Buying a wine cooler isn’t as simple as choosing the biggest or best-looking unit - it requires more research and thought to find the perfect wine cooler for you, your home, and your wine collection.
The way you store your wine matters, and if you store your wine in the wrong way, it can develop sour flavours and aromas, and age poorly, ultimately decreasing in value.
In order to find the right wine cooler for your wine collection, you need to have a firm understanding of wine coolers and their features.
Keep reading to learn more about the main things to look for when buying a wine fridge, including temperature zones, shelves, lighting, and extra features.
One of the most important things that you need to think about when buying a wine fridge is how many bottles you need it to store.
You can find wine fridges that can store under 12 bottles, but you can also find wine coolers that can accommodate collections of over 200 bottles.
Before purchasing a wine cooler, count your collection to ensure that you buy a wine cooler that can accommodate it. However, if you plan on expanding your wine collection, then it’s always best to get a wine cooler with a larger capacity than currently required.
Freestanding wine coolers are usually ideal for larger collections as they aren’t limited to kitchen cabinet space. However, you can still find fully integrated and built-in wine coolers that can accommodate up to 100 bottles.
A freestanding wine cooler stands freely, whereas built-in and fully integrated wine coolers are designed to fit into kitchen space. Built-in and integrated wine fridges are similar, but integrated wine coolers are completely enclosed in cabinet space whereas built-in have the front of the unit visible.
Before you fork out for a wine cooler, have a think about where you’ll place it. Do you have space for a large wine cooler, or would you be better off with a smaller or medium-sized cooler that can fit under your kitchen counter?
Before purchasing a wine cooler, have a think about what exactly you need it for. Do you need to store wine in the long term for ageing, in the short term for serving, or both?
If you only need to store your for one purpose then you may only need a wine cooler with a single temperature zone. If you’re storing your wine in the long term for ageing, then you’ll want to maintain a single temperature throughout the unit.
Likewise, if you only plan on storing one single type of wine, then you’ll only need a single zone cooler.
However, if you have a larger varied collection, then you may benefit from a dual or multi-zone wine cooler so you can store your reds and whites at separate temperatures.
Likewise, if you plan on storing some of your collection in the long term for ageing while also preparing wine for serving at the same time in the same unit, then consider purchasing a dual zone wine fridge.
This negates the need for more than one unit, as the two temperature zones within the unit can perfectly accommodate your wine.
Another thing that you should look for when purchasing a wine fridge is shelving. First of all, if you have a wine collection that includes larger bottles (e.g Prosecco or homemade wine), then you’ll need to look for a wine cooler that has shelves that can accommodate this.
Many wine coolers feature adjustable or removable shelves, which is ideal if you want easy access to your wine. The removable shelves are perfect for making room for larger bottles.
Some wine coolers will also have display shelves that allow you to proudly display your favourite, most expensive, or oldest wine.
If you plan on storing your wine for serving, then you may want to look for a wine cooler that has serving shelves - this allows you to store your opened bottles of wine upright to prevent spillages.
You should also consider how many shelves the wine cooler has, as this can give you some insight as to how many bottles the cooler can store.
Most wine coolers feature fixed shelves - sturdy shelves that are fixed into the unit. Sliding shelves are also common, and can give easier access to your collection.
Some wine coolers will feature interior lighting which allows you to get a clear view of your wine. If you’re choosing a wine cooler with a glass door, you may want to consider the kind of lighting you want to have on the inside of your wine cooler.
For example, if your kitchen is blue and white, then you may want to choose a wine cooler with blue or white LED lighting.
When purchasing a wine cooler, you may also want to ensure that the lighting isn’t incandescent. This is because incandescent lighting can have a negative effect on the wine - always ensure that the lighting inside the wine cooler won’t affect the way the wine ages, especially for long-term wine storage.
It’s always worth looking for extra features when you’re buying a wine fridge. For example, if you’re forgetful, then you may want to consider purchasing a wine cooler with acoustic door alarms that audibly alert you if you leave the door open.
If you have children or teenagers in your home, or if you don’t really trust your flatmate, then you could look for a wine cooler that comes with a lock and key for ultimate protection.
You may also want to consider the display - most wine coolers now come with a digital display which makes it easier to change the temperature. The colour of the digital interface can vary, but most come in a stylish blue colour. However, you’re sure to find one that matches the interior of your home.