When you’re browsing for a quality wine cooler, you’ll likely come across the terms ‘single zone’ and ‘dual zone’ - but what exactly do they mean?
Many larger wine coolers will offer dual or multiple temperature zones, but how will you benefit from choosing a dual-zone wine cooler as opposed to a single zone wine cooler?
Keep reading to learn more about wine coolers, temperature zones, and the difference between single and dual-zone wine coolers.
What Is A Wine Cooler?
If you have more than a few bottles of wine, it’s best to store your wine in a wine cooler.
A wine cooler is a unit that stores wine in the best way, as it keeps your wine cool while protecting it from the elements.
Wine should be stored at temperatures between 11°C and 14°C. Wine stored at temperatures above 14°C may age quicker, and develop unpleasant flavours and aromas.
It can also develop a cooked taste, which may be bitter or sour.
Wine stored at cold temperatures may freeze and lose its natural flavours, so most wine cooler temperatures won’t drop below 9 or 10°C.
Most wine coolers will also protect your wine from humidity. Humidity is something that many people overlook when storing their wine, but it is something every wine lover should consider.
High humidity levels can dampen the cork and cause oxygen to enter the bottle, which can speed up the ageing process and destroy the wine’s flavour profiles.
It can also cause moisture to accumulate on the labels, destroying them.
The ideal humidity levels to store wine is between 55% and 75%, and some coolers will sound an alarm if the humidity drops below 55% or exceeds 75%.
Wine coolers are also designed to protect your wine collection from UV light, which can damage the wine in similar ways to temperature.
All quality wine coolers with glass doors will feature UV protection.
You can find a wine cooler that will look great in any home or business, as they come in all shapes and sizes. Some can store under 16 bottles, whereas other wine coolers can accommodate over 200.
Freestanding models are designed to stand freely and not be built into kitchen cabinets, which gives you plenty of freedom when it comes to placement.
To learn more about the different designs, click here.
The majority of wine coolers will have shelves designed to store Bordeaux bottles, but others feature removable or adjustable shelves that enable you to stack larger bottles such as Champagne or Prosecco.
Single Zone Vs Dual Zone Wine Coolers
Now you know what a wine cooler is and why they’re important in wine storage, it’s time to learn about temperature zones.
There are various types of wine coolers - some will have just one temperature zone, others will have dual temperature zones, and others will have multiple temperature zones.
Single zone fridges will have just one temperature zone within, whereas dual zone wine fridges will have two.
Having more than one zone is useful if you want to store wine in the long term for ageing, as well as prepare wine for serving.
It means that you can store your wine at different temperatures - many people prefer to keep their reds separate from their whites and sparkling wines.
The majority of coolers with just one temperature zone will contain a cooling system near the back of the fridge, which pumps cool air into the fridge and regulates the temperature throughout.
Wine coolers with dual zones are slightly more complicated, as there are two separate temperature zones within the unit.
Single Zone Wine Coolers
Single zone fridges are great for collectors who want to store their reds in one unit, their sparkling in another, and their whites in another - and keep their different types of wine completely separate.
They’re also useful if you only have a small collection - as most single zone wine coolers are smaller models designed for more intimate wine collections.
If you plan on ageing your wine or you’re investing in wine, then a single zone wine cooler is probably your best bet.
You can leave your wine in a single-zone fridge for years and years without interrupting it (except for cleaning and maintenance of course).
However, if you plan on storing a wide variety of wines, then you may want to consider a wine cooler with more than one temperature zone.
White wines are best stored at lower temperatures than red wines, so a single zone cooler won’t cut it if you plan on storing them in the same unit.
Dual Zone Wine Coolers
Dual-zone wine coolers are popular amongst wine collectors that enjoy drinking their wine as opposed to just ageing it.
With a dual-zone wine cooler, you can keep wine storing in the long term undisturbed while still grabbing bottles kept for storing - you get the best of both worlds with a dual-zone wine cooler.
This type of wine cooler is ideal if you’re a lover or collector of different types of wine.
Some people only drink red or only drink white - but if you love both, then a dual-zone wine cooler is for you.
They’re also more affordable if you want to store multiple types of wine in one unit, as you don’t have to buy separate units for your collection.
Larger wine coolers often have more than one temperature zone, so if you’re got a larger collection with a variety of wines, then you’re sure to benefit from a dual-zone wine fridge.
However, wine coolers with more than one temperature zone tend to use more electricity - so if you’re conscious of your electric bill or you’re worried about environmental factors, a wine cabinet or a single-zone unit may be a better option for you.