If you’re a wine lover, you must know that keeping this liquid gold at the perfect temperature is key to fully appreciate its properties – a temperature that will differ depending on the characteristics of the wine. If that’s your case, a wine fridge will be the ideal complement to entertain your guests and enjoy all the nuances of your wine at the ideal temperature.
We designed the following guide to introduce you to the subtle intricacies of wine coolers, which are nothing more than specific refrigerators to maintain the aromas and flavours of your bottles in optimal condition. You’ll also learn about the different types of wine fridges, including models that feature different temperature zones for all your wine. Let’s get going!
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best wine fridges on the Australian market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about wine fridges
- 3.1 What is a wine fridge exactly?
- 3.2 What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a wine fridge at home?
- 3.3 Is it necessary to put wine bottles horizontally?
- 3.4 What sizes and types of wine fridges are there on the market?
- 3.5 Are thermoelectric or compressor-based models better?
- 3.6 What is the ideal humidity level for a wine cellar?
- 3.7 Where should I place my wine fridge?
- 3.8 What is the best temperature for a single temperature wine fridge?
- 3.9 What care does my wine fridge require?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Wine fridges or coolers are technologically advanced refrigerators designed to preserve wines at the ideal temperature.
- Various types of wine fridges are available on the market, with two main categories of products presenting very different characteristics: thermoelectric or compressor-based.
- You should always keep your wine bottles at a suitable temperature and with an atmospheric humidity appropriate for their preservation, which is exactly what wine coolers offer.
- There are a number of key aspects to consider before buying a wine fridge. Amongst others, these include the bottle capacity of the model or its energy efficiency.
Ranking: The best wine fridges on the Australian market
The Australian market has a very wide range of wine fridges on offer with a fairly broad price range. While certain models are simply designed to preserve the wine you drink regularly, others can keep your wine at different temperatures. In the following ranking, you will discover our very own selection of the best wine coolers available out there, all of which offer great value for money.
No. 1: CyberCool DP18C Dual Zone Thermoelectric Wine Cooler[amazon box=”B07DCPXYD4″ description_items=”0″]
This little wine fridge by CyberCool is ideal for oenology beginners and experts alike, with a good bottle capacity at a very affordable price. This has led this product to become Amazon’s Choice in the category, and it’s not harder to understand why. The DP18C wine cooler features two temperature zones so you can keep red and white wines ready to be served at all times.
With a capacity of 18 bottles – 9 per zone – you can have a varied collection of wines for your own pleasure or to entertain your guests. You can easily adjust the temperature of each zone on the front panel of the cooler. The sleek design features a black mirrored glass on the front and is ideal to make this wine appliance fit right into your home decor.
No. 2: AstiVita Wine Cooler[amazon box=”B07835J34D” description_items=”0″]
Australian company AstiVita is a leader in the distribution of home appliances and products on the local market, and their integrated wine cooler will be ideal if you’re renovating your kitchen and simply love to have your wine close by. It offers a great capacity of 24 bottles, and its glass door design will add a touch of elegance to your home.
The three wooden shelves can accommodate up to eight bottles each, and they certainly offer a lovely contrast with the stainless steel structure of this wine fridge. Note that this single temperature model is not freestanding and will need to be integrated in furniture. This product comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty.
No. 3: Vincraft Dual Zone Compressor Wine Fridge[amazon box=”B07MSH8GGX” description_items=”0″]
This marvel of a wine fridge is about as good as it gets on the market, and it’s naturally reflected in the price. Far from affordable, this model is destined for the experienced oenophiles who are willing to dedicate time and money to their passion. With an outstanding capacity of 144 bottles, this cooler can hold a truly extensive wine collection.
It naturally features two temperature zones, each of which offers a different range – 5 to 12 degree and 12 to 20 degrees – that will accommodate red, white and rosé wines as well as Champagne. Its energy consumption isn’t as expensive as you might think, with a B ranking. You can easily adjust the temperatures of this elegant wine fridge via a digital touchpad.
No. 4: Devanti Thermoelectric Wine Cooler[amazon box=”B07N8TR79X” description_items=”0″]
Devanti is a brand by Victoria-based company New Aim, an Australian leader in the e-commerce industry founded in 2005. This little wine cooler will be perfect for people starting out in oenology, or those who simply can’t spare the space for larger models. Despite its size, it offers great quality and will undoubtedly satisfy you.
This single temperature thermoelectric model has a capacity of eight bottles, and you can easily adjust the temperature with its touch control panel. One great advantage of this wine fridge is that it features a range of 8 to 18°C, meaning you can store white or red wine at your convenience. The two-layered glass door makes this eco-friendly product more resistant to external temperature changes.
