If you keep a lot of wines in your home you need to have a wine cooler so that the storage of wines keeps them at a temperature that is stable. A wine cooler is a unit that is refrigerated, based either over or under a counter top, or by itself in a bar area or wine cellar of a home.
Temperature of Stored Wine
Wine needs to be stored in wine coolers so that you are able to keep the temperature regulated and at a cooler temperature than that of the room. If you feel that you need a wine cooler in your home, there are things that you need to take into consideration for a wine cooler that is suitable for your needs.
Inventory your Wines
First, you need to make a complete list of all the wine types that will be stored in your wine cooler. Every version of different wines or other beverages need to have its own optimum temperature strategies and references. An example of this is:
- White wine
- Sparkling wine
- Red wine
All of these have requirements that need to be stored at different temperatures. One wine cooler could be suitable for one type and may have one temperature regulation while another wine might have totally different requirements. Another cooler may have a more refined system where various compartments can house various beverages or types of wine.
Vapor Compressor System
One of the most vital considerations in the storage of wine is that the wine needs to be stored at the correct temperature. A temperature of between 55 and 65 degrees allows the wine to age to perfection and it also is prevented from spoiling. Most wine refrigeration systems do this using a vapor compression system.
Exactly as a regular home refrigerator compressor, a compressor in the wine cooler sends refrigerant through a compressor. Inside this compressor, the refrigerant’s molecules are tightly pushed together creating a superheated vapor.
How a Vapor Compressor Works
This vapor that is superheated travels inside the condenser, and allows for the air in the room to slightly cool the vapor. The vapor then experiences ‘flash evaporation’ turning the vapor cold. As it continues traveling through these coils in the evaporator unit, a fan will blow the cool air across the coils, vaporizing the refrigerant and maintaining cold air.
This air that is cold returns to the refrigerator, where it maintains the correct temperature the unit is set at.
There are other wine refrigerators or coolers using another kind of cooling system called ‘thermoelectric cooling’. A thermoelectric wine cooler uses what is called the ‘Peltier’ effect to cool.
How Thermoelectric Cooling Works
With thermoelectric cooling, there is a heat pump that uses electrical energy to generate a surface where one side is hot and the other side is cold and then constantly keeps heat away from the cold side.
Since these coolers do not have a compressor, these types of wine coolers do not cause any of the vibrations you normally have with a home refrigerator.
Keeping wine vibration-free leaves the sediment intact and prevents any deterioration and is one of the more vital features of wine storage; a vibration free cooling area can be of great value.
Thermoelectric coolers are also far quieter than the vapor compression systems, and this gives you more options for where you can place them; virtually any place in your home. These wine coolers do not function well in areas that are warmer than around 80 degrees and cannot cool to temperatures much below fifty degrees.
They also are not the best choice for large wine collections. But if you have a small collection and it stays indoors, this type of wine cooler is another great choice, as it provides a temperature-controlled and vibration-free environment that allows your wines to age perfectly.
How Much Wine
The next step that is important is to find the right wine cooler that meets the capacity for your needs. The sizes of wine coolers range from a few wine bottles to 25 all the way up to hundreds of bottles. If you only keep a few bottles of wine in the wine cooler at any given time, even though your wine cellar might be large, perhaps a smaller wine cooler is all that is needed.
But then on the other hand, for those who have a limited amount of wine stored at room temperature but need a very large space to house wines that should be refrigerated, a larger wine cooler might be needed.
Best Type for Your Needs
- Free standing and self-contained that are moveable
- Under cabinet
- Counter top
- Those made especially for small spaces.
If explicit features needed or desired, keep a list of those when you are shopping. Specific feature may comprise those coolers that have:
- Stainless steel trim
- Glass fronts
- Models that are energy efficient
- Controls of humidity
- Tinting to stop sunlight and UV rays from entering and destroying the wine.
Size of the Storage Space
Look at the space where you want to put the wine cooler. The best way is to take a tape measure and accurately measure the:
This will show the space and if the space and the wine cooler fit. Unless the unit is special and has all the features that you want, many various units are available to fit in any space needed.
What is your Budget?
Budgets need to always be factored into the situation. If a budget is made for the wine cooler, make a note of it when shopping and also check each model for the requirements and specific desires. Things that you must have but aren’t really needed can keep the price down and other none essentials can be omitted completely if the cost is too high.