We often get asked how to choose the right wine fridge so we decided to create this article to help. Proper storage is crucial when it comes to wine. Maintaining the ideal storage temperature and humidity can make all the difference between a perfectly aged wine and a spoiled one.
This is why any serious wine lover needs an essential appliance – a wine fridge, which can help maintain these ideal conditions for wine and keep it delicious to drink.
Choosing the right wine fridge from the many available on the market can be challenging. In this guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know to purchase the best wine fridge.
We’ll discuss the different features that you should look for and how to choose the right size for your needs.
With our help, you’ll be able to find the perfect wine fridge for your home, ensuring that your wine always tastes its best.
According to Wine Spectator, storing wine at the right temperature can prevent spoilage and keep wine tasting its best. Ideally, wine should be stored between 45-65°F (7-18°C).
Why Do You Need a Wine Fridge?
For wine enthusiasts, a wine fridge is an indispensable companion. It not only shields wine from light and heat damage but also maintains the appropriate storage temperature.
This is crucial because wine is a living product, and even minor temperature changes can affect its taste. Additionally, a wine fridge offers an optimal environment for aging wine, preserving a consistent temperature and humidity level.
If you are passionate about wine appreciation, a wine fridge is a must-have equipment.
Here are some ways a good wine fridge can help protect your wine.
Maintaining the proper temperature for wine is crucial since it is a delicate beverage. Temperature fluctuations can have a severe impact on wine, leading to spoilage and flavor loss.
When wine is exposed to too much heat or light, it can lose its color and develop an unpleasant odor. Conversely, too much cold can result in cloudiness and a loss of flavor. Thus, it is necessary to take precautions not only when serving wine but also when storing it.
To ensure wine retains its quality and taste for as long as possible, it should be kept in a dark, cool place with minimal temperature fluctuations. That is where a wine fridge comes in handy.
A wine fridge helps to maintain the ideal temperature range of 55 degrees, which results in slower aging and preservation of the wine’s original flavor, aroma, and taste.
A study conducted by the University of California, Davis, found that storing wine at temperatures above 70°F (21°C) can cause premature aging, resulting in a loss of flavor and aroma.
The Effect of Vibration On Wine
Vibration can significantly affect wine, particularly during the aging process. When wine is subjected to vibration, sediment in the bottle can be disturbed, causing it to clump together and settle at the bottom. This not only leads to a loss of flavor and aroma but also results in unpleasant sediment in the bottle.
Furthermore, vibration can speed up chemical reactions in wine, leading to changes in flavor and aroma. It can also accelerate the oxidation process, causing the wine to spoil more quickly.
Storing your wine in the appropriate wine fridge helps minimize vibration during storage to ensure that the wine’s quality is not compromised.
UV Light Exposure (Direct Sunlight)
UV light is particularly harmful to wine as it can cause the molecules in the wine to break down, compromising its flavor.
Moreover, UV light can fade the color of wine, making it visually less appealing. Therefore, protecting wine from UV light exposure in a wine fridge is essential.
Using the appropriate wine cooler can also help to protect the wine labels from peeling off, reduce the risk of shrunken wine corks, and increase the shelf life of stored wines.
How to Choose the Right Wine Fridge: What to Look For
When choosing the right wine refrigerator, protecting your wine is paramount, but there are other important factors involved in selecting the right wine fridge for you.
Consider this the ultimate wine refrigerator buying guide for those who are not fortunate enough to have an underground wine cellar.
Here are the most important factors to consider when choosing your wine fridge.
When it comes to wine, there are two types of people: those who enjoy a glass or two on occasion and those who take their wine seriously. For the latter group, the size of their wine collection is an important factor when determining which wine fridge to buy.
After all, you wouldn’t want to invest in a wine fridge that’s too small and doesn’t have enough space to store all your bottles. On the other hand, you also don’t want to buy a wine fridge that’s too big and takes up more space than necessary.
The perfect wine fridge should be just the right size for your wine collection, whether you have a few bottles, a few dozen bottles, or a few hundred.
The first step to selecting the correct size wine fridge is to count how many bottles you have to store. Once you know how much wine you have, you can start looking at a new wine fridge.
A tip for choosing the right wine cooler is to read the bottle capacity on the product’s description and then add 20% to the capacity. For instance, if you have a dozen bottles of wine, choose a wine cooler with storage space that can accommodate an additional four to six bottles. After all, there’s always room for growth, especially if you continue to buy wine.
