Using Wine Refrigerators as Cellars
With so many more people becoming interested wine these days, wine refrigerators have come to fill the need for storage. Many of us do not have the space, money, or desire for a full blown walk-in wine cellar. Refrigerators make the perfect solution.
I especially enjoy the fact that you can drink your whites as well as your reds without any additional chilling. (I need to chill even my reds a little because I (like most people) keep my room temperature warmer than ideal. See my red wine and white wine pages for ideal wine drinking temperatures.
The good news is that you can find these refrigerators (sometimes called wine caves) for just about any size or price that interests you.
Some Things to Consider
There are a few things to consider when buying a wine refrigerator. One thing that is important to me is the fact that I drink both red and white wine. If you do also and you don’t want to further chill your white wine before drinking, buy either a dual zone refrigerator or possibly 2 smaller ones (one for each type).
Depending on the length of time, and the quality of wine you will be storing, vibration control is a feature you will want to check into.
Another factor is humidity. The nicer units have the ability to maintain the proper humidity level inside the unit and still circulate the air enough to discourage mold and mildew.
The nicer units will have more insulation and specially treated glass panes to help maintain a constant temperature. This is especially useful if the refrigerator is placed where the temperature will fluctuate a great deal (such as in the garage).
The decor of the refrigerator is something to consider. There are a wide variety of woods and other decorative features to help ensure that the unit adds to instead of detracts from the decor of your kitchen. They even have refrigerated credenzas and other fine furniture for placement anywhere in the house.
Not only is decor a factor in your home, but part of the joy that comes with collecting and storing wine is showing off your collection to friends and guests.
The amount of bottles each refrigerator will hold is also a consideration. If you are new to buying and storing wine, I would recommend buying a wine refrigerator that has a little more capacity than you would think you need. If you are limited to size because of a counter top then you may not have a choice, but it’s always frustrating when you realize you wish you had a little more capacity.
Consider your need for adjustable shelving. How often do you plan on drinking Champagne or other non-standard sized bottles? I don’t prefer the racks where you have to stack your wine bottles on top of each other in order to get the advertised capacity.
Will the unit be built-in under a cabinet or will it be free standing?
Below are several examples of the types, sizes, and styles of wine refrigerators on the market today. If you are interested in any of these or similar units, they can be purchased at the Wine Enthusiast.
Small Wine Refrigerators
If you live in an apartment where space is a premium, or you only want to keep a few bottles around, here are some examples of small wine refrigerators.
Not only are the small refrigerators easy to incorporate into small places, but they are great for someone just starting a collection.
Need More Space, but Want to Save $
If you anticipate the need for more storage and would like to save some money, try a cellar that needs a little assembly when it arrives. This is the most economical way to have from 110 to 500 bottles of wine stored in proper conditions. Here are a few of these budget cellars.
You can follow a few simple instructions and you’re competent with your hands. Go ahead and save yourself some cash and try one of these budget wine refrigerators.
High Quality Refrigerators
If it’s quality you’re looking for, Eurocave refrigerators deliver. These refrigerators not only keep your wine in the ideal conditions, they are handsomely built. These are the next best thing to having a personal cellar in the basement of your castle.
There are many more styles, and sizes of these units to fit whatever need you may have.
Wine Refrigerators or Furniture?
Believe it or not, both. There are actual refrigerators that are made to be super quiet and look like fine furniture. Here are some examples:
What better way to keep your collection in any room of your house with a refrigerated piece of furniture.
The Serious Collector
Okay, if you’re not playing around and need storage in the range of 900 to 2400 bottles, then a wine room may be for you. These are modular rooms built with self contained cooling and humidity control. They are very economical when you look at the cost per bottle to store.
They can be assembled with just a screwdriver and can be sized according to your needs.
Now that you have an idea on what kind of units are available, you can decide for yourself the storage requirements and other factors needed to make a decision.