If you’re a wine lover, you know that wine cellars are designed to keep wine at an even temperature of approximately 55 degrees, and an even humidity of approximately 50 to 70%. This allows wine to age gracefully and achieve its maximum flavor potential. But what do you do if you can’t have a wine cellar? You can use an electric wine cooler.
There are two types of Electric Wine Coolers. There are single bottle chillers which are meant to chill a single bottle of wine prior to serving, but aren’t meant for long term storage. And there are the multi-bottle chillers which work as a mini-winecellar, storing a half dozen to a few dozen bottles at a fixed temperature and humidity, which allows your wine to age properly.
Refrigerators are too cold for storing wines for any length of time. They’re frost-free, which pulls humidity out of the refrigerated air, which is less than ideal for wine storage. The compressors in regular refrigerators sometimes vibrate; not at all suitable for wine storage!
In places like California or Florida, where true basements are as rare as a shy celebrity, multi-bottle wine chillers make a whole lot of sense. This also makes sense for most city dwellers, since apartment and co-op living usually doesn’t allow for a wine cellar. There are wine chilling units which can be built into your current kitchen space, similar to an under-counter dishwasher, or over-the-stovetop microwave. Figure out the space you have available, and it’s likely you can find a unit that will integrate into the space you have. Knowing approximately how many bottles you want to store will help too.
If you like both red and white wine, you might choose to use two, or look for a single unit that has two separate zones that can be programmed for different temperatures. There are countertop and freestanding units. There’s even a unit built like a commercial walk in refrigerator, for those who need some serious wine storage, but can’t have a cellar. These work well for small commercial applications, such as a bistro or cafe’. Whether you need to store 4 bottles of wine or 400 bottles of wine, there’s a unit that will meet your needs.
Electric wine coolers are built to the best specifications for storing wine. The racks hold the bottles so that the necks are pointed down slightly to keep the cork damp. The smaller units are thermoelectric, with no compressor to vibrate your wines. The larger units that use compressors are specially designed to be free of vibration, with special cushioning and shielding. The wine storage coolers are designed to keep the humidity at an even level in the range perfect for wine storage. Some electric wine coolers feature a security lock, an important consideration if you’re using it in a commercial application. Many of the newest electric wine storage appliances are energy star rated, to assure you that your wine storage works efficiently.
There are also single bottle wine chillers. These are great for keeping wine at an ideal serving temperature without messy ice buckets. They’re also great for city dwellers who may have less than ideal refrigerator space and who do lots of entertaining. The single bottle chillers feature a quick chill function to cool or warm your wine fast if you have unexpected guests. Most have preprogrammed settings for the type of wine you’re serving, to bring it to the ideal drinking temperature and to keep it there.
So if you are a wine lover and don’t have the ability to have a traditional wine cellar, consider an electric wine cooler, and protect the investment you’re making in your wine collection.