If you’re considering taking your wine hobby to the next level, then you’re probably thinking about buying a wine refrigerator. After all, they protect your bottles from changes in temperature, and keep your favorite vintages at perfect-for-serving temperatures.
Here’s what you need to know before you invest in a wine refrigerator.
1. Where you’ll use it
Where you are going to place your wine fridge will be a big determining factor in the fridge you end up purchasing. For oenophiles with limited space, there are counter top refrigerators. Those with space to spare can invest in a larger free-standing unit–but know that some stand-alone fridges need an open area to vent, so they can’t be placed flush with the wall.
2. Your number…
…Of bottles, that is. Wine refrigerators come with space for six, eight, 12, and even 21 standard size (750 mL) wine bottles.
3. How it runs
Look for a wine refrigerator with a thermoelectric cooling system. Unlike other cooling systems, it provides refrigeration without releasing nasty CFC’s into the air. And as a bonus, it does so almost silently.
4. The door quality
Pick a wine refrigerator with a thermopane door. This style of glass has multiple panes to keep the cold air from seeping out and wasting energy, and it’s great for keeping wine at the right temperature.
5. Its temperature zones
Enthusiasts who love a fine chardonnay as much as a Malbec should look for refrigerators that have separate cooling zones. This allows you to cool red and white wines at different temperatures within the same unit.
Also know that wine fridges offer a variety of temperature ranges. There are those that can only be adjusted 10-15 degrees, while other units have a range that spans 20 or even 30 degrees.
6. How to adjust the temperature
A digital touch screen means you can easily adjust the temperature without opening up the refrigerator door and potentially disturbing the wine.
7. If it will hold the bottles you’ll buy
If you plan on stocking up on bottles that are larger than standard size, choose a wine refrigerator with removable shelves.
8. The quality of its interior lighting
Interior LED lighting is the perfect storm of fashion meets eco-friendly function — it gives a soft glow while consuming less energy than other bulbs.
9. Whether you want to show off the goods
There are wine collectors who like to display their bottles and those who like to keep their vino under wraps. If you’re the former, pick a refrigerator with a glass door that gives you a clear look at what’s inside. If you’re the latter, choose a fridge with a smoked glass door to add a little bit of mystery.
Have a buying must that we forgot? Let us know in the space below.