Are you a wine enthusiast who loves their collection? Do you buy more bottles than you can drink in a month and want to age your wines for that rich flavor? Investing in a wine fridge is worthwhile. These appliances offer the best conditions for storing your bottles to ensure optimal enjoyment every single time. However, choosing a wine fridge that’s best for you is not easy in a market flooded with hundreds of varieties.
Why You Need a Wine Fridge
You may wonder why not just use your standard refrigerator to store wine? Well, for starters, a regular refrigerator runs at between 32-40 degrees Fahrenheit, which is convenient for keeping your milk, juice, and other food items safe for consumption. However, that temperature is too cold for wine and may cause it to form ice. The ideal temperature for storing wine is between 45-65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Additionally, wine should be stored among other wines. When stored with food, the food odors may penetrate the bottle through the cork and cause the wine to have an unpleasant taste.
Wine fridges are designed to create the perfect environment for a slow, progressive, and the natural aging of wine. When the temperature is too cold, like in a standard refrigerator, then the aging process is slowed down drastically.
Wine fridges are also less expensive and require minimal maintenance. You can also store other beverages, including soda, plain water, and lemonade safely since the wine cooler maintains the perfect temperature for such drinks.
Choosing the Right Wine Fridge
When shopping for a wine cooler, here's what you should consider:
The last thing you want is a noisy wine fridge that won't let you concentrate on your favorite TV shows or force you to shout when talking. However, the noise level won't matter that much if you plan to place the wine cooler far away from the living room or kitchen.
If noise is important to you, the type of cooling system that wine refrigerators use should be considered. There are two types:
Thermoelectric system: This type of cooling system runs by forcing electricity through a heat pump, made from a small metal plate. These coolers don’t have any vibration and are great options for wine enthusiasts who want to age their wines without stirring the sediments in the bottle. They are also super silent.
Compressor system: It’s the most common system in most refrigerators. These models work by pumping a chemical refrigerant through coils. The fridge absorbs heat from the air inside the refrigerator and releases it into the air outside the fridge. The compressor is responsible for the humming you hear when it's running.
If you're a serious collector, a wine fridge with several racks is essential. The best racks are designed to hold wine bottles on their sides to keep the corks moist. This keeps the corks plump to seal out bacteria for a long time. Storing your wine bottles on their sides is also a good wine aging strategy since it maximizes the surface area of wine that oxidizes in storage.
You want to choose a wine fridge with smooth-rolling, wooden shelves, or metal racks designed to cradle wine bottles on their sides. It also makes it easier to see every bottle of wine.
Of course, you’d want a wine fridge that consumes less energy overall. Remember, to store your wines optimally, the fridge will always be on. Therefore, it makes sense to go for an energy-efficient model.
Here are some design elements to help you choose:
LED lighting: While interior lighting allows you to read your wine labels with ease, hot bulbs make it harder to keep the fridge cold inside. LED lighting bulb doesn’t get hot and is also more efficient.
Thermoelectric cooling: Models using thermoelectric cooling systems use far less electricity compared to compressor systems.
Triple Pane Glass: Most people would prefer a clear glass to see the wine or show off their wine collection. Just be sure to pick a model that uses tempered glass for safety. A triple-pane glass offers effective insulation, which in turn keeps cool air in, enabling efficient cooling.
The Appearance of the Fridge
Looks matter when it comes to choosing home appliances. A sleek and attractive wine cooler adds value to your home. It makes a statement and complements your décor. Plus, it will probably be of high quality, meaning it will provide good service for years.
Stainless steel fridges feature a premium look and will always remain a classic. However, you can pick the style you like most and what makes you happy, so long as it's of top quality.
A common feature in most wine coolers is a dual temperature zone. This lets you set a different temperature for each section, a feature that can prove useful for collectors who love red and white wine equally. Dual temperature zones offer customized storage for your wines by providing two compartments, each with a control panel.
You can set one zone to be significantly cooler than the other, making this type of fridge perfect for storing wine and other beverages. If you prefer a compact fridge, a single temperature zone is your go-to choice. Not only are they more budget-friendly, but also ensure all your wines are evenly cooled.
Other features to consider include:
Bottle capacity, depending on how many bottles you currently have and if you plan to expand your collection. If you love champagne, look for a wine fridge that will accommodate the wider bottles.
Child lock. You don’t want your underage kids getting their hands on your fine wines. A fridge with a lock prevents unauthorized access and protects your valuable collections.
Digital controls make it easier to operate the fridge and are more precise than analog knobs.
A reversible door allows you to open the fridge from left or right. This gives you more flexibility in terms of installation.
Top Wine Fridge Models
There are hundreds of wine fridges in the market. Some of the top models you to check out include:
Wine Enthusiast Classic Wine Cellar
EuroCave Premiere S
KitchenAid 46-Bottle Built-In Dual Zone Wine Cooler
Frigidaire 38-Bottle Wine Cooler
NutriChef 15-Bottle Refrigerator
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