Welcome to CoolerWines.com – we review wine coolers, refrigerators, cellars – anything that helps keep your wine collection at the optimal temperature for storage and serving. Check out our main categories below for reviews, tips, and valuable information:
On storing and serving wine…
Wine is a finicky thing. Even after all the care that goes into it as the vines are tended, the grapes harvested and the wine made, fermented, aged, and bottled, it still needs to be treated with the utmost care. The slightest changes anywhere in the process – from vine planting to the wine hitting your palate – can impact and change the wine.
It is this extreme subtlety of course that makes wine such a wonderful thing. For the same reason that tiny changes can negatively impact wines, they can also benefit them immensely. No vintage is ever the same as any other. Even two rows of the same grapes in the same vineyard, just a few meters apart can impart widely different characteristics on a wine.
Because of this fragility, it is essential that even once a wine has been bottled, shipped, bought, and brought home, it still be handled and stored in an appropriate way. Most people don’t have wine cellars in their house, and this explains the skyrocketing popularity of accessories to store wine in the best way possible.
The biggest dangers to wine are extreme temperatures and UV light (hence green glass for the more fragile red wines). A good home wine cooler protects your precious bottles from both of these scourges.
Types of wine coolers
Recent years have seen an explosion in demand for home wine cabinets, and manufacturers have responded with an ever-widening selection of models to suit any wine lover’s needs. From a single bottle chiller, up to cabinets that store hundreds of bottles, the range is immense. Finding the right model for your needs from such a huge selection can seem a daunting task.
Among the larger sizes, these can be broken down into single-zone and dual-zone models. Dual-zone have two separate temperature zones which can be controlled independently of one another.
Why buy a wine cooler?
Temperature extremes and fluctuations are the fastest way to ruin wine. At around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the aging process is accelerated and flavors can become flat. If your wine gets much hotter than this, it will become “cooked” and some unpleasant flavors will be brought out in much the same way as an overripe piece of fruit.
Proper wine storage is essential for bottles meant to be aged for years or even decades. Most wines do not fall into this category, but storage is still important. A good wine fridge will allow you to set your optimal temperature, and give you the peace of mind that your bottles are resting safe and sound in your home.
In addition to ensuring that your wine is not damaged, having a wine cooler in your home gives the convenience of always having a bottle on hand at its correct serving temperature. Fridges get cluttered, pantries get too hot, but a dedicated wine cabinet means always being ready, whether it’s a surprise guest, a dinner party with a dozen bottles, or just an impulsive decision to enjoy an evening glass of wine.
Wine coolers also look great and can enhance the décor of your kitchen, dining room, entertainment area or home bar. Built-ins are generally intended for kitchen use and usually have a modern look to match the black and stainless steel popular with most appliances.
Freestanding units typically have a more classic look that’s great in dining rooms. Beautiful hardwood finishes are often seen with these cabinets and they give any room a classy, elegant feel.
Choosing the proper model: the best wine cooler for you
Once you’ve decided to add the style, functionality, and convenience of a wine cabinet to your home, you’ll have to narrow your search down or you’ll quickly become overwhelmed by all of the options. First, think about the space where it will go. Do you need a built-in or a freestanding unit? If you plan on going with a built-in, will it be a taller model or an under-counter one?
Once you know which type of wine cooler is best for your home, you can narrow your search down further by deciding on how many bottles you think you will need to store at a given time. You’ll also want to decide now if you need a single or dual-zone cabinet.
The typical wine drinker enjoys a mix of both red and whites, and has a balance between long term storage needs and short term serving temperature maintenance. For these consumers, a dual-zone is the best fit, but there is a market for single-zone units as well. You should have a pretty good idea of what is best for you.
Investing in your collection: researching wine cooler reviews
Wine coolers are also referred to as wine refrigerators and wine cellars (not to be confused with a physical structure in your home, these wine cellars are refrigeration units).
However you choose to refer to them, they are an investment in your wine collection, which is an investment in and of itself. It’s important to take the time to make an informed decision before buying. We’ve put together this guide, including reviews, tips, and buying advice to help you make the right choice for your budget and your needs. As oenophiles ourselves, we know that once you live with a wine cooler, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it. Enjoy!