Your wine collection deserves to be stored correctly - and a wine cooler can do just that.
Storing your wine at between 11°C and 14°C can ensure that your wine stays fresher for longer, matures well, and can bring out the right flavours and aromas.
Wine coolers can come in all shapes and sizes and can offer different things, so it can be difficult to know which wine cooler to choose.
Keep reading to learn more about wine coolers, and information to help you decide what wine cooler is best for you.
What Is A Wine Cooler?
A wine cooler is an appliance that stores your wine while keeping it cool and ensures that your wine stays fresh, well preserved, and tasty.
It’s the next step down from a wine cellar, but generally more portable and affordable.
Wine coolers allow you to store your wine in the long term as well as keeping wine ready to be served.
You can find wine coolers that can accommodate hundreds of bottles, and wine coolers that can store under ten - it all depends on the type of wine cooler you opt for.
Some wine coolers can only accommodate 75cl bottles, and others have removable or adjustable shelves to fit bigger bottles of Prosecco or Champagne.
The temperature at which you store wine is important as wine stored at the right temperature keeps fresh for longer, tastes better, and has the right flavours, aromas, and textures.
The wine storage is between 11°C and 14°C, depending on the type of wine, so the preset temperature with most wine coolers is somewhere within that range.
How To Decide What Wine Cooler Is Best For You
There are countless different wine coolers to choose from, and it can be tough knowing which wine cooler is best for you.
Will it fit in your kitchen? Will it match your colour scheme? How many temperature settings do I want? What shelves does it have? Does it have any other useful features?
Before you start shopping for wine coolers, it’s important that you consider those questions to ensure you choose the right wine cooler for you.
When you’re shopping for wine coolers, you’ll find three main types - freestanding, built-in, and fully integrated.
Freestanding wine coolers stand freely, which gives you a lot of freedom when deciding where to place it.
You can put a freestanding wine cooler on a countertop, next to your fridge, in your dining room, and even your utility space - they can be placed anywhere you like.
However, one thing to consider when placing a freestanding wine cooler is the airflow.
To prevent overheating, it’s best to leave a couple of inches of space around the wine cooler when placing it.
This is because the warm air usually leaves around the back of the unit, so if you don’t leave space, the warm air won’t be able to escape.
Freestanding wine coolers can vary in size - you can find freestanding wine coolers that could contain your entire wine collection and some smaller designs that can only accommodate 10 or so bottles.
Built-in wine coolers are best kept under counters, so they look seamless with your counters and cabinets.
As with freestanding wine coolers, it’s important to leave space around the unit for optimal airflow - however, you’ll only need to leave half a centimetre of space around the sides.
Freestanding units come in different sizes, but almost built-in wine coolers will fit perfectly under countertops.
They’re a great option for wine lovers, and fit in seamlessly with your kitchen design.
However, the amount of bottles they can store is often limited.
Fully integrated wine coolers are the best option if you want your kitchen to look great - they’re incorporated into your kitchen design so are sure to fit seamlessly with your interior.
Unlike the other two designs we’ve discussed, you don’t need to worry about where to place a fully integrated wine cooler as overheating won’t be an issue.
You can incorporate a fully integrated wine cooler pretty much anywhere and it’s certain to look sleek and professional and match the rest of your kitchen.
Click here to learn more about the differences between integrated and built-in wine coolers!
If you have a more extensive wine collection, you may want to choose a wine cooler that offers dual temperature zones.
This means you can store your wine uninterrupted in the long term and have wines ready to be served.
This is also a good option if you want to store different wines at different temperatures, as some wines are best stored at different temperatures than others.
You can have your reds and whites at the top, sparkling in the middle, and a few bottles at the bottom ready to be served - all stored in their separate temperature zones.
However, it’s generally the more expensive wine coolers that offer multiple temperature zones, so if you’re looking for a cheaper option, then you may want to go for the standard single temperature zone to store your wines in the long term.
Before buying a wine cooler, consider what type of shelf you want the wine cooler to have. There are four main types of shelf design found in wine coolers - fixed storage, sliding, display, and serving.
Fixed storage shelves are standard shelves built into the unit. They usually accommodate 75cl bottles and you won’t be able to rearrange them to accommodate larger bottles as they’re fixed into the unit.
However, sliding shelves can - you can pull them out like a drawer to make room for other bottles.
Display shelves display your finest bottles of wine, usually in the door of the unit, and serving shelves keep your wine upright to prevent leakage if the bottles are open.
If you need more help picking out the right wine cooler for you, we've got you covered. Click here for our wine cooler buyer's guide.