Noise levels are important when determining the right wine fridge. A whisper-quiet wine fridge is ideal for open concept living or for small apartments.
If the noise level is important to you, look for a wine fridge that has a noise level of fewer than 40 decibels. This is the noise level of a soft whisper, so it should be barely noticeable when the wine fridge is in use.
A wine fridge with a noise level above 50 decibels will be easier to hear and maybe disruptive if it is located in a quiet room. Choose a wine fridge with the right noise level for your space to ensure that it can be enjoyed without disrupting your peace and quiet.
Most wine refrigerators come in two different cooling systems, thermoelectric cooling, and compressor cooling systems.
Thermoelectric wine coolers are generally quieter than compressor cooling systems. This is because thermoelectric cooling technology does not require a compressor, which is typically the noisiest component of a wine cooler.
Instead, thermoelectric coolers use a solid-state cooling system that operates silently. Additionally, thermoelectric coolers have fewer moving parts, resulting in less vibration and noise.
As a result, they are an excellent option for those who are sensitive to noise or for use in spaces where quiet operation is preferred.
The Wine Cellarage reports that storing wine at too low of a temperature can also be detrimental, as it can cause corks to dry out and shrink, leading to oxidation and spoilage.
Although constantly overlooked, the shelving of the wine fridge you choose is an important feature to pay attention to. One way to age wine perfectly is to ensure it is stored on its sides. Hence, the shelving of your refrigerator should allow your wine bottles to rest on their sides.
Storing bottles this way ensures the cork remains in constant contact with the wine, keeping it moist and preventing bacteria from seeping in. You can opt for a wine cabinet with wooden shelves which slide in and out much easier or the more common metal wine racks.
Another important aspect of the wine refrigerator’s shelving is the size of the bottles it can accommodate. Not all wine bottles are the same shape and size so its important to make sure you find shelving that can comfortably hold wider bottles or large format bottle you may have in your collection.
The location of your wine fridge is important for several reasons. First, wine refrigerators are designed to operate in cool, dark environments. If the fridge is too close to an external wall or a source of artificial light, the wine may be exposed to too much heat or light, which can damage the flavor and aroma of the wine.
Second, the closer the wine fridge is to your living area, the more convenient it will be to access. However, if the fridge is too close to a kitchen or other high-traffic area, there may be too much noise and vibrations for the wine, which can again damage the flavor and aroma of the wine.
If you’re big on style, purchasing a well-designed wine cooler greatly increases your home aesthetics. Fortunately, there’s a wide variety of beautiful wine coolers available.
You can opt for a statement wine fridge made entirely with black stainless steel. You can even purchase one whose wine refrigerator door is made with high-end materials that are aesthetically appealing.
Some fancy wine refrigerators even have glass doors that showcase the wine bottles for admiration.
Overall, the wine storage solution you choose should complement and enhance the aesthetics and style of your home.
Energy consumption and low-energy consumption
When shopping for the best wine fridges to store wines, ensure that you choose one with a low energy consumption level.
A wine fridge with a low energy consumption level helps minimize your electricity bills. Hence, if you’re shopping for the best wine fridges, you should opt for thermoelectric wine coolers. They operate on low energy and help conserve your units as opposed to refrigerators with compressor coolers.
If you’re eager to get a wine fridge with LED lighting, ensure they are low temperature because high temperature LED lighting makes it hard for the wine fridge to cool properly.
Number of Cooling Zones
When choosing wine refrigerators, you should consider the number of cooling zones it has. Although the most common wine refrigerators have a single cooling zone, you can choose a dual zone wine cooler which is ideal.
A dual zone wine cooler allows you to set your wine refrigerator at dual temperature zones. Refrigerators with dual temperature zones are extremely handy, especially if you need to store wine that needs to be kept at different temperatures.
You can choose to store your red and white wines or even sparkling wines at the same time but at different temperatures. A dual zone wine refrigerator is ideal if you’d like to enjoy your wine at its best serving temperatures. If you only need to store a particular type of wine, you don’t necessarily need a dual-zone wine fridge; a single-zone fridge is the best choice.
A survey conducted by Wine Enthusiast found that 94% of wine enthusiasts believe that proper wine storage is important, with 68% of respondents using a wine fridge or cooler to store their wine.
