A toast to a special occasion, the perfect pairing for a meal or a way to unwind at the end of the day - wine is the drink of choice to accompany life's moments. Storing your wine in the right environment and serving it at the right temperature is key to getting the most out of every bottle. We've put together this guide to help you choose the best refrigerator for your collection.
Examples of built-in and freestanding wine coolers
Built-in or freestanding?
Freestanding wine coolers sit on the floor and can be placed anywhere there is an electrical outlet. The sides of these units are finished, so they will look great no matter where you place one. Countertop models keep small collections within easy reach at eye level.
Built-in wine coolers are built into cabinetry and provide a sleek, custom look. They are equipped with front ventilation, which allows them to function properly in an enclosed space. Designed to fit between lower cabinets, built-in units are an ideal choice for new construction or complete kitchen renovations.
However, because they have finished sides and tops, built-in refrigerators don't need to be "integrated" into anything. They work beautifully as stand-alone units, making them the most flexible choice. Models are available in a variety of widths so they can be retrofitted into existing cabinets. Some wine fridges are panel ready, so the fronts can be customized to match your existing cabinetry.
Wine and Beverage Coolers
Capacity and configuration
Whether you're just starting your collection or have dozens of favorite vintages, there's a wine cooler to hold all your bottles. Some units are designed specifically to hold wine, while others can store canned beverages as well. Wine racks hold bottles horizontally so liquid flows to the neck, keeping the cork moist to prevent drying out and cracking, which can allow harmful air to enter the bottle.
Units designed to hold both wine and other beverages - including beer, canned soft drinks and bottled water - are a great choice for entertainment areas and places where families gather . Most combination wine and beverage coolers have separate temperature zones to keep each refreshment ready to be served at its ideal temperature.
Temperature control of different types of wine
Temperature is key to bringing out the best flavor in your wine. The exact temperature will vary with the specific strain, but the general rule of thumb is:
Sparkling wine: 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit
White wine: 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit
Red wine: 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit
A single zone wine cellar is sufficient if you drink one type of wine. A two-zone model will allow you to keep whites and reds at their single ideal temperature in the same unit, or store wine in one zone and other beverages in another. For maximum flexibility, 3 and 4 zone wine cabinets are also available.
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