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Wine Cooler Buying Guide



Knowing which types of wine coolers are out there is an important part of determining which wine cooler is the right one for you when it comes to efficient wine storage. Need ideas or tips, we have prepared this buyers guide to help you out. Compare features and styles of our most popular wine coolers to help choose a wine cooler that is right for your wine collection. The perfect wine cooler will add an easy solution to specific wine-storing needs. Whether you want a glass door, dual zone model or a stainless compact unit, this guide will tell you everything you need to know to purchase with confidence. We also included some general knowledge about wine storage and serving.

Deciding On A Storage Method

Compact Wine Coolers While wine storage comes in a wide array of versatile options and designs, consider what storage options will benefit you the most.

  • A wine cellar is a unique, attractive way to store your favorite wines. These cellars are usually wooden or metal and require no electrical involvement.
  • Will you need a large, full size wine cooler with a multiple wine rack structure for a large collection? Full size wine coolers tend to take up more room, so you will need a spacious storing area like a basement.
  • If you are looking to conserve space, you might think about investing in a compact wine cooler. These units are generally smaller and can often be installed beneath the counter or conveniently within the kitchen area near the cabinetry.
  • Depending on what types of wine you have in your collection you want to buy a single, double or triple zone unit. Double and triple zone units allow you to store wines at different temperatures in each section.
  • Consider a built-in wine cooler if you want to keep your collection private. Built-In wine coolers can have custom panels installed to blend in with the surrounding cabinetry.
  • Freestanding wine coolers were made to be moved around easily. Consider a freestanding unit if your home decor or wine storage area gets rearranged often. Most larger freestanding units come with casters for easy mobility.

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Wine Chill Chart

Read the chill chart below for an easy guide to storage temperatures for different wine types. Print it out and take it with you when you purchase your next wine cooler or bottle of wine to determine if you have the cooling temperatures to properly preserve the wines you love to drink.

Champagne, Sparkling and Dessert Wines: 40°F
Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio: 45-48°F
Chardonnay and Chablis 48-52°F
Red sparkling wines: 50-54°F
Beaujolais and Pinot Noir: 60-64°F
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz: 64-66°F

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How Should Wine Be Stored?

Properly storing wine bottles is essential to anyone who loves to collect and drink their favorite wines. Here are some tips for properly storing your wine:

  • Wine storage temperatures will depend on the wine type. See our chart above for different storage temperatures.
  • To ensure that the best tasting wine evolves from your collection, wine should be stored away from extreme heat or extreme cold.
  • UV light can cause wine to age improperly and upsets the storing process. Green wine bottles do not properly redirect UV rays, so you should try and store your wine out of direct sunlight.
  • Re-cork with a drip-free cork before storing your wine away in a cooler as some wine coolers require the sideways storage of wine bottles. Make sure your cork is sealed tightly or invest in a specialized drip-free cork to protect your wine cooler from wine stains.
  • If you're planning on storing wider or longer wine bottles than the average measurement, you may want to invest in a wine cooler that features an adjustable or removable wine rack design. Larger bottles tend to take up storage space meant for two regular-sized wine bottles. Having more room at the bottom, or removable wine racks for standing bottles will help you to store varied bottle sizes.

To learn more about storing wine, check out our How to Store and Serve Wine article.

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How Does Humidity Affect Wine?

Maintaining the proper humidity within your wine cooler is an important part of keeping your collection tasting and looking its best. If the humidity is too low it can cause the wine cork to dry out and shrink. A cork with too low humidity allows air along with food odors inside the wine bottle, making the wine taste less attractive. At least 50% humidity is required in the wine storage zone to prevent corks from drying out, shrinking or cracking. Some wine coolers with humidity control include a plastic container that you fill with water and place within the wine cooler to maintain a certain level of humidity. The proper level of humidity within a wine cooler should be between 50-80%, anything less than 40% is too low.

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