure width-wise at this first mark to find the centre of the board and mark it with an X. Measure 12.5 cm (5 inches) along the length of the board from the first mark, find the centre and mark with an X. Continue this process every 12.5 cm (5 inches) for the length of the board. You will have 5 Xs. Repeat for two more identical boards.

  2. Put on safety glasses. Drill a 6.2 cm (2 1/2 inch) hole centred on each X with a drill or drill press and hole bit. Repeat for all three boards. Sand the holes and ends of the board with 150-grit sandpaper. Wipe with tack cloth.

  3. Stain or paint the wood your desired colour. Stain or paint 15 2.5 by 7.5 cm (1 by 3 inch) boards that are 40 cm (16 inches) long. Allow all the stain or paint to dry.

  4. Line up the large boards with holes beside each other to form a large rectangle with 15 holes arranged symmetrically. Line up one of the 2.5 by 7.5 cm (1 by 3 inch) boards across all three large boards. Position it so it is centred across the three large boards and so half the holes are covered by the smaller board. Nail the smaller board to the three larger ones at regular intervals.

  5. Position a second smaller board on top of the first one you nailed down. Place it so it overhangs the hole 6 mm (1/4 inch) more than the first one. Nail it in place. Put a third smaller board on top the second, again covering 6 mm (1/4 inch) more of the hole than the second. Nail it in place. Repeat this process for all five rows of holes. The side where you nail the smaller boards is the back of the wine rack.

  6. Attach heavy-duty hanging hooks such as those used for mirrors to the top corners on the back of the riddling wine rack. Determine the top of the rack by keeping the smaller boards at the tops of the holes so that when wine bottles are inserted by the neck, the necks are forced at a downward angle by the smaller boards.

  7. Tip

    Mount the riddling wine rack on the wall at wall studs. Wine bottles will weigh a lot, so you need the support. You can put another coat of paint or stain on the front of the rack before you hang it. Increase the capacity of this wine rack by making the large board longer or using more of them. If you want to use this rack to actually riddle wine, make two and hinge them together at the top edges. Attach the end of a chain with screw eyes to the back of each panel about halfway down so it doesn't fall flat.

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Things You'll Need

  • 3 boards, 2.5 by 15 cm (1 by 6 inch), 90 cm (36 inches) long
  • 15 boards, 2.5 by 7.5 cm (1 by 3 inch), 40 cm (16 inches) long
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Drill
  • Hole bit, 6.2 cm (2 1/2 inches) diameter
  • Hammer
  • Nails, 3.1 cm (1 1/4 inches) long
  • Sandpaper, 150-grit
  • Tack cloth
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Hanging hooks, 45 kg (100 lb) capacity

About the Author

Karren Doll Tolliver holds a Bachelor of English from Mississippi University for Women and a CELTA teaching certificate from Akcent Language School in Prague. Also a photographer, she records adventures by camera, combining photos with journals in her blogs. Her latest book, "A Travel for Taste: Germany," was published in 2015.

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