For millennia, wine has been a benchmark of culture and good housekeeping. Having good wine on hand, well prepared and stored, was a testament to your place in society. When celebrating the biggest moments in life, we want to celebrate with a beverage that’s as beautiful as an Argentine sunrise and as classy and classic as a Moscow mule in a Paris café. That means a bottle of wine.
It also means finding a way to keep that wine well-stored until such time as you’re ready to pop the cork. For many wine aficionados, this means getting a wine refrigerator. Of course, just as there’s a world of difference between “Two Buck Chuck” and a prime bottle of bubbly, wine refrigerators range widely in terms of quality.
To that end, here are six qualities everyone should look for when shopping for a first-class wine refrigerator.
To begin with, you are going to want to know how many bottles you can fit in a given wine refrigerator. This means examining the size and nature of the racks. Most racks will tell you upfront how many bottles they are designed to handle.
That said, this has to come with something of a caveat, given that different bottles are different sizes. For example, champagne bottles are bigger than your average 750 ml bottle of red or white wine, and so you’ll need to plan accordingly. That said, given the different temperature needs for champagne compared to red wine, in particular, you may want to get the two separate wine fridges anyway.
You’ll also want to give some thought as to the exterior design of the wine fridges. Think about how their style will fit in with your décor.
Interior Cooling System
You’ll likewise want to pay a great deal of attention to the system’s interior cooling system. As touched on in the case of champagne versus red wine, different wines have different temperatures and climate storing needs. In particular, you don’t want any of your wines to have their corks dry out, and you don’t want white wine or champagne kept in warm or even temperate conditions. These wines must be chilled, and so you’ll want to make sure your wine fridge can drop down to low temperatures in the high 40° to low 50°F range at least.
Moreover, you’ll want to think about the fridge’s noise level as well. If you are keeping it in a separate cellar, this may not be a problem, but if you are keeping it in a dining room or kitchen, you’ll want to make sure to find a quiet-running cooling system.
You’ll also want to think about how big you want your unit to be. Again, this will vary depending on how many bottles you plan on storing, and whether you intend on placing the fridge on its own in the cellar or in the middle of your kitchen or dining room.
UV-Protected Glass Doors
Sunlight can filter through the glass and cause corks to dry out or expand. That’s why, if you are placing your wine fridge in an area that is exposed to sunlight, you’ll want to make sure that the glass is either shielded from the sun or otherwise protected by special UV-protected glass doors.
Locks and Alarms
Last, but not least, you’ll want to look into a wine refrigerator with a lock. Even if you aren’t worried about family members stealing your favorite bottles for a midnight drink, you want to make sure that the door doesn’t open without your knowledge, thereby exposing your bottles to the elements and ruining the cooling procedure.
With these factors in mind, you’ll be able to find the right wine refrigerator for your needs.