Wine Refrigerators - Five Questions To Ask Before Buying

Interest in wine is at an all time high, as more and more people discover the joy of sharing and enjoying wine. New wine accessories are being introduced continually, taking wine collecting to an art form. Let's examine some wine storage options, including wine refrigerators and coolers, which are designed to help wine lovers store their bottles in optimal conditions for peak flavor.

If you're a wine lover and don't own a wine refrigerator, chances are you will as your wine collections grows. Wine refrigerators are available for any level of collector and at several price points. Before you buy a wine refrigerator, here are five questions you should ask, along with a few pointers to help you choose.

Big, Small, Or In Between?

The best advice we can give in terms of what size wine refrigerator to buy is this: when in doubt, go larger. Here's why ... if you're considering buying a wine refrigerator, let's face it, you're into wine. Many first time buyers quickly outgrow their wine storage capacity, so plan ahead. As you learn more about wine and try new styles, you'll tend to stock up more. That's exactly what happened to us as we discovered some fantastic finds on our U.S. wine trails excursions.

Are There Differences In Storing Red vs. White Wine?

There's absolutely no problem storing red and white wines together, as long as you're aware of temperature storage needs for each style. In general, reds should be stored at warmer temperatures than whites. So, if you enjoy red wine and white wine and plan to have both on hand, buy a wine refrigerator with dual or multiple zone temperature controls. Doing so allows you enjoy the very best flavor of all your wines.

What About Storage Features?

While we hadn't considered it before our purchase, we really appreciate our wine refrigerator's slide out shelving. Also, we've noticed that wineries are bottling in slightly different sized bottles more frequently in the past. A good question to ask is whether the unit you're considering can store magnum style (slightly larger) bottles.

What About Temperature And Humidity?

The most important aspect of wine storage is temperature and humidity. Ideal wine storage temperature is 55 degrees, and ideal humidity percentage is between 50 and 70. You'll also need to consider where you're going to place your wine refrigerator. For example, if you'll place your unit in the garage, make sure the wine refrigerator is well insulated so that fluctuating temperatures don't adversely affect wine storage conditions.

Anything Else To Consider?

Expect to pay about $100 for a small six bottle model, and well over $1000 for a unit holding 50+ bottles. If you're storing your refrigerator in a secluded place in your home, choose function over style. Conversely, if your wine refrigerator will occupy a more prominent place, make sure the unit is quiet enough to live with. Finally, remember that proper wine storage is crucial to enjoying your wine to its fullest potential. Storage at proper temperature keeps a wine fresh, and allows you to enjoy the full bouquet of flavor.

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About The Author, Jim Hofman
Jim Hofman is an author specializing in wine and beer, and has developed several websites devoted to wine travel and enjoyment of wine. You're invited to visit Jim's wine resource site for more insight and recommendations about wine accessories, wine storage, and wine refrigerators.