No. 5: Cooper Cooler[amazon box=”B0007LJNB4″ description_items=”0″]
The Cooper Cooler isn’t exactly a wine fridge, but it’ll be just as useful if unexpected guests arrive and you don’t have a bottle ready to welcome them. According to the manufacturer, this product is simply the fastest way to quickly chill your bottles to the right temperature. Your wine bottles will be ready to be served within six minutes!
The process is easy as can be: all you have to do is slide the bottle in your Cooper Cooler, add ice and water, plug in and watch your wine cool away to the ideal drinking temperature. The great thing is that this wonderful little appliance takes next to no space at all, and we’re ready to bet you’ll make great use of it!
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about wine fridges
You probably want to know everything about wine fridges if you have recently become a wine aficionado. Until a few decades ago, this wine accessory was exclusively designed for the wealthiest. The emergence of the Internet has democratised the access to wine fridges, and you can now find models for your home at very affordable prices. In the following section, we’ll have a look at the most frequently asked questions by past users to help you make the right decision.
What is a wine fridge exactly?
Also called a wine cooler, it is a small, technologically advanced refrigerator designed to preserve wines at the ideal temperature. These little appliances also allow you to control humidity changes and isolate the wine from light sources in order to keep its properties intact.
Wine fridges also feature a thermostat to help you regulate the temperature to the ideal one for your wine. Certain models even integrate shelves with different temperature levels to welcome both white and red wines in the same device.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a wine fridge at home?
These small wine coolers offer a series of advantages, but note that they also have a couple of weaknesses. In the table below, we’ve listed the main benefits of have your very own wine fridge at home, as well as its potential inconveniences:
Is it necessary to put wine bottles horizontally?
Yes, your bottles should never be placed in an upright position, and there’s a very good reason for this. The cork of the wine must remain moist at all times to keep the properties of the drink intact. Placing them in this position also protects your bottles from other potential problems, such as vibrations, light or temperature.
What sizes and types of wine fridges are there on the market?
If what you’re looking for is a domestic wine fridges, you should generally opt for a small model, with a capacity ranging from 6 to 20 bottles. That being said, there are other ways to classify these appliances. In the table below, you’ll discover the different types of wine coolers by size, operation and design. This should help you choose the one most tailored to your needs.
|Size||Capacity ranging from 6 to 20 bottles||Capacity ranging from 24 to 50 bottles||Capacity of 50 bottles and up|
|They cool the wine via a chip placed on one side.||They use a coolant in a closed circuit.||They combine both systems but are more expensive. They are designed for professional use.|
|Domestic or counter-top wine fridges are small and ideal to preserve your bottles at the same temperature.||They are generally slotted into a space in your living room or kitchen to naturally blend in with your home decor. They can be compressor-based or thermoelectric, but their ventilation needs to be located in the front end.||These models are like cabinets used to exhibit your wines. They take up a lot of space and are commonly found in places designed for wine tasting.|
|By temperature||Single temperature||Multi-temperature||–|
|Single temperature wine cabinets keep all bottles at the same temperature.||These models features different zones for each temperature, ideal for preserving both red and white wine.||–|
Are thermoelectric or compressor-based models better?
Thermoelectric wine fridges are your best option if you want to keep your red wines at an even temperature. This is because these appliances tend to have set temperatures. That being said, there are other factors to take into account when choosing a wine cooler for your home. You can find out the main advantages and disadvantages of each option in the following table:
|Thermoelectric wine fridges||They are generally small and affordable.||They are more specifically tailored for red wines, improving their quality. They may overheat if they do have a space to ventilate at the back. They are silent.||The temperature ranges from 12 to 18 degrees. They do not require refrigerant gas.|
|Compressor-based wine fridges||They are more expensive as they require greater power and feature a larger storage capacity.||They maintain and preserve all types of wines due to their greater range of temperatures. Their refrigerant gas circulates in a closed circuit. They can make noise and produce vibrations like traditional refrigerators.||They are precise and usually feature a thermostat. Unlike thermoelectric models, the external temperature has no influence as there is no direct dependence.|
What is the ideal humidity level for a wine cellar?
You should try and maintain the relative humidity between 65°C and 70°C. A lower humidity level may lead to the corks of the bottles drying out and the liquid deteriorating. If the humidity level is too high, on the other hand, mould may appear and the labels will dry out.
It is recommended to always choose 75°C over 60°C if you have to. Finally, you are encouraged to purchase a hygrometer to assess the relative humidity in the event that your wine fridge doesn’t count with a humidity sensor. This will facilitate your use of your new appliance.
Where should I place my wine fridge?
