The time has come – you’ve decided to buy a wine fridge. Congratulations – we’re just as excited as you are! An essential accessory for a discerning grape juice devotee like yourself, a wine fridge will allow you to safely store and display your growing collection. Like wines themselves, however, the fridges that hold them come in a variety of different blends and flavors – each with their own style, size, and features. Trust us – it’s a real jungle out there. A full bodied, oaky jungle, but a jungle nonetheless. However, do not fear! Grab some cheese and crackers, get comfy, and pour yourself a glass of the good stuff. Here are a few things to consider before buying a wine refrigerator.
What Is It?
Before even beginning to shop, you have to first decide what you would like your wine fridge to be. Is it simply an appliance – akin to a closet for your wines? Or is it something more – perhaps a piece of furniture or focal point in a room? There is no right or wrong answer – it all just comes down to preference. If you see your wine chiller as a pure utility tucked away neatly in your basement or storage area, efficiency should be your first and foremost concern. However, if you imagine your wine fridge proudly displayed at the center of a formal cocktail party, efficiency is only one piece of the puzzle. Aside from styles of appliances (stainless steel, glass, etc.), potential noise or vibrations are red flags that should be on your radar. Our recommendation: If you plan on housing your wine fridge in a living area, go thermoelectric. Thermoelectric coolers are much quieter than traditional compressor units.
Credit: AmazonHow many bottles of wine would I like to store? Though this may seem like a simple question, it is often not met with enough consideration from prospective wine fridge consumers. A wine cooler is not something you buy everyday (especially if it is a built in wine cooler), so do yourself a favor and mull over the following three questions before going ahead and pulling the trigger. How many bottles of wine do I have now? How many bottles of wine do I plan on having in 5 years? How many bottles of wine do I plan on having in 10 years? If your answer is identical to all these questions – say, 25 – than congratulations! Sounds like you’re in the market for a 25 bottle chiller. More often than not, however, this is not the case. Our recommendation: Unless you also plan on collecting wine refrigerators, choose a unit that you can grow into.
Credit: AmazonWhen it comes to temperature zones, you have two options – either single or dual zone model. In a single zone model, the entire unit will remain at a predetermined temperature of your choosing. This is perfect for the discerning enthusiast who prefers one specific type of wine. However, since reds and white are traditionally stored at different temperatures, a dual zoned wine fridge would be much more appropriate for the all-around aficionado. Dual zone models provide two separate storage areas that can each be set to the temperature most appropriate for the type of wine being stored. Consider your consumption habits before purchasing your wine fridge. Primarily a Cab kind of guy or girl? You probably only need the single zone. Bottle of red, bottle of white (all depends upon your appetite)? Dual zone sounds more your style.
There are a whole slew of different styles for the wine rack plans inside your wine fridge. They include chrome wire racks, built in plastic racks, and slide out wood panels. One style is not necessarily better than another – in fact, there are benefits associated with each. If you’re looking for ease of accessibility, anything that slides out is probably going to tickle your fancy. Are you looking to jam as many bottles as possible into your refrigerator? In that case, we recommend built in racks. Take a few moments to decide which style is right for you.
Credit: AmazonOnce your have the major items ironed out, it’s time to dive into the details. Here are a few add-on features to consider:
Lock – If you ever plan on storing an expensive bottle (or perhaps many expensive bottles) of wine, a lock is without a doubt a worthwhile add-on. Most locks come in either key or touchpad options.
Door Styling – If you imagine your wine fridge on display in the center of some elegant extravaganza, door styling is probably high on your hit list. On one end of the spectrum, a traditional solid door will provide the most protection for your wine. On the other, a glass door will allow you to show off your collection. The compromise: Consider a tempered glass door. It protects against UV rays and looks far sleeker than your standard solid door.
Reversible Hinges – Here’s something folks rarely think of when shopping for wine fridges, but can prove to be invaluable in years to come. Reversible hinges allow you to change the direction the door on your appliance opens. It may sound trivial now, but who knows where you’ll end up putting your favorite wine chiller down the line.
Armed with the knowledge above, you are now ready to pick of the perfect wine fridge for your lifestyle and tastes. Here’s to a lifetime of romantic dinners, celebratory toasts, and relaxing nights in. Cheers!