Storing your wine at the perfect temperature can keep your wine fresh for longer, and bring out the right textures, flavours, and aromas - which is why a wine fridge is a great addition to the home of any wine lover. A wine fridge is exactly what it says on the tin - a fridge designed to store wines effectively, keeping your wine collection fresh, cool, and well preserved.
Wine is best stored at temperatures between 11°C and 14°C, so most fridges will have this as their preset setting. Wine fridges come in all different shapes, sizes, and designs, so it can be difficult to know what exactly to look for before purchasing one - but don’t worry, you can keep reading to find out!
There are so many different types of wine fridges that it can be overwhelming knowing what to look out for. There are different temperature zones, different designs, and different types of shelves - keep reading to learn more.
Some wine coolers will have more than one temperature zone, which is perfect if you’re looking to store your wine in the long term while also having wines ready to be served. You can also store different wines at different temperatures, so can have your red at the top, white in the middle, and sparkling at the bottom, all stored in their own set temperature zones for optimal storage.
Multi-temperature zone wine fridges are perfect if you have an extensive wine collection and want each type of wine to be stored at the optimal temperature. This means that you can have some wines storing in the long term left untouched, and other wines are ready to be served. This type of wine cooler is generally more expensive - and is the next step down from a wine cabinet in terms of convenience and quality.
However, most of the more affordable options only have one temperature zone to keep wine at storing temperature in the long term.
There are three main types of wine fridge design - integrated, built-in, and freestanding. Each one should be placed in a certain way for convenience and for correct airflow.
Integrated wine fridges are designed to be integrated into the interior of your home - for example, integrated into cabinet space or breakfast bars. This type of wine fridge is certain to blend in well with the interior of your home, as it’s designed to do so. However, integrated wine fridges are generally more expensive as more work needs to be done to fit them into your home or business. The vents tend to be located at the front of the fridge, which means that you can fit them seamlessly into the designated space, without worrying about leaving space behind.
Built-in wine fridges are great for storing under counters and can store many bottles of wine. Although the smaller ones that fit under kitchen counters can store around 10 bottles of wine, you can find full kitchen fridge-sized wine fridges that can store an entire wine collection. The placement of built-in wine coolers is important, as overheating can be an issue. To prevent overheating, make sure there is around 0.5cm of space around the sides and rear of the fridge.
Freestanding wine coolers tend to be the most common, as you have more freedom when placing them. Unlike built-in and integrated wine fridges, you can place freestanding wine fridges in any place you like - on a countertop, in your cellar, on your dining room table, or standing freely in your utility space.
This type of wine fridge can be small and compact fitting under 10 bottles, or large enough to fit a collection of over 200 bottles. The ventilation system differs from built-in and integrated wine fridges, as the heat exits from the rear of the unit. This means that to prevent overheating, you should always leave around 2 inches of space around the rear, the sides, and the top of the unit.
When you’re buying a wine fridge, it’s important to check how many shelves that the unit has - as it will give you an indication as to how many bottles it can store. There are four types of shelves commonly used in wine fridges - fixed storage shelves, sliding shelves, display shelves, and serving shelves.
Fixed storage shelves are shelves that are built into the unit - you can’t slide them out and they’re permanently there. This type of shelf design allows you to store your wines horizontally in an organised and stacked manner.
Sliding shelves are shelves that you can pull out like a drawer, and wine stored on this type of shelf should be laying horizontally. The good part about sliding shelves is that you can usually remove shelves if you want to fit larger bottles of wine like Champagne or Prosecco.
Display shelves store bottles vertically so you can show off your favourite or most expensive bottles. You can usually store other wine-related items such as wine glasses or stemware on display shelves, which is convenient for when you have guests over.
Serving shelves are similar to display shelves and allow you to have the wine ready to be served. Wine kept on serving shelves should be stored vertically, as this will prevent spillage from bottles that have already been opened.
If you have children or teenagers, you may want to look for a wine fridge that has a lock on it. This is also a good idea if you have friends with kids or you have children in the family, as it will not end well if they manage to get their hands on a bottle of wine.
Vibration can have an impact on how the wine tastes and matures, as well as the texture of the wine. This is why some more expensive wine fridges have an anti-vibration system, to ensure that your wine is stored in the best possible way with no vibrations.