While wine racks were once very popular, there are good reasons why you do not see them today. A kitchen wine cooler is a better solution. There are a few things that you should know before purchasing one.
Wine, as it turns out, is very particular about it’s environment. It doesn’t like heat or light as both can cause it to age prematurely and therefore spoil. It doesn’t like vibration either and temperature is critical and specific for different types of wines.
Fridges specifically designed for keeping wine are the solution and have become as even more popular than the wine racks of the past. Generically known as a Wine Cooler, these fridges are available in a wide range of makes and models and vary substantially in terms of size, features, functions and cost. If you’re planning on storing wine in your kitchen you will need to do some research to determine which appliance is best for you.
3 things to consider when purchasing a wine cooler for your kitchen:
- Most wine cooler models are designed to be free standing. Check the manufacturer’s specification for installation and if it requires 3 to 6 inches of air space all round (typical for free standing coolers) it can’t be built into the cabinetry. If you want to locate the cooler below the countertop you will have to purchase a model specifically designed for under counter installation.
- The type of wine you plan to keep is also important, different wines require different temperatures. Reds generally like to be kept between 12 and 19 degrees Celsius, Whites between 8 and 12 degrees and Champaign between 5 and 8 degrees. The better appliances have 2 cooling zones and the larger units often have 3.
- The length of time you plan to keep the wine is a factor as not all wines improve with age. Most are designed to be consumes within 12 months so most wine coolers will do if you are not really concerned about long term storage. If you are a more serious collector then you will probably need a more serious appliance with a larger capacity, more temperature zones and humidity control as well.
A wine cooler is designed to operate with a minimum of vibration so as not to agitate the wine. UV protection is achieved with tinted glass in the doors and special LED lighting. Location is important, as daylight can still be a concern so orienting the fridge away from windows is worth consideration. If you are adding a kitchen island or peninsula it can be a great way to find the space you need.
Regardless of style or features, a wine cooler is a visually appealing and practical and way to add a note of distinction to any kitchen. They’re also really cool.