Built-in Vs. Freestanding Construction
Depending on your preference, you may choose a wine fridge with a built-in or freestanding construction.
A built-in wine cooler, also known as an under-counter wine cooler, has a front vent and can be fitted alongside existing cabinets. Built-in wine fridges provide a more flexible option as you can even choose to leave it freestanding.
You can purchase the countertop models or choose to place them on the floor. Unlike built-in coolers, freestanding does not need any form of fitting.
Whether you’re opting for a built-in or freestanding wine cooler construction, you should ensure enough space to let out hot air from the vents.
Thermoelectric or Compressor Cooling
When choosing the best wine fridge, decide if thermoelectric or compressor coolers work for you. A thermoelectric cooling system works by producing cool air through a heat pump.
They’re usually noiseless and use low energy. The compressor coolers, on the other hand, use air refrigerant chemicals to produce cool air. They make a humming sound when working in full cycle
Temperature plays a very important role in wine storage. If you’re saving different types of wine, it is crucial to know the perfect temperature. Although all wines are generally stored at 55 degrees, you should know the right temperature range for different wine types.
For instance, the serving temperature range for white wines is quite different from that of red wines. Knowing the different temperature ranges for each wine type is key to aging fine wines like a wine connoisseur.
Finish and details of the wine fridge
When choosing a wine fridge, check out the finish and details of the refrigerator. While you’re focused on choosing one that improves your home’s aesthetics, ensure that the finish and details can last for a long time.
Your wine fridge should come with a UV protection feature if you intend to install it in a place with some sunlight. A UV protection feature will minimize the presence of UV rays inside the refrigerator, allowing for long-term storage.
You will need a refrigerator with a child lock if you have young ones at home. A child might be unable to tell the difference between a wine fridge and a standard refrigerator.
Therefore, a fridge with child locks is extremely useful to avoid the kids opening the fridge and causing temperature fluctuations in the cooler.
If you like a bit of fanciness, you can choose a refrigerator with reversible doors. These let you open the refrigerator doors from any side of the cooler.
Led lighting enhances the appearance of the wine fridge and allows you to view each bottle properly. LED lighting also reduces artificial light inside the cooler.
Outstanding Customer Service
When purchasing the best wine refrigerator, ensure you get one from a reputable brand. It is important to buy from a reputable brand, so you can experience outstanding and prompt customer service in cases where you have issues with your refrigerator. Believe it or not, wine refrigerators do break and when they do you need to get them repaired quickly.
When choosing a refrigerator, look out for those with the humidity control feature. Even though we need to prevent our fridge from being in contact with excessive sunlight, you’ll need to sometimes open your wine refrigerator to aid air circulation and exchange.
Hence the humidity control feature will help your fridge maintain temperature and prevent humidity fluctuations. Humidity fluctuations can cause damage to wine corks and increase the risk of spoilage.
How to Set Up and Maintain Your Wine Refrigerators
Although choosing the right wine refrigerator for storing wine is extremely important, knowing how to set up and maintain your refrigerator is necessary. Here are tips to put you on the right part:
Choose the Right Location
Where you place your refrigerator after purchase is essential. First of all, place it in a location where there is no sunlight. Remember, light is wine’s enemy. Also, choose a location with fewer temperature fluctuations.
Check the Drip Tray
Many wine fridges come with a drip tray to catch excess water as a result of condensation. It is important to check the drip tray often to discard the excess water. By doing this, you prevent water from flowing to the ground as well as a musty smell.
Solve Condensation Problems
Seeing condensation form inside your refrigerator is quite normal. However, you can absorb this excess moisture by using baking soda or silica beans and reduce the appearance of condensation.
Keep It Clean
Since you store bottles in your refrigerator, it only makes sense that you keep them clean regularly. Use a damp cloth to clean the shelves while being careful not to move your wine bottles carelessly. If you use a built-in cooler, clean the surrounding cabinets to prevent dust accumulation.
What are some good brands to look for when purchasing a wine fridge?
Here are four of the best wine refrigerator brands, based on features, quality, and price:
NewAir is a well-known brand that offers a wide range of wine refrigerators with various sizes, features, and styles to fit different needs and budgets. Their wine refrigerators are designed to maintain optimal temperatures and humidity levels to ensure that the wine remains in excellent condition for an extended period.
