Wine is a perishable drink, that when stored improperly, it will lose value, flavour and might end up undrinkable. Proper wine storage is essential for getting the most taste out of each bottle. A wine cooler is a refrigerator that keeps your wine fresh, allowing you to enjoy every sip. They provide a controlled environment in which to store your wine collection.
Let's have a quick overview of the benefits of wine coolers
- Maintaining the ideal temperature
The main reason for getting a wine fridge is that you will be able to serve wine at its perfect temperature. Keep in mind that the taste and texture of wine are reserved when served at its perfect temperature.
Depending on your wine collection, different settings will be required to attain the right storage conditions.
A dedicated wine fridge is designed to meet the needs of wine. They are equipped with unique features to protect wine from premature ageing (tinted glass to keep off Ultraviolet rays and carbon filters to get rid of odours). It blocks out excess sunlight while minimising artificial light.
Wine coolers are not only great for wine but can also be used to store other beverages. They are designed to keep whatever is stored in it at its optimum temperature.
Wine racks come in handy; they have a dedicated space for your bottles, some units can store up to 100 bottles of wine. It provides a great way to display your collection. Also, it adds some sense of luxury to your home.
- Low Maintenance cost
Unlike other coolers, the wine fridge doesn't have complex mechanical or electrical parts. Thus you won't spend a lot of time and money to maintain them.
Types of wine coolers
The type of cooler you need depends on your space and its intended purpose.
- i) single-zone - as the name suggests, it provides single, coherent storage space. Temperature is distributed equally throughout the cooler, to cool all the bottles to the same level. Its made to hold each bottle separately.
It is suitable for those who are starting a wine collection. This cooler is less expensive than all the other types.Not good for wines that require different storage conditions.
- ii) Dual-zone- like the name implies, this cooler has two different storage compartments, partitioned horizontally. It can maintain two different temperatures at the same time. It is suitable for those who love different wines since they can be kept in the same cooler.
iii) Freestanding- This type of cooler is similar to your household fridge. It comes in different sizes. However, you must consider the available floor space. It is portable. Thus you can have it placed anywhere in your house.
iv)Built-in- this is ideal for people with limited floor space. However, they are expensive, since they must be designed to suit your cabinet. They are often smaller, as they are required to fit the limited space.
- v) counter-top - this type is ideal for those living in small rooms. It occupies less space and can store a limited number of bottles.
For wine enthusiasts, there is nothing worse than forgetting to keep the drink cool and having to bear with the fact that the wine’s quality reduces overnight, which makes having a cooler a necessity. But with so many refrigerators in the market today, how do you choose a wine fridge that's best for you?
Here is a list of things to consider before buying your wine fridge:
- Available space
Study your space, i.e., where the cooler is going to live. Space is likely to be a limiting factor, not unless you are building your kitchen from the start. Refrigerators are classified according to bottle capacity. The more the bottles, the larger space.
How many bottles do you need to store? The amount of wine in your collection determines the size you’ll need. Wine fridges have different abilities. Some hold less than 25 bottles while sizeable cabinets hold over 300 bottles.
Beginners with only a few bottles should go for a small fridge. Collectors with a sizeable amount of wine will require a big fridge. Choose one that suits your collection, then upgrade as your collection grows.
- Understand your needs
First, you should determine your storage objective. What kind of wines do you want to have? How long do you intend to store it?. If you want to store different brands, a dual cooler would be perfect.
- Is your wine cabinet going in a cold room?
Is your wine cabinet going in a cold room such as a cellar or garage. We sell units from several manufacturers which have a winter heating function. A wine cabinet with the heater can basically keep the cabinet 8 degrees warmer than the ambient temperature. These wine fridges can work in environments as low as 0°C, where they can deliver a maximum temperature of 8°C. If you want to make sure your bottles are stored at 12°C, make sure that the ambient temperature is never below 4°C.
What kind of guarantees does it have? A quality wine fridge manufacturer will have a warranty on both its products and services. Upright fridges come with a warranty. Be sure to check the length of the manufacturer's warranty and what it covers ( it should be at least two to three years)
- Noise factor
Most wine cooler cabinets generate a noise level around 35-45 decibels (dB). In comparison, a dishwasher in use is around 45-50 dB and a standard modern fridge about 35 dB.
Generally speaking, wine coolers produces slightly more noise than regular refrigerators. This is because of their greater need to maintain a constant temperature. The vast majority of wine coolers on the market consist of a compressor, a refrigerant circuit and a system of fans.
