Our Favorite New Wine Chillers Are Sleek Yet Functional

Concrete, terra-cotta, and stone storage vessels meld ancient techniques with modern design to keep wine cool.

Stone wine storage
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Since the time humans first started drinking wine (nearly 8,000 years ago), they've had to figure out how to store it. When I started my very small collection of wine (er, two years ago), I searched for space-efficient storage methods that would keep my wine cool and happy — and hopefully safer than sitting on top of my fridge in my tiny, temperature-volatile New York apartment. I was frustrated; even the smallest wine fridges were too big. So I did as the Romans did and turned to stone to store my wine.

In ancient times, wine was most often stored in large ceramic vessels. The Greeks called the vessel an amphora, the Romans a dolium, and they were made of fired clay. Producers would nestle these wine-filled vessels into the ground, allowing room for airflow around each one to help keep them cool. Clay's slightly porous composition allows for tiny amounts of water to evaporate through the vessel's walls, dampening the exterior and keeping its contents cool.

Although modern-day wine cooling and storing technology is incredibly sophisticated—there's even a wine fridge that uses AI to make recommendations based on what is inside—people around the world are still harnessing the cooling power of natural materials to store their wine. Makers are finding innovative methods and captivating designs to harness the innate cooling power of concrete, terra-cotta, and stone.

Stone wine storage
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Superior Clay Corp. Clay Wine Storage Tiles

In Uhrichsville, Ohio, the folks at Superior Clay are bringing the use of clay for wine storage into the 21st century through their mesmerizing terra-cotta wine storage tiles. The tiles, which are round or hexagonal, stack to create a honeycombed wall with individual slots for bottles. Not only do the tiles protect against rapid changes in temperature, but they also absorb vibrations—adding another layer of protection for the bottles. $12 per tile at superiorclay.com

IntoConcrete Corvi Wine Cooler

Argentinean designer Francisco Corvi's wine cooler harnesses the cooling power of concrete in a stunning geometric form. Stack multiple for elegant and functional storage, or use the Corvi Wine Cooler on your tabletop during a meal—after a stint in the freezer, the concrete remains cold, keeping the bottle inside chilled. $100 at intoconcrete.com

Kuali Handmade Volcanic Rock Stackable Bottle Holder

Yes, once-molten volcanic rock can keep wine chilled, too. Like fired clay, volcanic rock's tiny gaps and crevices, formed from water that escapes as magma cools, allow for airflow, which helps regulate the temperature of bottles. Grab some volcanic wine, and get to stacking! $129 for 2 at etsy.com

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