Wine fridges can come in all shapes and sizes - from smaller countertop models to larger build-in models that can store over 100 bottles. You may think that wine coolers are only worth it if you have a larger collection, but is this the case?
Are small wine fridges worth it? Or are you better off with a larger wine cooler? Or a wine rack if you only have a few bottles? Keep reading to find out the answers to these questions, as well as learn more about wine coolers in general.
More and more wine lovers are opting for wine coolers to store their wine collections. A wine cooler is an appliance that keeps your wine cool, while also considering other storage factors such as UV light and humidity.
Wine has an optimal storage temperature - so whether you’re storing wine for ageing, you’re investing in your wine, or you simply want to store your wine in the right way, then it’s best to store your wine at temperatures between 11°C and 14°C.
The temperature at which you store your wine is important and can determine the freshness of the wine as well as how well the wine ages. Wine stored at temperatures above 14°C may become less fresh quickly, as well as develop an unpleasant cooked taste, losing its natural flavours and aromas and instead tasting bitter and sour.
Likewise, wine stored at temperatures too low may also lose its natural flavours. Wine stored at freezing temperatures can result in a frozen wine with no flavour, and can also freeze the cork and leave it out of place - exposing the wine to oxygen.
Most modern wine fridges will also regulate humidity levels, which is key to great wine storage. Many people will overlook humidity when storing their wine, but it’s as important as protecting your wine from UV light and maintaining the correct temperature.
The optimal humidity levels for wine storage falls between 55% and 75% - this will ensure your wine remains fresh and the cork remains moist and in the correct position. Humidity levels that are too high can damage the bottle as well as dampen the cork, allowing oxygen to enter.
Wine bottles stored in high-humidity environments can become damaged pretty quickly due to the moisture. The moisture can damage the labels which is something that no collector wants. Bacteria loves moisture and humid environments, which can cause the storage space to get dirty pretty quickly, affecting the freshness of the wine and the cleanliness of the bottles.
Wine coolers will also protect your wine from the sunlight. Sunlight can have negative effects on your wine collection. As well as raising the temperature of your wine, it can cause unwanted chemical reactions, speeding up the ageing process. Wine coolers with glass doors are also safe, as most glass found in wine coolers has been UV treated for ultimate protection.
Wine coolers come in all shapes and sizes - whether you choose a freestanding model, a built-in model, or a fully integrated model. All three of these main designs can come in small sizes, medium sizes, and large sizes, so you’ll be able to find the perfect model for you and your wine collection.
Freestanding models stand freely and offer more freedom when it comes to placements, whereas built-in and fully integrated models are limited to kitchen cabinet space. However, you can find a freestanding, built-in, or fully integrated wine fridge that can store up to 16 bottles which is perfect for smaller wine collections, and some that are ideal for larger collections.
Before purchasing a wine fridge, it’s important to ask yourself what exactly you’ll be storing in your wine fridge - and what you’d define as a small wine fridge. Some people may class a small wine fridge as an under-counter model that stores around 32 bottles, but others may class a small wine fridge as a unit that stores under 20 bottles. You can find small wine fridges in all designs - whether you prefer freestanding, built-in, or fully integrated.
If you have a larger or mixed collection that you plan on ageing, it’s best to get a larger wine cooler. However, if you plan on purchasing a wine fridge to prepare your wine for serving, then a smaller wine fridge should do the job perfectly. After all, you’ll never need more than ten bottles preparing to be served at any one time, will you?
It’s also important to consider temperature zones - it can be difficult to find a smaller model with dual or multiple temperature zones. However, dual and multi-temperature zones are common in larger wine fridges. If you have a mixed collection that consists of reds, whites, and sparkling wines, then you may want to opt for a larger wine fridge with more than one temperature zone.
Smaller wine coolers can still have all the features of a larger wine cooler - door alarms that will alert you if you leave the door open for if the temperature drops out of the designated range, LED interior lighting, and even locks and keys.
Depending on your requirements, small wine fridges are 100% worth it. A small wine fridge can add to the decor of any home while proudly displaying your favourite or most expensive wines. Small wine fridges are also great if you regularly have guests over or host dinner parties - instead of walking all the way to your basement to get a wine bottle, you can just grab a prepared bottle from a small wine fridge.
With small wine fridges, you don’t have to worry about where to place them - as they can fit pretty much anywhere. If you like the style of built-in and fully-integrated wine coolers, you can still integrate a small wine fridge into your kitchen cabinets and it’s sure to look great. A small wine fridge is sure to make a great addition to any kitchen, living room, or dining room - displaying and storing your wine in the best possible way.