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Wine Storage Tips


Beginning Your Search

You may know what you want out of your wines, but deciding on the perfect refrigerator might present an unexpected challenge. This is partly because there are hundreds of options to choose from. The array of options may seem overwhelming at first. But as with wine, this kind of variety is a good thing.

We'll introduce you to the major features that distinguish one wine cooler from the next. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be able to decide which wine cooler is right for you.

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Size/Capacity
Design
Style
Features

Size/Capacity

When it comes to wine coolers, size definitely matters. The key is to find the right balance between storage capacity and available space. This depends largely on your objectives.

Wine coolers with capacities up to 32 bottles are compact and convenient. These are perfect for anyone who wants to keep a modest selection of wines on hand so as to always have a suitable variety for a range of occasions.

For wine lovers who just want to keep a few bottles properly stored, an ultra-compact 6-bottle refrigerator may suffice. 34 to 54-bottle wine coolers are more appropriate for the beginning collector. Ones in this size range offer increased capacity and an attractive display.

Vinotemp 900 Three Door Provincial Cabinet

Enthusiastic collectors know that storage space can fill up quickly. So while a 100-bottle capacity might seem more than enough today, how will that accommodate your collection a few years down the road? Again, all this must be balanced with your available space.

However, if space is not an issue and you're passionate about wine, you may want to consider our large-capacity cellar cabinets. These can house several hundred bottles to accommodate your collection as it grows.


Design

Several designs are available to help you make the most of your available space. We'll examine the three main types: countertop, under-counter (also know as zero-clearance), and freestanding wine coolers.

  • Countertop Wine Coolers

    Countertop wine coolers are perfect for apartments, condominiums, or any home where space is at a premium. Simply place a countertop cooler on a kitchen counter, baker's racks, or buffet table, and plug it in. These compact refrigerators are also an easy way to add temperature-controlled wine storage to a home bar or dining room.

  • Under-Counter / Zero-Clearance Wine Coolers

    Built-in, under-counter units are designed to be seamlessly integrated with the cabinetry in your kitchen, dining room, or home bar. Because they sit flush with their surroundings, they are also known as zero-clearance. They are specially ventilated to prevent overheating, which results in a higher price tag. The advantage is a clean, semi-permanent installation that doesn't sacrifice usable floor space.

  • Freestanding Wine Coolers

    Freestanding units present a versatile option for temperature-controlled storage. Since these units are not built-in, size and capacity are dependent only upon your budget and your available space.

    Like standard refrigerators, freestanding wine coolers can be moved easily from one location to another. These are ideal for home bars, cellars, or any place you want to store and display your wines.


Style

Wine cooler refrigerators come in a wide variety of styles ranging from traditional to contemporary, which means you can easily find an option that suits your tastes and complements your decor. If you want to showcase your collection, glass doors create an attractive display. Or you may prefer stainless steel or wood doors, which will blend in with your appliances or cabinetry.


Cooling Technology

Wine coolers are powered in one of two ways: by a traditional compressor or by thermoelectric technology. Let's take a closer look at pros and cons of each.

  • Compressor

    Compressors are what give traditional refrigerators their reliable cooling ability. This method offers superior power and accurate multi-zone cooling. However, the cycling of the compressor can cause some vibration. Because some delicate wines are best kept free from agitation during prolonged storage, this vibration may be undesirable.

  • Thermoelectric

    Thermoelectric wine coolers use what's known as the Peltier effect to keep bottles cool. Compared to traditional compressor-cooled units, thermoelectric ones offer quieter, more efficient operation that is free from vibration.

    Since thermoelectric coolers use considerably less energy than compressor refrigerators, they are less powerful. Typically, thermoelectric has a capacity that is approximately 25-30 degrees less than ambient temperature. This is more than adequate for storing red wines, but depending on ambient temperature, it may be insufficient for chilling some whites.

Vinotemp VT-58 Stainless 58 Bottle Wine Cooler

Features

Wine cooler features will affect how you use your cooler on a daily basis. Some features affect performance, while others have more to do with personal preference. This tutorial will help you decide which features are essential, and which ones you can do without.

  • Temperature Zones: How Many Do You Need?

    The temperature control zone is usually set with a thermostat, which can be digital or analog. Single temperature units are designed to store either reds or whites at a selected uniform temperature. Ones with two or three temperature zones let you simultaneously enjoy wines at different temperatures. Most people enjoy "reds" best when served at around 54 F degrees, and "whites"at around 44 F degrees.

    Single zone wine coolers with a thermostat control can be set to maintain appropriate temperatures for different types, but all the bottles inside will be cooled to the same temperature. If you intend to store both reds and whites in a single zone unit, start with a temperature of about 50 degrees and adjust to your preference. Connoisseurs may prefer a dual zone refrigerator to keep separate temperatures for red and white wines.

    Dual zone wine coolers have two independent cooling compartments, each with its own thermostat or divider. You can enjoy chilled whites and warmer reds from the same cooler.

    Triple zone wine coolers offer three independent temperatures from one unit. A connoisseur can enjoy reds, whites, and sparkling wines - all at the optimum temperature for each.

  • Sliding Racks

    In general, the storage racks of a wine cooler are either fixed or sliding. Fixed racks offer functional, secure storage. Sliding racks do this as well, with the added benefit of easy access. Whether you're stocking your unit or taking a moment to select the perfect bottle, sliding racks are a convenient feature that will make managing your wine collection easier.

  • Interior Lighting

    If you want to create an attractive display for your wine collection, interior lighting will surround your wines with a soft, eye-catching glow. But this feature offers more than visual appeal. Interior lighting makes it easier to browse through your collection as you consider the right wine for the occasion.

  • Locking Doors

    Locking doors are an essential wine cooler security feature for protecting your valuable collection. If your home has children or teenagers, locking doors will keep your wines securely stored and out of reach.

  • Humidity Control

    Discerning wine enthusiasts know that proper wine storage requires not only temperature control, but humidity control as well. Wine coolers with humidity control and hygrometers to display humidity levels will help you maintain ideal storage conditions to ensure cork integrity. That means you can confidently lay down bottles for extended aging.

  • UV Glass

    If you're considering wine coolers with glass-panel doors, tinted UV glass is a desirable feature. UV glass keeps wines safe from the potentially damaging radiation from the sun and fluorescent lighting. Light is unlikely to compromise wines during short-term storage, but over long periods, UV and light exposure can cause significant detriment to bottled wines.

  • At WineCoolers.com, our goal is to help you find the perfect wine cooler. We hope this information has helped you narrow your options so you can buy with confidence.

    If you still have questions, don't hesitate to ask. Our experts are standing by to provide answers and advice. We appreciate your interest, and thank you for shopping at WineCoolers.com.


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