NewAir wine refrigerators are also equipped with advanced features such as adjustable shelves, digital thermostats, and LED lighting, making them both functional and aesthetically pleasing. With NewAir wine refrigerators, wine enthusiasts can store and preserve their wine collection with confidence, knowing that their wine is being stored under ideal conditions.
Kalamera is a renowned brand that specializes in high-quality wine refrigerators designed for wine enthusiasts and collectors. Their wine refrigerators feature a sleek and modern design, making them an attractive addition to any kitchen, dining room, or home bar.
Kalamera wine refrigerators offer precise temperature control and humidity regulation, ensuring that your wine is stored under optimal conditions. They are available in various sizes and styles, including single-zone and dual-zone models, accommodating wine collections of different sizes and types.
With advanced features such as digital temperature displays, LED lighting, and adjustable shelves, Kalamera wine refrigerators offer both functionality and aesthetics. Whether you are a novice wine lover or a seasoned collector, Kalamera wine refrigerators provide an excellent solution for storing and preserving your wine collection.
Elevate your home bar or kitchen’s design by adding a Danby® wine cooler. Perfect for wine enthusiasts or hosts, these wine fridges are climate-controlled to maintain the ideal temperature for your wine. Danby® offers an array of sizes, ranging from holding 17 bottles to a maximum of 75 bottles, making them a versatile storage solution for any wine collection.
These freestanding wine coolers are built with performance and proper preservation in mind, ensuring that your finest wines are always stored correctly. Invest in a Danby® wine cooler today to create a sophisticated storage solution for your cellar or home.
U-Line is a reputable brand that offers a variety of high-quality wine refrigerators that cater to wine enthusiasts’ needs. Their wine refrigerators feature dual-zone temperature controls, allowing for different temperature settings for white and red wine.
U-Line wine refrigerators are built with advanced technology, such as digital displays and LED lighting, for optimal functionality and aesthetics. Additionally, their wine refrigerators come in various sizes and designs, making them a versatile option for any home or commercial space.
With U-Line wine refrigerators, wine collectors can store and preserve their wines in ideal conditions and with peace of mind.
How to Buy the Right Wine Fridge FAQs
What is the ideal temperature range for storing wine?
The ideal temperature range for storing wine is between 45-65°F (7-18°C).
What is the difference between a compressor wine fridge and a thermoelectric wine fridge?
The main difference between the two types of wine fridges is that a compressor wine fridge uses a refrigerant and compressor to cool the wine, while a thermoelectric wine fridge uses a solid-state cooling system.
How do I choose the right size wine fridge for my needs?
When choosing the right size wine fridge, consider factors such as the number of bottles you need to store, the size of the wine bottles, and the available space in your home.
Can wine fridges be placed in any room of the house?
Yes, wine fridges can be placed in any room of the house as long as the temperature is consistent, and the fridge is not exposed to direct sunlight or excessive vibration.
Do I need a dual-zone wine fridge?
A dual-zone wine fridge is ideal if you store both red and white wine, as it allows you to set different temperature zones for each type of wine.
How often should I clean my wine fridge?
It is recommended to clean your wine fridge every 3-6 months, or as needed if there are spills or stains.
Can I store other beverages besides wine in a wine fridge?
Yes, you can store other beverages besides wine in a wine fridge, as long as the temperature range is suitable for those beverages.
Can wine fridges be used to chill wine before serving?
Yes, wine fridges can be used to chill wine before serving. Simply adjust the temperature settings accordingly.
How long can I store wine in a wine fridge?
The length of time you can store wine in a wine fridge depends on the type of wine and the storage conditions. However, in general, most wines can be stored in a wine fridge for up to 5 years.
What is the average lifespan of a wine fridge?
The average lifespan of a wine fridge can vary, but most models last between 5-10 years with proper maintenance and care.
Finally, choosing the right wine fridge is critical for wine enthusiasts who want to preserve the quality and flavor of their wine. A suitable wine fridge can assist in maintaining ideal storage conditions, as well as preventing damage caused by vibration, UV light exposure, and temperature fluctuations.
To select the best wine fridge, several factors should be considered, including the fridge type, capacity, design, features, and price range. A good wine fridge is an excellent investment in the quality of your wine collection. Wine can age gracefully and remain delicious for years if properly stored.
Take your time researching and selecting the best wine fridge to fit your needs, whether you are a novice or a seasoned wine connoisseur. When you finally open a perfectly aged bottle of wine and enjoy the preserved flavors, you’ll know your investment was well worth it.