Wine fridge, wine cabinet, temperature controlled wine cellar, whatever you want to call it – investing in one is well worth your time if you want to drink and store your wine in optimal condition.
Vintec Wine Cabinets, Grand Cru Wine Fridges, HiSense, InAlto, Smeg, Fisher & Paykel, ASKO, Eurocave, Liebherr, Swisscave and the list goes on. There are a number of brands to choose from and a number of styles, the question is, what should you look for in a wine fridge for your home?
Being an owner of not one but three wine fridges, I thought it was about time I shared my experiences. In fact I get asked quite a lot about the fridges I would recommend – so why not blog about it right. So let’s delve in, these are the questions you should ask yourself:
How many bottles do you want to store in your wine fridge?
Wine bottle fridges come in a range of sizes. From ity bity fridges that hold 30 or so bottles to epic wine cabinets that hold around 270 bottles.
But not only that, you want to think about the type of wine bottles you are going to predominately store. Are they going to be Bordeaux style wine bottles, Burgundy style or perhaps Champagne bottles? Each of these take up space very differently in a wine fridge.
“Biggest thing to look for is adjustable shelves or the height between each shelf. A lot won’t fit the bigger Pinot bottles or longer bottles. Annoying as it reduces the amount of bottles you can store. I run 4x fridges.” – @winereview_simple
Is your wine fridge for cellaring predominately or accessibility?
If you are buying a wine fridge purely for cellaring and to keep your older bottles in pristine condition then opting for a wine fridge focused on fitting many bottles on top of one another is going to be ideal. This is also a good solution if you buy wines in bulk, as you can store them all together easily.
Whereas if you are buying for accessibility and typically purchase a few bottles here and there of different wines then choosing a fridge with telescopic storage shelves that you can easily pull out and see what’s on each self, might be the better option for you.
The latter option will mean less bottles will fit in, but you’ll be able to access them easier.
I would also highly recommend a wine cellaring app like OENO – this way you can keep track of all your wines and know exactly where they are.
Where are you going to place your wine fridge?
Some fridges are made to fit under the bench or in specialised slots in your kitchen. However I think you’ll find that many fridges do need some ‘breathing space’ around them.
Therefore I would always recommend to check what the manufacturers recommendations are in terms of ventilation for the wine fridge. Many of the free-standing wine fridges need 2-3 inches around them, including putting nothing on the top too.
You will also want to think about the noise levels. Not all wine fridges are whisper quite. So if you are going to be storing it in a bedroom or somewhere close to your daily living, then you may want to consider how noisey your chosen fridge might be.
The majority of wine fridges these days use a thermoelectric cooling system instead of a compressor, which means they are quieter and more energy efficient (aka cheaper to run). So it’s always good to enquire about this before purchasing.
Can the door be changed to open from the other side?
On both our smaller wine fridges, we can actually change the side the doors open on, which I find really handy. It’s something I didn’t think about before purchasing a wine fridge – but it’s definitely been a handy little aspect as it means we can make our fridges fit into our home perfectly.
For our big one, we were asked upon purchase which side we’d like it to open from.
Therefore it might be worth checking if this is a feature on the one you are looking at and whether this is an important aspect for you.
Single zone, dual zone or multi-temp wine fridge?
Gosh Mr. Spittoon and I talked circles around this. In the end we opted for single zone wine fridges for our first two and then our big fridge is a multi-temp fridge.
Dual zone is great if you want to pull reds/whites/etc out at exactly the right temperature to consume right away – so perfect for hospitality businesses.
Multi-Temp is similar, basically it means there is a gradient of temperatures from the top of your fridge to the bottom. This means you can store different wine styles and varietals at their perfect serving temperatures – for example you can set the bottom of the fridge at 6° for your Champagne and the top at 18° for your reds and then the whites go in the middle.
You’ll find single zones will be more energy efficient as they are not trying to keep different zones at different temperatures.
What is the aftercare like?
Aftercare is important with a wine fridge. A decent wine fridge is a big investment and it is one you want to keep for as long as possible.
Make sure you check to see what the brands warrantee covers, if they offering servicing and what happens if something stops working.
One of our Vintec’s packed up just before the end of our 2 year warranty a few years ago and I have to admit the process was super smooth. They asked all the typical questions, we sent through photos, etc and within a week it was replaced with a brand new one. Fantastic service!
If there’s a wine fridge that you absolutely love, tell us about it in the comments section below 🙂