Whether you're a long term wine lover or a beginner, proper wine storage is essential for getting enjoyment out of your wine bottle. Whether you choose a built in wine cooler for your kitchen or a freestanding wine fridge for a dedicated wine cellar, adding a wine refrigerator to your home will improve your wine storage and protect your investment.
Purchasing a wine cooler can be challenging, especially if you're a newbie to wine coolers. Not only do you need to figure out the right size and type of wine cooler for your needs, but you also have to worry about the temperature range, insulation, and other features.
This guide will make it easier for you to choose the best wine coolers and fridges available on the market. It will walk you through the different types of wine coolers available and some important factors to consider when making your purchase.
What Makes a Wine Fridge Different from a Standard Refrigerator?
A separate cooler for your wine may be an unnecessary investment. However, standard refrigerators can harm your wine collection over time. On the other hand, a wine cooler fridge protects your wine collection and lets it mature at a proper rate.
Wine needs consistent temperatures to age and develops its flavor profile correctly. The humidity in the air must also be kept at a certain level, or your wine can spoil. These conditions are usually not found in a standard refrigerator. A wine fridge will typically have two temperature zones, one for reds and one for whites. To store wine properly, wine refrigerators also hold slightly higher temperatures, as low as 4o and as high as 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Humidity levels are also important, and a wine fridge will usually have humidity control to keep the air at 50-70 percent. Wine refrigerators are designed to maintain proper humidity so that cork does not dry out and bottle labels do not become damaged. While standard refrigerators use dry air, wine refrigerators keep the air between 50 and 80 percent humidity.
Wine fridges also minimize vibration, as even the slightest movement can damage wine. Vibration can occur when the compressor starts and stops, when the door opens and closes, or when bottles are moved. Wine coolers have thermoelectric cooling systems or special anti-vibration systems to eliminate vibration.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Wine Refrigerator
Choosing a wine cooler isn't that hard. There are a few factors and questions you need to get answers to before making the initial purchase. Those factors include:
How Long are You Storing and for How Long?
The amount of wine you're storing will greatly affect the size of the wine fridge you'll need. If you're only storing a few bottles, almost any small-sized wine fridge will do. But if you're like most wine enthusiasts and have a sizable wine collection, you'll want something larger with more storage capacity.
Bottle Capacity Versus Temperature Zones
Most wine refrigerators have two temperature zones – one for whites and one for reds. However, there are some models that have three or even four zones. If you frequently store different types of wine, then you'll want to go with a wine cooler that has multiple zones. But if you're only storing a few types of wine, then a single-zone cooler will do just fine.
All wine refrigerators make some noise, but some are louder than others. If you're using your wine fridge in a shared space, or you don't want it to be too noisy, you'll want to go with a low noise level model.
Type of Shelving
Not all wine coolers come with shelves. Some have racks that hold the wine bottles horizontally, while others have shelves that hold the bottles vertically. If you want to store wine glasses or other items in your wine fridge, you'll want to go with a model with shelves. When choosing your wine fridge, note that bottles with natural corks should be stored horizontally if you'll store them for long.
Consider the Types of Wines You're Storing
Different types of wine have different ideal storage temperatures, so you'll want to make sure that the unit you buy will accommodate your type of wine. If you'll be storing red and white wines, you'll need a model with two different temperature zones. If you'll be storing whites, you can go with a model with one temperature zone.
Decide whether you'll need the versatility of multiple zones or the consistency of a single zone unit. Also, ensure the temperature range of the unit you pick will suit your wine reserves. The type of cooling system should also concern you as there are best thermoelectric wine coolers that use quiet thermoelectric cooling systems to cool the cabinet without vibrations.
Some units will also use a refrigeration system with a compressor, so the type you choose will depend on the investment you're willing to make and the amount of noise you can tolerate.
Where Do You Want to Place Your Wine Cooler?
The final question you need to ask yourself before purchasing a wine cooler is where you plan to put it. Some coolers are designed for built-in installation, while others can be freestanding. If you don't have the option for a built-in and want to keep your cooler in view, select a model that has a stylish design.
Consider Door Styles
If you're choosing between two similar wine coolers, consider the door style. Some models have reversible doors, so you can choose to have the door swing open from the left or right side. This is a helpful feature if your cooler will be placed in a tight spot. If you choose a unit with glass doors, look for multiple panels for insulation and light filtering characteristics to protect your supply from UV rays. You may also need door locks to keep your wines safe.
Many wine coolers come with LED lighting that will showcase your collection while keeping it safe from harmful UV rays. Compare the different features offered by each wine cooler and decide which one is right for your needs. Energy-efficient LED lighting is a great feature for wine coolers, especially if you want to merchandise bottles in customer areas.
How to Set Up and Maintain Your Wine
Once you've chosen your perfect wine cooler to keep all those white and red wine bottles, ensure you know how to take care of it. Proper installation and maintenance will keep your fridge running effectively for many years. Here are the factors to consider:
Choose the Right Location
When considering your wine cooler purchase, you'll want to think about where it will be installed. Place your wine fridge on a hard, flat, stable surface for best results. Keep your cooler out of direct sunlight and in a room where the temperature is stable to help it run efficiently.
Check the Drip Tray
Make sure to check the drip tray often and empty it as needed. This will help keep your wine cooler running smoothly and prevent potential water damage.
Solve Condensation Problems
All refrigerators create condensation due to the temperature difference between the interior and exterior. Excess moisture isn't a problem, but condensation can form inside your fridge. If this happens, try adding an open box of baking soda or silica beads to absorb excess moisture.
Keep it Clean
Just like any other appliance in your home, it's important to keep your wine cooler clean. Wipe down the interior and exterior with a mild detergent and warm water at least once a month.
FAQs on How to Choose Wine Cooler
Things to consider when buying a wine cooler?
When choosing a wine cooler, there are several factors to consider. One of the most important is how much wine the cooler can hold. If you have a large collection, you'll need a larger model. You'll also want to consider the temperature range to ensure your wine is stored at the optimum temperature. Some wine coolers also come with cooling zones, so you can store red and white wines separately.
What is a wine cooler on reddit?
A wine cooler reddit is a device that cools and stores wine. They come in a variety of sizes, and some can hold up to 200 bottles of wine. They are designed to keep wine at the correct temperature, typically between 50-55 degrees F.
How long does wine last in a fridge?
Once opened, a wine can last up to two to five days, depending on the type of wine and how you store it. If you have trouble storing opened wine bottles, use wine accessories like vacuum stoppers or reusable wine stoppers to make your wine fresher.
What is the best temperature for a wine cooler?
You should keep white and sparkling wines on the colder side, while reds should be kept in warmer temperatures. That is the best temperature for a wine cooler.
Final Thought on How to Choose Wine Cooler
Choosing the best wine cooler for your wine collection isn't that difficult. Once you have the budget in place and know the type of wines you'll be storing, it's simply finding the right size and features. With all the different wine coolers on the market, there's sure to be one that fits your needs.