The Wine Refrigerator
Keep Your Premium Wines in Premium Condition
A good quality Wine Refrigerator will help to keep your premium wines at their very best. Wine Chillers do an excellent job of maintaining a constant temperature, it's not absolutely essential to have a special chiller for your wine.
You might surprised to see how well a basement or other cool, constant-temperature space will work for storage of your white and red wines.
But, considering most of us don't have this space available (especially if you're an apartment dweller), a wine fridge then becomes an absolute necessity especially if you want to enjoy your wines at their optimum temperature.
Optimum Wine Refrigerator TemperatureYou might already know that 55° F is the optimal serving temperature for most wines with about 70% humidity
. A wine chiller is extremely useful if you don't have a basement, or if you entertain a lot, or if you want to avoid the "chilling" time required of a typical refrigerator.
Unlike a normal refrigerator, a wine chiller runs a little warmer. This way it can maintain the optimum temperature for wine. A good wine chiller will be sure to never allow the temperature to fluctuate. This ultimately helps the wine to maintain its constant flavor.
Most of these units also offer storage options so you can lay the bottles down. This allows the wine to stay in contact with the cork.
Wine chillers are becoming more affordable and flexible. Referred to as either a wine refrigerator or wine chiller, major brands such as GE, Jenn-Air, and KitchenAid have started selling some of the more popular built in models.
They are selling units that fit under a counter for about $1,000 and up. While Sears based Kenmore and others are offering small, freestanding units for about $300.
Even Sub-Zero sells small wine chillers, too. But they also feature giant refrigerator-sized units for those wine connoisseurs who have a bit more to spend.
Criteria for a Good Wine Refrigerator Choices
There are a wide variety of choices out on the market today, so how do you know which one is right for you?
It's best to first ask yourself the following questions when deciding upon a wine chiller:
- How Much do you Entertain?:
If you're the type of person who loves to entertain, then you might want to consider one of the larger units available.
- What Quality of Wines do you Plan to Drink?:
It's important to take into consideration the "quality" of wine you will be storing in the wine chiller.
If you're looking to store a $2,000.00 Chateau Lafit-Rothschild Bordeaux, then the quality of the wine refrigerator is much more important than if you were just looking to use it to store an $8.00 bottle of Sutter Home.
You'll want to specifically find a wine refrigerator that has accurate temperature controls so that you can maintain a constant temperature. After all, wine is alive, constantly changing according to its environment.
3 Things to Look For
There are lots of things that affect what changes a wine, including temperature, humidity, darkness, calm, ventilation as well as the angle at which it is stored
This is where a good wine fridge will make the difference.
- The Best Way to Store Wine: You always want wine to be stored so that it is horizontal. You want to be sure you keep it at the lowest, stable temperature possible.
It should be in a place that is free of vibration as well as any areas that might have a strong odor.
- Be Sure the Door is Dark: For the best results in storing your wines, you want to try to avoid clear glass coolers. These may look nice (especially when they're full of expensive wines), but the light that you find in most kitchens will seep in the bottles and could possibly ruin your wine.
Wine that is exposed to too much light creates a condition called being "light struck". Some say that this condition causes the wine to end up tasting like dry cardboard.
- Where to Install Your Wine Chiller: Take a moment to consider where you might install your new wine fridge.
If you plan to install it in your kitchen, be sure you don't install it near a stove or oven. The heat could adversely affect its temperature.
You also want to keep your wine refrigerator away from the refrigerator and the dishwasher because vibrations from both of these appliances could also potentially ruin your wine over time.
Ideally, a kitchen island that has no constant vibration or heat source could be the best location to consider.
Avanti Refrigerators: Avanti has a wonderful selection of wine refrigerators that range from a capacity of 8 to 160 bottles. Many of their models have dual temperature zones for both white and red wine storage.
Built In Wine Refrigerator: If a countertop model doesn't seem to fit what you are looking for then you should seriously consider built in wine refrigerators.
Bosch Integra Wine Column: The Bosch B24IW50NSP is one of the best wine chillers on the market today. While it is a bit more pricey, if you prefer nicer wines it might be worth the extra monies.
GE Profile Wine Captain Refrigerator : The GE PCR06WATSS happens to be one of the most popular wine coolers on the market. GE seemed added some really interesting qualities to help you take care of your wines.
Jenn-Air JUW28RBRS: If you are looking for wine refrigerators that fit under a counter and won't break your budget, this is definitely one to take a look at.