You should strategically pick the place where you’ll set your wine cooler so that temperature changes do not affect your bottles. Remember to follow the basic rules in order for your wine to remain intact. We’ve listed below the different important measures that you should keep in mind:
- Avoid direct exposure to sunlight: It is essential to keep your bottles away from the sun, as well as high temperatures. This would irreversibly affect the wine’s properties.
- Do not place it next to other appliances: In particularly those that produce vibrations, such as refrigerators. This could generate overheating and waste more energy.
- Avoid placing it in bedrooms: While the manufacturer may promise that your wine cooler doesn’t make any noise, there is always a little bit. This can be annoying when you’re trying to sleep.
- Well ventilated rooms away from the heat: Wine fridges are best placed in ventilated rooms, which should never exceed 30 degrees.
What is the best temperature for a single temperature wine fridge?
Bottles placed in single temperature wine coolers should be kept within a range of 12 to 15ºC. If you have unexpected guests and need to get a white wine ready, you can always place it in the fridge or in a bucket of ice. Multi-temperature wine fridges are ideal to accommodate white, rosé and red wine.
What care does my wine fridge require?
You need to regularly clean your wine cooler, but there are also essential maintenance rules to observe if you want to keep your wine bottles in optimal condition. In the list below, we introduce you to key measures to increase the useful life of your appliance, which will also need to be throughly cleaned at least once a year.
- Ventilation space: Make sure to give a space of at least twenty centimetres between the wine fridge and the wall to provide enough ventilation.
- Location: We mentioned this point earlier already, but cannot emphasise enough on its importance.
- Filter: If your appliance has a carbon filter, it needs to be regularly checked and changed once a year. If it is greasy, you can clean it with water, mild soap and a couple of tablespoons of baking soda.
- Unplugging for cleaning: Make sure to disconnect your wine fridge and remove its shelves before cleaning it.
- Water, mild soap and baking soda for the interior: In a container, mix water, mild soap and two spoonfuls of baking soda per litre of water. Use this to clean the interior of your wine fridge.
- Water and detergent for the exterior: When cleaning the shelves and exterior of your wine cooler, use a blend of water and mild detergent to wipe with a damp cloth. Dry with a well-wrung cloth.
- Removing the water from the evaporation tray: Compressor-based wine fridges feature a tray that collects defrost water. Wipe and clean with a damp cloth, before drying with a wrung cloth.
You should already know a great deal about the key aspects of wine fridges by now. That being said, there are still a series of essential criteria that you’ll need to consider when the time comes to buy the perfect model for your home. In the following section, we have a look at these factors to help you make an informed decision:
- Type of wine
- Energy efficiency
- Thermoelectric or compressor-based
- Reviews and ratings
Type of wine
Remember that single temperature wine fridges will do just fine if you only plan on keeping red wine bottles. However, you will need a multi-temperature model if you also want to have a product tailored to the greater sensibility of white wine. While these wine coolers may be slightly less affordable, you’ll be thankful for your decision in the long run as these appliances tend to have a greater useful life.
think about how many bottles you want to fit in your wine fridge before choosing a specific model. If you simply want one to store a selection of wines to entertain your guests, a small wine cooler should be more than enough. On the other hand, you’ll want to buy a larger model if you’re a true oenophile and want to build a solid wine collection.
Your wine fridge will be constantly using energy, and its impact on your budget will depend a lot on the model you choose. Make sure that your wine cooler has an energy efficiency between A and B. Otherwise, you’ll be exposing yourself to a very unpleasant surprise when your next electricity bill comes in the mail.
Thermoelectric or compressor-based
We have already analysed the main differences between these two types of wine fridges. Caterers generally use the latter models, as they are suitable for all types of wine and are efficient even in the hottest of places. These wine coolers are slightly more expensive, although you can now find some with more affordable prices. We encourage you to opt for a quality product.
Reviews and ratings
With the boom of online shopping, it is always recommend to have a look at customer ratings of the products that interest you. Reading their comments may also come in handy to help you make your decision. They may discuss interesting technical aspects that you were not aware of regarding the model you want to buy.
Wine fridges are ideal to preserve wine in optimal condition, both in terms of temperature and relative humidity. If you are truly passionate about wine and have never had the chance of having your very own wine cooler at home, now is the time. You can find very affordable models and will surprise your guests with your knowledge.
Until very recently, few could afford the luxury of drinking their wine in just the right conditions. The digital age has changed the game, and you no longer need to be a great wine producer or go to a specific place to taste the “drink of the Gods”. All you need is the right space in your home to set your very own wine fridge, and you’ll always have your favourite wines on hand.
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(Source of featured image: Belchonock: 92271543/ 123rf.com)