Acoustic considerations If you're building a new house it's a good idea to consider the acoustics and sound right from the start of your planning. There is a wealth of sound dampening materials available on the market that won't break your budget. Your contractor or local building supplier will be able to guide you through these.
For the rest of us, there are also a number of handy tricks and tips. A hand clap test is a quick way to ascertain the acoustic "behaviour" of a space. Clap loudly in a room and listen for how much reverberation there is in the echo. It doesn't take more than a second before it will be perceived as bothersome.
Lastly, there's also valuable advice about how to design your interior to accommodate your wine cabinet cooler. Some of the advice takes the form of general observations while other advice applies to more specific situations.
Sources that enhance acoustics:
- Carpets, thick curtains and other thick fabrics absorb sound.
- Furniture, paintings and decorative items can dampen reverberations.
- Use sound-absorbing materials when building, especially in high rooms.
What is the best way I can reduce the noise of my wine cooler?
- Make sure the wine cooler is perfectly level
- Place it on a vibration and noise-absorbing material.
- Make sure air can circulate around the cooler cabinet
Information is power. In today's era of online stores, customers leave reviews of every product they purchase. These reviews are gold mines when appropriately used. The only way you can get first-hand information about a brand quality is to read reviews from clients who have used the product.
- Energy consumption
Manufacturers are not mandated by law to state the amount of energy consumed by wine coolers since they are classified as luxury. Typically, the annual costs for operating a wine cooler are low. Nevertheless, be sure to check the energy rating before buying your fridge. A Cooler with an " A" energy rating, consumes less power, thus reducing your electricity bill.
- Pay close attention to uniformity
Even distribution of temperature is a crucial factor in storing wine. Wine can quickly lose value when stored in a spot with drastic temperature change.
Shelf temperature depends on the type of wine. Red wine is best served between 12-18C, champagne is best served at 5-10C, and white wine should be chilled at 7-14C.
- Style of the fridge
Choose a fridge that fits your style and personality. Let what you purchase to be dictated by your style. You can opt for metal or wood racks, coloured or stainless exterior design. If you are a passionate artist, you should purchase an easily accessible cooler, with a lot of stylish features.
Always check the dimensions before purchasing so that it fits through doorways.
- Choose light protected coolers
When choosing a suitable cooler for your home, you should not consider the design alone. You have to choose one that provides adequate light protection. Excessive light exposure can easily ruin your wine. Invest in high-quality coolers to have the best value for your money.
- Go for a fridge with both adjustable and removable racks
Coolers with these features allow you to keep any bottles, even those with different shapes and sizes. Different wines come with different bottles. So make sure your fridge can accommodate them. Removable racks make your cooler easy to clean.
- Its cooling technology
The kind of technology used to operate your desired wine cooler is very important. You should consider noise and vibrations produced since it can affect your wine.
Here is a quick explanation of each technology
1)Compressor: it uses a refrigerant similar to that in regular refrigerators. The problem is that they are heavier, vibrate, and produce noise. Modern technology means that compressors have become more quiet. It is suitable for areas where temperatures fluctuate
2) Thermometric: Uses the Peltier effect. They are silent, with almost no vibration. Smaller capacity works best. Thermometric coolers are versatile( They can be used anywhere)
3)Hybrid: These coolers use both compressor and thermoelectric technologies. They are more efficient compared to the first two. However, they are more expensive.
4) Absorption: This is the latest technology in the industry. It uses a physio chemical process to provide a silent, vibration-free cooling system. These are hard to find and can be a little more costly.
There are other features to choose from, based on your wine collection, lifestyle, and budget.
Digital temperature display, safety sensors, and LED can add style to your cooler.
Keep in mind that these additional features come with a price.
SET UP AND MAINTENANCE GUIDE
Once you've purchased a suitable cooler that meets your storage needs. The next step is how to take care of it. Proper maintenance will keep your fridge operational for years.
- i) Proper storage-Keep your fridge on a hard, flat surface for optimum results. Avoid carpets at all costs. Keep your device away from direct sunlight in a spot stable temperature to help run efficiently.
- ii) Keep it clean- This the most crucial hack but often ignored. Wipe the interior with a damp cloth. Use a soft cloth to clean exterior parts.
iii)Hire a professional to install built in coolers.
In summary, whichever the model you choose, it should protect your wine from these four enemies: Humidity, direct sunlight, vibration, and heat. The right fridge should provide precise temperature adjustments, humidity control, and protect the wine from UV. With the above factors in mind, you are sure to purchase a suitable wine fridge.