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    Wine Cooler Buying Guide

    • 8 min read

    Whether you’re a long-term wine enthusiast or are just beginning to develop your collection, proper storage is absolutely vital in ensuring that you are getting the most out of every single bottle. A simple solution to this is to get yourself a wine cooler which will provide you with the absolute ideal conditions for storing wine. Here at Expert Wine Storage, we have a fantastic range of wine coolers on offer that are suitable for a wide variety of homes and businesses. Whether you’re looking for a freestanding unit, a built-in unit or even multiple cooling zones, we will have plenty of choices for you to choose from. Let’s take a look at a few of the factors you will need to consider before deciding on the right wine cooler for you.


    Why should you use a wine cooler?

    Wine is an incredibly delicate product that can easily spoil if not stored correctly. The purpose of a wine cooler is to ensure that this doesn’t happen by eliminating the threat of environmental fluctuations and changes. Here are a few of the main factors that wine coolers are designed to take care of:


    Temperature

    The ideal temperature in which your wine should be stored will depend on a variety of factors. These factors include the type of wine it is, its alcohol percentage and the level of tannin in its chemical make-up. Generally, white wine should be kept between 8 and 10 degrees Celsius and red wine should be stored between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius. It is extremely important that these temperatures are achieved and maintained so that the wine does not spoil and lose its flavour. Luckily, wine coolers are there to ensure that these requirements are constantly met.  


    Humidity

    When it comes to storing wine, high levels of humidity are absolutely necessary. This is to ensure that the cork does not dehydrate and the wine stays nice and cool. If the humidity levels are too low, the wine cork will dry out and hence, the wine will become susceptible to oxidization. Wine coolers often feature humidity controls to ensure this doesn’t happen.


    Sunlight

    As well as fluctuating temperatures and low humidity levels, UV rays can be extremely damaging to wine. If wine is left for long periods of time in direct sunlight, the temperature will increase and chemical reactions will speed up. Wine coolers are designed to ensure that this doesn’t happen by keeping the wine as shaded as possible at all times. You should look out for wine coolers with UV resistant glass to ensure maximum protection.

     

    Vibrations

    When wine is stored in a wine cellar, it remains in the same position, undisturbed, until it is ready to be consumed. The main reason for this is because movement and vibrations can be extremely damaging to the wine’s ageing process. When a wine bottle experiences vibrations, kinetic energy is formed and this is what causes chemical reactions. These chemical reactions can cause the taste of the wine to alter quite significantly. Another way in which vibrations can be damaging to wine is to do with the wine’s natural sediment. Sediment is the solid material that settles at the bottom of a wine bottle. When a bottle experiences vibrations, the sediment moves upwards and integrates with the rest of the liquid. When this happens, it is very likely that the wine’s taste will change for the worse. Wine coolers are designed to mimic the conditions of wine cellars to ensure that your wine is sufficiently protected from the impact of vibrations.


    What is your wine collection like?

    The type of wine cooler you buy should depend predominantly on the condition and size of your wine collection. For example, if your wine collection merely consists of around 15-20 bottles of white wine, you will want to look at a small-medium unit with single-cooling zone technology. As the wine cooler won’t be too big, you could consider choosing a built-in or integrated unit that will fit seamlessly into your home. On the other hand, if you have an extensive collection of 100+ bottles that you have been accumulating over the years, you will need to look out for a larger, freestanding unit. These larger units will typically have dual cooling zone technology which means you can store various types of wine at different temperatures. Additionally, if your wine collection is particularly precious, you will want to ensure it is optimally protected against environmental fluctuations. You can do this by choosing a wine cooler with features such as UV resistant glass, humidity controls and charcoal filters.

     

    What type of wine cooler are you looking for?

    When it comes to buying a wine cooler, perhaps the biggest decision you will have to make is whether the unit will be freestanding or built-in. The type of wine cooler you choose will depend entirely on your personal preference, the size of your wine collection and the available space you have in your home. Let’s take a look at the differences between the three types:


    Freestanding

    Freestanding wine coolers are designed to be installed as stand-alone units, away from other surfaces and appliances. These units are designed to dissipate heat from the back so they need to be positioned with adequate space around their back and sides. If the vents are blocked, the unit will not be able to circulate air properly so it is extremely important to ensure it is properly positioned. There is a huge range of freestanding units on the market that are perfect for storing large collections of wine. They are great because they provide ultimate flexibility in terms of where they can be positioned and they are incredibly easy to install. 


