A wine cabinet is a great way to store your collection for ageing - in fact, it’s the next best thing to a wine cellar.
Wine cabinets come in all shapes and sizes, and it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect wine cabinet for you. The key is knowing exactly what to look out for when purchasing one, so you know how to make it your own.
Keep reading to learn more about wine cabinets, and how you can personalise a wine cabinet to your needs and style.
What Is A Wine Cabinet?
A wine cabinet is pretty self-explanatory - it’s a cabinet that stores your wine. However, you may not be aware of the main features of a wine cabinet.
Wine is best stored at temperatures between 11°C and 14°C for optimal freshness. If you store your wine at exceedingly low temperatures, then your wine could freeze and lose its natural flavours. The cork could also freeze and slip out of place, causing oxidation - which is any wine collector’s nightmare.
Storing your wine at temperatures above 15°C can also have negative effects on your wine - it can speed up the ageing process, and in some cases develop an irreversible and unpleasant cooked or stewed taste.
Most wine cabinets will also protect your wine from harmful UV rays. UV light can not add unwanted heat to your wine collection but speed up the ageing process, cause an unpleasant bitter taste, and cause discolouration of the wine.
Quality wine cabinets are designed to age your wine perfectly while considering all of the important storage factors. Wine should be stored at humidity levels within the range of 55% and 75% - too little or too much humidity can be damaging to the wine, the bottle, and the labels.
Some wine cabinets will have different temperature zones, so you can store your different types of wine in the same unit - whereas others will just have a single temperature zone, which is ideal if your collection consists of the same type of wine.
Some wine cabinets will also feature a vibration-free compressor, which will keep the vibrations and movement to a minimum. This means that your wine will age better and you won’t have to worry about sediment not settling in the bottle.
You can find out wine cabinet buyer's guide here.
Wine Cabinet vs Wine Cooler
Despite what many people may think, wine coolers and wine cabinets are quite different. Although both wine cabinets and wine coolers can vary in size, wine coolers are typically more compact units that are designed to store fewer bottles, whereas most wine cabinets are better suited for larger wine collections.
Another key difference is the price - wine cabinets are typically more expensive than wine coolers as they are slightly more sophisticated. Wine cabinets are better at ageing wines in the long term rather than storing wine for serving or short term wine storage.
Wine coolers, on the other hand, are usually designed for smaller collections and short term storage. If you have a large wine collection that you want to age in the best possible way while displaying your wines, then a wine cabinet could be your best option.
How Do I Personalise A Wine Cabinet?
Wine cabinets come in different shapes and sizes, so it’s entirely possible to make the wine cabinet your own by choosing the right features for your needs and your style. Whether you choose vibrant blue LED lighting, personalised shelving, or even a lock and key, it’s sure to have your stamp on it.
If you're a wine collector, click here to learn how you can optimise your wine storage.
First of all, be sure to contemplate how big you want the wine cabinet to be. If you have a large collection of over 100 bottles, then a smaller design won’t cut it. To ensure that you choose the right cabinet for you, consider how many bottles of wine you’ll be storing there.
Wine cabinets can hold as few as 40 bottles to over 300 standard Bordeaux bottles, which is perfect if you have a larger collection. If your wine collection is growing or you plan on expanding it, then be sure to opt for a larger wine cooler that your collection can grow into.
Another way to make your wine cabinet your own is by choosing the right shelving for your style and your needs. If your collection consists of mixed-sized bottles as opposed to just Bordeaux bottles, then you may want to choose a unit with adjustable or removable shelves so you can fit the larger bottles.
You could also add a display shelf if you have expensive wines or favourite wines that you want to display. Display shelves are great if your wine cabinet is placed in kitchens, living rooms or dining rooms - as it can essentially turn the cabinet into a display piece as well as a functioning wine cabinet.
As with wine coolers, wine cabinets come in three main designs - freestanding, built-in, and fully integrated. Freestanding units give you more flexibility when placing them, and they can be placed pretty much anywhere - your kitchen, living room, dining room, balcony, study, or even utility room.
However, built-in and fully integrated wine cabinets are typically restricted to kitchen cabinet space.
One of the best ways that you can personalise your wine cabinet is by adding or choosing the right lighting.
If your kitchen has a blue theme, then why not opt for blue LED lighting? Likewise, if your kitchen has hints of orange, add some orange LED lights.
Most wine cabinets will come with internal lighting, and it’s not too tough of a task to change an interior light bulb.
Before purchasing a wine cabinet, consider whether you need a lock. If you have children or teenagers in the house, or you don’t trust your flatmate, then it’s probably a good idea to purchase a wine cabinet with a lock.
However, if you already have a wine cabinet, you can easily add a lock and key to the unit for that extra level of protection.