If you're a wine drinker, there are a lot of reasons to look into wine coolers and wine refrigerators. You may want long-term storage for your collection, or you might just be sick of sticking your wine in the refrigerator for one to three hours in hopes of getting it to the ideal temperature. But how do you buy a wine cooler? What are the pros and cons of getting a wine refrigerator? Should you get a Zephyr wine cooler, a Liebherr wine refrigerator, or another brand entirely? The experts at Appliances Connection have compiled this post to help you make an informed decision.
PROS OF WINE COOLERS
Available In Many Sizes
The manufacturers of wine coolers have planned for a huge number of wine collections. Whether you have just a few bottles, or hundreds of them, there is a wine cooler in a size and configuration that will work for you.
If you don't have a lot of wine to preserve, you may be interested in one of the smallest wine coolers. This wine refrigerator from Summit is just 6 in. wide, and holds up to 7 bottles of wine. It still has the high-end features you'd expect from a Summit wine cooler, including a digital thermostat, a temperature memory function, and fan-forced cooling. It even uses eco-friendly refrigerant.
On the other side of the equation, Liebherr makes a huge selection of wine refrigerators in larger sizes. This triple-zone freestanding wine cooler is one of their largest, with a total capacity of 178 bottles. Its beech wood shelving units reduce wine-damaging vibrations, and they sit on telescopic rails for easy access to your collection. Meanwhile, the LED lighting is dimmable, allowing you to extend the life span of your wine collection even further. Liebherr's patented SoftSystem technology even ensures that the door closes gently, reducing vibrations.
Many Models Double As Built-In or Freestanding
Unless you drink a glass of wine every day, you may not want to sacrifice valuable under-counter space for wine storage. This is especially true when the amount of space in your kitchen is limited, or if you want to store your wine in a different area of your house entirely (such as your basement or the living room). That's why many modern wine refrigerators can be installed either built-in or freestanding, allowing you the maximum amount of flexibility when it comes to installation options.
This dual zone wine cooler from Zephyr's Preserv Series is one of the most versatile models we offer. At a width of 24 in., it can fit in even compact spaces, yet it holds up to 45 bottles of wine at a time. Regardless of how you install it, you'll benefit from its electronic capacitive touch controls that make maintaining your wine as easy as using your smartphone. It even has built-in air filters to help keep your wine from becoming corked.
Expert Temperature Controls for Different Zones
Wine can be highly sensitive to changes in temperature, and red wine requires warmer storage temperatures than white wine does. This is where the advanced temperature control settings of many wine refrigerators becomes useful. These variable temperature zones allow you to store red wine and white wine in the same wine cooler without doing damage to either part of your collection. Some wine coolers even offer three or more temperature zones, allowing you to also store rosé, or any other type of wine or beverage that you like to drink.
When it comes to temperature control of your wine cooler, Zephyr is at the forefront of innovation. Look out for dual temperature zones on nearly all their models. Some of the brand's wine coolers even have separate compartments for each temperature zone, improving the efficiency of your wine cooler. PreciseTemp™ controls utilize multiple sensors inside the cavity of your wine cooler, ensuring accurate temperatures for years to come.
Ideal Internal Conditions for Wine Preservation
Preserving wine for the long term can be a finicky process. A wine cooler is optimized for this process, and even the most budget-friendly models can come with a wide variety of features that help ensure that your wine lasts as long as possible in storage. Some of these features include:
- Humidity controls that keep the humidity level of your wine cooler in check
- UV-resistant glass doors, which let you show off your collection without exposing it to wine-damaging ultraviolet light
- Anti-vibration features which keep your wine cooler from damaging your wine through harmful vibrations
- High-end ventilation that circulates the air evenly throughout your wine cooler
- LED lighting that spotlights your wine collection without adding heat to your wine cooler
- Extension wine racks for easy access to your collection
CONS OF WINE COOLERS
Even Standard Models Can Be A Large Investment
Investing in a wine cooler means investing in the long-term storage of your wine collection, and this can come with an element of sticker shock. Many high-end wine coolers can run into the thousands of dollars, so if you only ever have one or two bottles of Two-Buck Chuck in your home, it may not be worth it to make this investment. Likewise, if you are shopping on a limited budget, a wine cooler may not make it onto your list of must-have appliances for your home. However, if you have a large wine collection, Appliances Connection offers an extensive selection of wine coolers for all price points, from luxury selections to small, budget-friendly options.
Require Careful Attention and Maintenance
Wine coolers are precision equipment, and they need regular care, especially if you have an extensive collection of wine in your home. Because wine is highly sensitive to storage conditions, from the amount of ultraviolet light that reaches it to the type and intensity of vibrations in your wine cooler, it is critical for you to keep a close eye on any wine cooler you own. Keep the compressor (if it has one) clean and well-maintained, ensure that the door fully closes and seals, and be certain that the temperature you have it set to is the same as the temperature you are actually getting. You may even want to invest in a humidity sensor (or a wine cooler that comes with one) in order to maintain optimal conditions for your wine. For some people, this level of upkeep may be prohibitive, and placing it in the refrigerator a couple of hours before serving it is the ideal option, instead.
Not Ideal For Storage of Perishable Food and Drinks
Wine is ideally stored at warmer temperatures than perishable food items are. For red wine, the ideal storage temperature is 55° F, while white wine is best stored at around 45° F. Most food refrigerators store food at just above freezing (usually around 34° F to 36° F) to lengthen the shelf life of your perishable items. This means that your average refrigerator is not ideal for long-term storage of wine, and that wine coolers should not be used to store perishable foods.
Wine coolers can pull double duty when it comes to chilling non-perishable items such as soft drinks, however. One of our favorite wine coolers for storing both wine and soft drinks is this one from XO. Its multiple temperature zones allow for easy storage of multiple types of wine and soft drinks together, while the individual door locks allow you to keep your spirits safe while allowing your children access to their favorite soda. Meanwhile, the low-E glass doors show off your collection without putting strain on the cooler.
How long should you chill wine?
It can take up to 3 hours to chill wine to its ideal temperature of 45° F to 55° F. This means planning ahead, and having a wine cooler in your home eliminates the need to make room in your fridge and chill your wine at exact times.
Does wine improve with age?
Because wine is fermented over time, most wine improves with age. However, it's important to pay attention to the expiration date on your wine bottle, as many forms of wine do degrade after long periods of storage.
Does chilling red wine ruin it?
You want to avoid chilling red wine below its ideal temperature range (about 55° F), as this can kill the flavor of your wine.