    Built-in

    As you might have guessed from the name, built-in units are designed to be literally ‘built-in’ to cabinets and under countertops. These coolers are great because they are designed to be seamlessly integrated into your kitchen or living space, without having too much of an impact on the overall décor. As built-in units dissipate heat from the front of the unit, rather than the back, they can be positioned almost anywhere, providing they are protected from movement and UV rays. They can also be installed as freestanding units if required.


    What cooling technology should you go for?

    Another important decision you will need to make it whether you want a compressor wine cooler or a thermoelectric cooler. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two.


    Compressor technology

    Compressor wine coolers work very similarly to standard refrigerators except on a smaller scale. They use a vapour compression cycle to remove the heat from the unit and circulate cold air which essentially keeps the wine cool and fresh. Compressor coolers are typically more powerful than thermoelectric models and are able to maintain a much more stable and precise temperature. They are perfect for the larger units that feature dual cooling zones.


    Thermoelectric technology

    Thermoelectric wine coolers are slightly different in that they function via a process known as the ‘Peltier effect’. In these coolers, an electric current is sent between two pieces of metal so that one side becomes warm and the other becomes cold. Thermoelectric coolers are great because they are a lot more environmentally friendly than compressor coolers as they do not emit any kind of harmful substances. They also typically operate silently and vibration-free. With this being said, the majority of thermoelectric wine coolers will not cool below 50 degrees Fahrenheit which may be a problem if you are hoping to store Champagne and other sparkling wines.


    What type of wine are you going to be storing?

    Another extremely important factor you will need to consider before deciding on a wine cooler is the type of wine you are going to be storing. If you are going to be storing just the one type of wine, you can look at getting yourself a single zone cooler which ensures that every single bottle is cooled at the same temperature. On the other hand, if you are going to be storing more than one type of wine, you will need the unit to accommodate several different temperature ranges. Luckily, this can be achieved by choosing a dual cone wine cooler which essentially features two separate zones for two different temperature preferences.


    Where are you planning on storing your wine cooler?

    If your collection has grown to the extent that you are having to invest in a wine cooler, you will need to consider where you are going to keep it. Whilst you may have plenty of room to store your wine cooler amongst your other kitchen appliances, we know this is not always the case. Luckily, there are various other ways to integrate your wine cooler into your home. Here are a few of the options that you might want to consider:


    Garage

    If you’re struggling for space in your kitchen to store your new wine cooler, installing it in your garage would be a perfect option. Garages are perfect for storing wine as they are typically spacious, cool and away from heavy foot traffic. Storing your wine cooler in the garage is also a fantastic option for anyone looking to keep their collection out of the way and out of reach from kids.


    Utility Room

    The utility room is another great place to store your wine cooler. Generally, these rooms are filled with practical appliances and household items and are located near or next to the kitchen. Depending on the size of your utility room, you could either position it as a freestanding unit or you could build it into a cabinet.  


    What sorts of features should you be looking out for?

    Whilst the basic function of a wine cooler is to provide ideal conditions for storing wine, many of the units on our site are equipped with some incredibly useful and innovative added features. Some of these features include reversible doors, UV resistant glass, removable shelves and sensor-touch panels. These features not only help to add style to the units, but they are there to make life as easy as possible.  


    What sorts of brands do we have on offer at Expert Wine Storage?

    Here at Expert Wine Storage, we offer a huge range of units that come from some of the best wine cooler manufacturers in the world. Here are just a few of some of the fantastic brands we have to offer:


    Caso

    Caso design is one of the most exciting and innovative brands in the industry. With their use of consistent design strategies and contemporary technologies, they are constantly coming up with new ways to satisfy the ever-evolving market. Whether you have a collection of 10 or 180 bottles of wine, Caso will be able to provide you with the perfect unit for your home.


    Pevino

    Pevino is a danish brand that is known for its long-lasting construction, functionality and sleek, elegant designs. Whether you are looking for a cooler to suit your home, your bar or your restaurant, Pevino will be able to cater to your needs. Their coolers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to suit all kinds of wine collections.


    Cavecool

    Cavecool is the sister brand of Pevino that was founded on the premise of creating high-quality wine coolers at extremely cool prices. They offer a huge range of coolers that are designed to suit all sorts of environments and design preferences.  


    Swisscave

    If quality and precision are what you are after, then you may want to take a look at what Swisscave has to offer. Their coolers are renowned for their energy efficiency, their classic designs and their functionality. Whether you’re looking for a large freestanding unit or a small built-in unit, Swisscave has plenty of wonderful options for you to consider.