Wine Cooler Buying Tips: Which Features to Look for
Wine coolers are the most exquisite wine accessories on the market today. Used together with special wine racks, they are great for commercial or home use.
If you love wine and enjoy collecting your favorites you'll need proper storage to preserve it. Most of us don't have the space or budget to build a cellar at home. Fortunately, we do have options.
Electric wine chillers and wine refrigerators offer practical and attractive storage solutions for beginner wine collectors.
Gone are the days when wine coolers were considered rare items only to be found in big hotels. Now they're a status symbol for home owners and entertainers.
There are many varieties of wine chillers available, offering different designs and sizes for all kinds of wine collectors. If you're a new collector or a connoisseur, you're guranteed to come across an option that meets your requirements.
With more and more buyers purchasing different types of coolers, manufacturers are developing newer and more advanced options. Below are buying tips so you can choose the best product available on the market.
SizeFirst decide on where you intend to place the unit. If you have enough space, choose a larger chiller or perhaps even a cellar (which run to about 150 cubic feet). But if space is limited, get a compact wine refrigerator that can accommodate enough bottles for occasional guests.
Most units house at least 12 bottles. Another bit of advice, get one that has space for a minimum of four or five more bottles than your usual stock amount. A 15 or 18 bottle chiller is ideal. Being acquainted with the storage capacity not only helps you to determine where to place the unit, it also allows you to set a budget. For example, a 50 bottle refrigerator is usually far more costly than a 12 bottle one.
TemperatureAny wine enthusiast knows that red and white wines needed to be cooled to specific temperatures before drinking. Red wines are typically stored at 55-60°F / 12.7-15.5°C, while white wines need an average storage temperature of 49-56°F / 9.5-13.3°C.
If you're a red and white enthusiast, then invest in a thermoelectric wine cooler with dual settings. These types of wine chillers allow you to store reds and whites in separate compartments and adjust temperature independently in the two zones.Quality wine chillers are equipped with automatic temperature control and digital display so setting the temperature and monitoring it is simple.
Another major feature to check thoroughly is the shelving. As you know, the size of champagne bottles differ from those of wine, so you should look for a unit with adjustable shelves. That will allow you to fit the shelves according to your need.
Most wine refrigerators come with glass doors so that you can admire and show off your wine collection to your guests. For proper thermal insulation and energy efficient operation opt for a wine cooler with double pane glass doors. They're also available in a variety of material, including high grade metals, steel or chrome, or you can get one set with Bordeaux style unit made of pure wood.
UV RaysSince UV (ultraviolet) rays are harmful to wines in the long run, another feature you look for is protective doors to filter them out. Of course there are wine refrigerators with solid doors that block UV light completely. They also provide a more stable temperature, but with a solid-door wine chiller you won't be able to see and display your prized bottles of wine.
Some units come with glass doors. Tinted glass doors are also designed to block any direct UV light from entering the cooler. Obviously, allowing your wine bottles to be exposed to light can again change the taste of the wine. So make sure your wine cooler has the apporiate enclosure to keep it stored to its best potential.
As with most things, wine coolers are also available in different price ranges. Single bottle coolers are quite inexpensive and average about $100. $100 might procure an 8 bottle thermoelectric wine cooler. Wine chillers accommodating 15 to 20 bottles of wine have a price range of $100 to $250.
There are even larger, high-end wine coolers available. Large refrigerated wine cellars for serious wine lovers are available at even higher costs. For example, an elegantly styled 40 bottle wine cellar with dual temperatures for both red and white wine, is typically priced higher, but it's also a must-have investment that costs pennies on the dollar considering the wine stored in the cellar.
All About the DetailsEventually, it is the finish, style, and color that you need to pick before making the final selection. Consider the decor in the rest of your kitchen - for example a wooden unit wouldn't look that great if the rest of your appliances are stainless steel.
If you are planning to purchase a unit to be used at your home, then you're better off with a unit that's a little smaller and can be elegantly displayed on the counter or in an available space in your kitchen. However, if your needs include storing larger quantities and/or if you're in the restaurant business, then consider a commercial unit. These larger types of coolers can be useful in restaurants, country clubs, resorts, pubs, sports bars and night clubs.
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