There are many different types of wine refrigerators available in the market, and thus, choosing the right wine cooler for your home or business could be an overwhelming task. An ideal way to choose the best wine refrigerator is to ask as many questions as possible and seek their answers to arrive at the best wine refrigerator. Some common questions to ask, before choosing to buy a wine refrigerator are as follows.
Common Questions About Wine Refrigerators
1. Why would I need a wine cooler? Can’t I store wine bottles in the refrigerator?
This is perhaps one of the first questions that come to the minds of people when they venture out to buy a wine fridge. Why should I buy a separate fridge for wine when there is already a refrigerator at home, with side racks on the door to hold the wine bottles? But storing wine in the regular refrigerator should be catastrophic for several reasons.
- The average temperature that prevails in a standard refrigerator is 0°C – 7°C. But wine has to be stored at a temperature between 7°C – 18°C. Thus, the refrigerator is too cold to store wine, and thus could dry the cork and expose the contents of the bottle to atmospheric oxygen.
- The household refrigerator is bound to frequent opening and closing all through the day, especially when kids are around. Such temperature fluctuations are not good for the wine bottles, especially sparkling wines, that could degrade the quality of the sediments.
- The smell of food items in the refrigerator can easily seep into the cork and transmit the aroma into the wine if it is kept in the fridge.
- Regular refrigerators maintain low levels of humidity, which is not ideal for wine. Wine refrigerators on the other hand maintain optimum humidity levels.
2. Should I install a thermoelectric or a compressor-based wine cooler?
A lot of modern-day wine coolers employ thermoelectric cooling, in place of a compressor cooling mechanism. These wine coolers comprise a small cleaning node, that allows the current to pass through it. As current passes through one side of the node, its opposite side cools down. It doesn’t have a compressor, and thus produced fewer vibrations. The sediments in the wine bottle are thus kept stable, without any disturbance.
The compressor cooler, on the other hand, works in the same mechanism as the refrigerator. It is capable of reaching low temperatures even in warm climates, unlike thermoelectric coolers. The compressor also switches off when the refrigerator is thoroughly cold, thus saving electricity.
If you are living in a warmer place and have a larger wine collection, then it is better to go with a compressor-based wine refrigerator. Compressor wine fridges are generally of the built-in type, whereas thermoelectric coolers are mostly freestanding units.
3. Should I go for a freestanding or a built-in wine cooler?
A freestanding wine cooler will stand free in any place as per your wish, they are designed to let out heat from the back. Thus, they require enough clearance at the back, else it will get overheated and will not be able to work appropriately. Whereas a built-in wine cooler will fix the existing counters and cabinetry of the home. They have a front vent under the door, to channel the heat away from the unit.
A built-in wine cooler can be used as a freestanding appliance, but a freestanding appliance cannot be built on the counter. Even if it has to be built-in, we have to leave of gap of 2 -3 inches on each side of the cooler, at the back, and also at the top to facilitate airflow. This will indeed hinder the concept of having a built-in appliance.
4. How should I clean my refrigerator?
Periodic cleaning of the appliance helps in enhancing its life span too many folds. But there is a process to mediate the cleaning process.
- Unplug the cooler. Remove all the wine bottles and wine racks from the cooler
- Clean the inside surface of the wine cooler with a mild cleaner. It is better to use either warm water or solutions of baking soda to clean.
- Clean the wire shelves and the trays with the mild soap solution
- Now clean the removed wooden shelves or trays with a soft cloth or a wood cleaning solution.
- Clean the outer parts of the cooler with a mild detergent.
- Dry all parts with a soft cloth, before putting them back in their places.
5. How much should I spend on the wine cooler?
The cost of the wine cooler varies significantly, depending on its features, storage capacity, operating mechanism, etc. If you opt to buy a low-cost wine cooler, it might feel like a good bargain, but will prove to be catastrophic shortly, as they have a shorter life span than quality units. It is also not an environmentally friendly option to go for a low-quality wine cooler, as it could use CFC coolants. But it is also a good option to stay within budget and not to spend too much money on a single appliance. Buy from trusted brands, go through the reviews and the specs of the appliance carefully and choose a model that wouldn’t burn a huge hole in your pocket.
Apart from these choices, it is also important to ascertain if you would require a single door or a dual-zone wine cooler. Single zone wine coolers have single temperature control and are great to store only red or only white wines at an optimal temperature. Dual zone wine coolers, on the other hand, have two separate temperature controls, and their storage space is divided into two or three sections with different temperature points. In such coolers, you can store red, white, and other types of wine in the same unit.
Wine lovers will know that consuming well-preserved wine is a lifestyle and not a mere decision. A lot goes into choosing an ideal wine refrigerator and we hope these questions and their answers will help you in finding the ideal appliance for your home.