If wine is something that you use regularly, purchasing a wine fridge will be a good investment so that you can store and serve wine at its very best. This is a much more efficient, economical and effective way of storing wine than the traditional cellar as most people in our modern world do not have the space or money to build a walk-in cellar in their basement.

Optimum conditions

Wine needs to be stored in certain constant condition to be enjoyed at its finest. The three states which ruin wine are dryness, heat and light. Humidity levels need to be regulated as low humidity causes cork shrinkage which can let air into the bottles and also evaporation, and high humidity can lead to mold and mildew. High temperatures of over 77F (25C) change the chemical balance of the wine and give it a stewed taste. Proteins in wine also react to excessive light and this spoils the flavour. The flavour, colour and consistency are preserved at fairly low temperatures, particularly in the case of white and sparkling wines, with reduced light and a good amount of moisture. This is why using a wine fridge provides the optimum environment for the storage of wines as these factors can all be controlled.

Wine fridge better than a kitchen fridge

A wine cooler is not the same as a normal kitchen fridge. Fridges are not ideal for storing wine and can actually ruin it. The temperature in a fridge is too low for most wines and with the door being frequently opened the temperature fluctuates so the bottles are not kept at a constant temperature. A fridge also slightly vibrates while it is running which can shift the sediments within the bottles and this destroys the flavours. From a practical standpoint, wine fridges also have specially designed racks for holding wine bottles and specially treated glass to block ultraviolet light.

Choosing the right fridge

There are a wide variety of fridges to choose from according to capacity, dimensions, style and cooling methods. Deciding on the cooling method is actually the first point that needs to be considered when buying a cooler as it is directly impacted by the type of wine you use. All the other features can be considered after this once you have decided on the technology that best suits your needs.

Wine temperatures

This is an issue because different types of wine have a particular temperature in which they are best stored. Rich red wines are best at 59-66F (15-19C) and light red wines at 55F (13C). Rose and dry white wines taste good between 46-57F (8-14C). Sparkling wines and champagne are normally chilled at 43-47F (6-8C).

Dual temperature cooler

If you have a wide range of tastes in wines and like to drink different red and white wines, a dual temperature cooler is ideal. It provides separate compartments, each one having its own electric thermostat control, which enables you to keep both red and white wines at their optimum temperatures. Dual temperature coolers will cost more than single temperature ones so expect to pay at the higher end of your wine fridge price bracket. Smaller units cost about $300, medium sized ones are priced at around $800 and larger coolers will be around $1500.

Single temperature cooler

However, if you have a preference for a particular type of wine then a single temperature cooler will be fine. Many claim that they are suitable for storing both types of wine at a uniform cellar temperature and then you can chill a bottle of white wine in the kitchen fridge just before serving.

Multi-temperature wine fridge

There is a further option of having a multi-temperature fridge if you are a wine connoisseur and have a lot of varieties to store and serve. This wine cooler enables you to age wines in one compartment and then to keep red and white wine bottles and champagne in different compartments at their best tasting temperature, ready to serve. This type of wine chiller will be a more expensive investment.

Thermoelectric cooler

A different type of wine fridge that is gaining in popularity is a thermoelectric cooler. Its main selling features are that they are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, silent and vibration-free. This technology uses fans to push out warm air and circulate cold air inside the cooler. These fridges also come with the option of different temperature zones. The one thing to remember is that the positioning of thermoelectric wine coolers is important as room temperatures over 77F and below 50F make it difficult to maintain the correct temperature inside the cooler. Therefore, the room temperature needs to be carefully controlled by using heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer to avoid temperature extremes which affect the taste of the wine.