Wine fridges, wine cabinets, and other wine cooling equipment designed for proper wine storage have enjoyed an increase in popularity over the past decade. It used to be a specialized niche market, but now it is already a mainstream, with a range of companies offering basic models of wine fridges as well as specially designed deluxe wine fridges.
You should be aware of the fact that wine changes its nature as time goes by, and it is important to store the wine in conditions which are favorable to its maturing, however they shouldn’t be speeding up the process. For instance, storing wine in high temperatures may lead to faster maturing and reduced complexity levels, which in its turn will inevitably affect the wine’s taste.
The temperatures of a household fridge are often not suitable for storing wine either. Very cold temperatures prevent the wine from achieving complexity and tend to contribute to accumulating deposits, which adversely affects the quality of wine. Besides, the vibrations of a fridge can destroy some of essential wine’s components. Therefore, it is a good idea to look for some stabilizing solutions to prevent the damage from shaking.
In addition, a constant change in the temperature may cause serious damage to the taste of wine, mainly, oxidation. It happens because temperature fluctuations over an extended period of time may cause undesirable expansion and contraction in wine bottles.
Wine fridges are created to store bottles of wine in temperature similar to that of wine cellars. They maintain required humidity (50-70%) and temperatures between 12 and 18 degrees Celsius. However, depending on the wine stored, the temperature requirements might be different.
The optimal serving temperature of wine is the temperature which best reveals its unique characteristics and aromas. As the character and aromas of wines differ, so do the optimal temperature requirements. The optimal temperature will largely depend on the grape variety, region, type of wine etc. Recommended temperature for chilling red wine is 55-60°F (12.7-15.5°C), white wine - 49-56°F (9.5-13.3°C), and rose wine - 49-51°F (9.5-10.5°C). Sparkling wines and champagne are usually served very cold, that is between 43 and 47°F (about 7°C).
In case you have a collection of both red and white wines and need to store different types of wine at a different temperature, you may need to have two small wine fridges or explore the option of buying a dual zone wine fridge.
No matter whether you are an avid wine collector, or a wine enthusiast having only several bottles of wine for different occasions at home, you are likely to need a wine fridge to store wine. There are a number of aspects you should bear in mind when choosing the right wine fridge for your situation.
Consider the total bottle capacity of the wine fridge you need. Mind that you will probably need twice as more space as you imagine you need now, as wine collections have a tendency to grow. Besides, if you like Burgundy and Champagne, note that they will take up more space in your wine fridge because of the wider bottles.
It is important to consider the space you have for the wine fridge. Wine fridges come in a variety of models: small 6-bottle models which can be placed on or under the counter, or larger models, which can hold 120 bottles and more. You may choose free standing or built-in units. When deciding on the location, don’t lose sight of access to a power source for your wine fridge.
The shelves in wine fridges should be a matter of your particular attention. It’s a matter of convenience, preferences and budget, for the most part. You may choose fixed chrome-wire shelves, wood racks or wood-framed wire grids. Consider shelves that roll out for you to be able to read labels and remove bottles, or adjustable shelves, which enable you to store non-standard bottle sizes. Choosing between aluminum interior of wine fridges and plastic, give preference to aluminum, as it conducts cold and heat much better.
There are wine fridges with glass doors so that you can see the contents, and there are fridges with solid doors. Glass doors should have a UV-protective finish to protect wine from sunlight exposure. Sometimes a wine fridge may even have something in common with a safe, looking like furniture, and giving no clue to its contents.
If you are a real wine enthusiast and cherish those special occasion bottles in your collection, you may need a wine fridge with vibration and humidity control. Additional useful features, like interior lighting, will not only show off your collection of wines, but also help you find the right bottle faster. Also, some wine fridges have locks or alarms to protect the treasured collection.
Prices on wine fridges vary: basic wine fridges of a bar fridge size start at around $300 for free-standing and $600 for built-in units. Wine fridges which hold hundreds of wine bottles and have different controls for red and white wines, are usually made of expensive materials and equipped with a range of features designed to protect the wine collection. They are usually worth thousands of dollars.
Wine fridges can be found in household appliance stores or in online shops. It is smart to put down dimensions and specific features of the fridge you want, so that you could narrow down the choice and find the wine fridge according to your preferences faster.
Investing in a wine fridge is a great idea if you have several bottles of good wine and need to chill the wines before drinking or serving it to the guests. And it is rather a necessity if you possess a great wine collection that you want to store properly.