When it comes serving wine, it is crucial to that it be at the right temperature to enjoy the natural flavors and aromas. If the wine is served too hot, the alcohol will be too distinct. If it is served too cold, the flavors and smell will be lessened. Serving it right out of the refrigerator or at room temperature is never ideal for any type of wine.
Since most people do not have the space or the financial means to construct a state of the art wine cellar, keeping it at the appropriate temperature can be challenging.
The best place for most moderate wine drinkers to store it in a temperature controlled wine cabinet which keeps it chilled and ready to serve on demand.
There are a lot of chill cabinets on the market but I purchased a model by Haier last year that has met all of my needs and I would like to give you my thoughts.
But first, why is storing wine at the appropriate temperature so critical?
Best Temperature for Wine
When kept at a temperature above 65 degree F, causes it to age prematurely and loses flavor fast. Conversely, temperatures below 45 degrees F cause them to lose flavor and aroma.
If your wine is kept in areas with wide fluctuations in temperature or high humidity such as a kitchen, these variations can damage the wine and the cork.
So what is the ideal temperature for wine?
Well, it depends on the type.
- White wine storage temperature: Serve at 40° to 50° F
- Full-bodied white wines and light, fruity reds: Serve at 50° to 60° F
- Red wine storage temperature: Serve at 60° to 65° F
The wrong temperature is not the only enemy. It is important to control the humidity to maintain the balance. If it is too high, it can cause mold as well as destroy the labels. If it is too low, the cork may crack causing air to enter the bottle ruining the flavor.
In order to keep your wine in optimal serving condition, it is important to keep it away from sunlight, humidity and heat. The ideal humidity for storage ranges from 60-75% relative humidity.
The problem with using your refrigerator to chill it is that the temperature inside fluctuates too much due to opening the door too often. In addition to temperature fluctuations, space inside a refrigerator is an issue for more than one or two bottles of wine for most home owners.
Tips for Storing Wine in a Chilled Cabinet
- For multiple types of wine in one cabinet, the best temperature is around 54 degrees F.
- When adjusting the temperature, do so gradually and avoid frequent fluctuations.
- Avoid oxidization by storing corked bottles on their sides to prevent them from drying out.
- Avoid moving the bottles as much as possible. Constant motion affects the aging process.
- Locate the chiller in an area free from vibration to avoid agitation.
Amazon Price: $139.00 $104.83 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 14, 2015)
Haier HVTM08ABS 8-Bottle Wine Cellar - My Verdict
How to Use a Wine Chiller
The Haier 8-Bottle Wine Cellar is a great compromise for people who keep a few bottles around the house and want to keep it chilled at the ideal wine temperature so that it is ready to serve.
This electronic wine cooler can hold 8 bottles at once. The front LED display lets you see at a glance the current temperature of the cabinet.
The wine cooler is easy to setup and operate. You simply plug it in and set the desired temperature on the touch controls on the top of the unit. It takes a few hours to reach the set temperature, but once ti gets there, it keeps it very well.
It has four chrome racks inside that allow 2 bottles per rack. If you want to store larger bottles, you will have to remove one of the shelves to slide it in.
I have a mixture of red and white wines so I keep it set at 55 degrees F. It can be set as low as 46 degrees. There is also an interior blue light which gives off a nice glow in a darkened room.
I have noticed that the higher the temperature, the less noisy it is, not that it is extremely noisy. However, at lower temperatures, there is a slight hum, but nothing to discourage anyone from owning this unit. Besides, most people put these cabinets in rooms off the kitchen. This unit is so compact, you can actually fit it under the countertops in a cabinet.
So how much power does it use?
The increase in my monthly electric bill, it is hardly noticeable. I would estimate it to be between 1 to $2 a month, for a total of around $12 a year. When you consider how much energy your refrigerator uses each month, that is a drop in the bucket.
If you do a search for this item, you will notice that the other reviews for product are very good with an average rating of at least four out of five stars.
I would recommend this product to anyone that needs a compact wine cooling cabinet to store several bottles of wine at a time. It even looks great on top of the counter.
Summary of Product Features
- Smoked Glass with Black Trim/Black Cabinet
- Adjustable Digital Thermostat Control with Blue LED Display 46-66F
- 8-bottle capacity
- Double pane insulated glass door
- 4 chrome wire storage racks
- Height: 18 In. Width: 9.9 In. Depth: 21.3 In. Weight: 21 lbs.