If you really want to enjoy wine and drink it the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed, then a wine cooler is essential. Unlike wine cellars, which have been purposefully constructed to store wine for long periods of time, a wine cooler is more of a short term solution to get your wine ready to drink.
How to choose your wine cooler
Before you get into details, the first thing you need to consider is the type of cooler you want. There are three main types:
- Single zone cooling – perfect if you’re a newcomer to the world of wine and want a simple solution. A wine refrigerator with only one cooling zone and temperature control mean you won’t be able to mix red and whites together.
- Dual zone cooling – although a little bit more expensive than the single zone, if you’re starting to build a collection of wines and want a wine cooler that holds both reds and whites then this will be ideal.
- Built-in wine coolers – if you’re becoming somewhat of a connoisseur of wine, then a built in solution that’s integrated with your kitchen cabinets will allow you to really enjoy your wine.
Another key difference that you need to be aware of is whether a thermoelectric or compressor cooler is used. The vast majority of wine coolers utilize one of these two methods and the difference is:
- Compressor coolers function much like your kitchen refrigerator. While they can be more powerful, they are also usually louder and heavier.
- Thermoelectric coolers rely on something called the Peltier effect. Here, cooling is the result of a current flowing between two conductors. This results in a much more energy efficient and quieter solution. However, they can struggle to keep a consistent temperature, as they’re not actually producing cold air. All in all, they perform optimally when room temperature is less than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature rises above 80 degrees, they may struggle to stay cold for long periods of time.
Now you understand the different types of wine coolers available on the market, you can think about brands and aesthetics. A wide variety of colors are available, as well as finishes. So take a look at the furniture and other items in your household, before determining what cooler will be the perfect match.
How cold should my wine cooler be kept at?
This depends on whether you’re storing red or white. It’s recommended to keep red wine between 50 - 65 degrees Fahrenheit. And for white wine, keep it between 41- 50 degrees Fahrenheit (with 46 degrees being regarded as optimal). If you’re storing both red and white in the same cooler, then you’ll need a dual zone. One final tip: all wines, whether red or white, can be stored at 55 degrees until a few hours before being served when you need to get them cooled down, or leave at room temperature to warm up. As for sparkling wines, roses, and full-bodied whites, the temperature should be even lower a 50 – 60 degrees.
Can’t I just store my wine in the fridge?
Yes, however, your fridge is kept at a temperature less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, to minimize bacteria and keep food a safe temperature. A wine cooler is used solely to keep your wine at the correct temperature to ensure you get the best out of it. Therefore, unless you want to make-do, then a wine cooler is essential.
How much will a wine cooler cost me?
If you’re looking for a small and simple single zone cooler then you can pick one up for as little as $100. Depending on the number of features, cooling zones, and size, prices will increase to as much as $4,000.
What do I need to think about before buying my wine cooler?
Before buying your wine cooler, assess what your needs are. Consider how often you’ll be drinking wine and whether you’ll be building a collection or not. A 24 bottle model will be perfect if you plan on keeping a collection of around 20 bottles. If you have a collection that includes non-standard sized bottles, then check to see whether the shelves of the unit can be adjusted to adapt and fit your various bottle shapes.
Another thing to think about is the amount of free space you have. If you have a large and relatively unutilized kitchen space, then you have plenty of capacity for a premium built-in wine cooler. Also, remember that thermoelectric coolers struggle in high temperatures. If you live in a warm climate and don’t enjoy running the air conditioning on high, then a compressor cooler may be the best option for you. Especially if it’s kept in an attic or a non-air conditioned garage. Don’t just look at the number of bottles a model holds when thinking about space. Where do you want to store your cooler? Does it need to fit into a tight thin space? Will it be placed on top of a counter? Think about the overall dimensions (length, width, height) of the unit, as opposed to just the quantity of bottles it holds.
One final consideration is that some coolers don’t have locks. If you have kids or teenagers in the house then this has to be factored into your decision. If you have an expensive bottle that you’re looking forward to drinking on a special occasion, would you feel comfortable knowing that it’s being stored for a few months with easy access for you children? Just something to think about.
Once you’ve decided on the size and type of cooler, you then need to assess brands and models. This is where it helps to get to grips with specifications, read reviews, and check prices in order to get the best value for your money so you can start to enjoying your wine at the optimum temperature the next time you open up a bottle.
Ready to shop for your ideal wine cooler? Check out our collection of wine coolers now. Get 5% off (discount expires tonight at 11:59 PM). *See our product page for full details. You can also call us at (800) 969-4632, or email us at support@WineCoolerDeals.com.