Wine coolers provide the ideal environment for your wine to thrive, whether it be for ageing or simply to prepare your wine for serving.
If you’ve been browsing wine coolers, you may have seen the terms ‘temperature zones’, ‘single temperature zone’, and ‘dual temperature zone’.
But what exactly are temperature zones when it comes to wine coolers? Read on to learn more about wine coolers, including information about temperature zones - single zones and dual zones.
A Quick Guide To Wine Coolers
Wine coolers are the ultimate way of storing your wine collection, considering all of the important storage factors that can affect how well your wine tastes, smells, looks, and ages.
Wine coolers come in all shapes and sizes, storing as little as 1 bottle to as many as over 100.
You may think that wine coolers just keep your wine at a cool temperature, but most wine coolers offer much more than just temperature regulation.
Temperature is one of the most important wine storage factors, so this is the primary function of a wine cooler.
In the long term, wine can be stored in one temperature range regardless of whether it’s red wine or white wine - between 11°C and 14°C. Most wine coolers will have this as their preset temperature.
If you store your wine at temperatures too high, it may develop unwanted and unpleasant flavours and aromas, and age quicker - which isn’t good for your wine. Too-high temperatures can also cause your wine to develop a cooked taste, which may be bitter.
However, it’s not just overheating your wine collection that you need to worry about. When storing your wine in the long term, be sure to avoid dropping the temperature below 9°C. Temperatures that are too low can cause your wine to lose its natural flavours, and also put your wine at risk of freezing. This can damage the bottle, causing your wine to leak.
Wine coolers can come with a single temperature zone, dual-temperature zones, or multi-temperature zones. Wine coolers with multi-temperature zones often feature polyvalent technology. This means that you can have up to six whole temperature zones within the same unit, depending on the operating temperature. Scroll down to learn more about temperature zones.
Humidity is another factor that most quality wine coolers consider - the majority of wine coolers you’ll see on the market today will feature humidity regulation. Wine is best stored in humidity levels between 50% and 70%, with 60% being the optimal humidity level for long term wine storage.
Your wine collection needs a little humidity to keep the cork moist, ensuring that it stays in place. Too much humidity can lead to moisture droplets surrounding the bottle, which can destroy the labels causing the wine to decrease in value.
Too little humidity can cause the cork to dry out and slip out of place, exposing your wine to oxygen. This can speed up the ageing process and destroy the flavours of your wine.
Another quality of wine coolers is sunlight protection. UV rays found in sunlight can damage your wine quickly, and wine coolers can ensure that your wine doesn’t get damaged.
Light strike is when wine gets damaged by sunlight. Clear bottles need extra protection, whereas green and amber bottles offer some sunlight protection.
Wine coolers either have glass doors or solid doors. Solid doors offer total UV protection as no light gets inside the cooler. Wine bottles stored in wine fridges with glass doors also have protection, as glass doors are almost always UV-treated or tinted.
Freestanding models stand freely and can be placed anywhere as long as there is sufficient space around the unit for ventilation. Built-in and integrated units are designed to be installed into kitchen space, whether it be under counters or inside kitchen cabinets.
Some wine coolers can store just a few bottles, whereas other wine fridges and wine cabinets can store over 100 bottles, which is perfect for larger wine collections.
What Does a Single Temperature Zone Mean?
Single zone wine coolers are ideal for long term wine storage, as they maintain a single temperature zone throughout the fridge.
You can leave your wine collection in a single zone wine fridge for years uninterrupted, allowing it to age in the best possible way. However, be sure to check up on your collection and the fridge performance every so often.
You can also use a single zone fridge for preparing your wine for serving. However, red and white wine have different serving temperatures. If your wine collection consists of just red wine or just white wines, then a single zone wine cooler may be perfect for preparing your wine for serving.
Most brands will offer single-zone options, whether you prefer Swisscave, Dunavox, Climadiff, Avintage, or any other quality wine cooler brand. Most smaller wine coolers feature just one temperature zone.
What Does Dual Temperature Zone Mean?
Wine coolers with dual-temperature zones have two temperature zones that are regulated throughout the unit.
You can find dual-zone wine coolers that have two different compartments or wine coolers that have one single compartment that has two different temperature zones.
This means that you can store wine in the long term for ageing and store wine in the short term for serving at the same time within the same unit.
Dual-zone temperature zones also allow you to store your reds and whites at their ideal temperatures. For serving, red wine is best stored at around 12°C and white wine is best stored at a slightly lower 9°C.
You can find dual-zone wine coolers in all designs, whether it be freestanding, built-in, or fully integrated. Dual-zone wine coolers are ideal for medium to large wine collections, and perfect if you have a varied collection of reds, whites, and sparkling wines.