If you don't want to ruin a good bottle of wine, then you should learn how to store it properly. If you live in an apartment or a small house and don’t have room for a wine cellar, there are alternatives for storing wine correctly, like a wine cooler.
Basics For Storing Wine
The correct storage of wine can help it last for several months, sometimes years. If you're not sure how to properly store wine, use these tips.
Lay Them Down
Wine bottles with corks in them need to lay on their side when in storage. Otherwise, the cork can dry out, which loosens it and allows some air into the wine bottle. Oxidation can ruin what’s in the bottle by changing the pigment and causing it to some of the aroma and flavor.
Keep It Cool
Wine needs to be kept at the right temperature to get the best flavor from it and to last for prolonging its life. If the wine gets too hot, then it can "cook" inside the bottle and make it age faster. However, if you don’t intend on drinking it right away, don’t store it in a regular refrigerator, but store it in a cool, dark place. Ideally, the best temperature for keeping wine is between 50 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit.
Leave It In The Dark
Don’t expose your wine bottles to light, especially fluorescent light or sunlight. The ultraviolet rays cause the wine to be “light struck,” which can degrade and age the wine. Also, the labels on the bottle can fade, so you may not be able to see what you’re drinking.
Maintain Humidity Levels
It's crucial for the humidity to remain consistent at about 70 percent. If the humidity is too high, then the cork can dry out, allowing evaporation and oxidation of the wine. Also, the labels can loosen, and sometimes mold can start to grow.
Don’t Keep Them Too Long
If you have a wine collection, then you need to know how long wine can be in storage. While some wines improve with age, most modern inexpensive wines will not. Storing and aging red wine can be done from two to 10 years.
Most white wines can survive for two to three years, but some white chardonnays may be in storage for up to 20 years. The storage length depends on the type of wine, so ask when you buy a bottle how long you can keep it.
If you have a dark, cool area in the basement without mold, then that may be an ideal place to have a wine rack. One in your kitchen, where it gets hot, or the living room with sun exposure would not be a suitable place for one. However, a wine cooler in a bar area or dining room can help you store wine correctly.
Wine refrigerators or coolers have several features that make them great for storing bottles of your favorite wines. In this review of the seven best coolers, we will examine each model and explain their features so that you can find the best one for your needs.
How We Chose Our Ratings
As we examine each cooler, we consider its brand name and features. We also read the testimonials and reviews from people who own them. Then, after gathering all the information about them, we give each one a rating from one to five stars, with five being the best. By rating them in this way, our readers can find the best cooler for their needs.
Top Seven Wine Coolers
Here are our choices for the best wine coolers on the market.
NutriChef PKTEWCDS1802 18 Bottle Dual Zone Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
- THE ULTIMATE WINE ACCESSORY: if you are a wine lover, then you probably already have all the special glasses, bottle...
- PERFECT DUAL ZONE TEMPERATURE: our wine chiller comes with the latest high-tech options, including dual zone through...
- A NEW TECHNOLOGY: taking care of your old bottles of wine is always difficult, but keeping the flavor of the already...
This NutriChef cooler holds 18 bottles of your favorite wines in a chiller that has two zones for keeping wines at different temperatures. You can set temperatures in the upper zone between 46 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit and the lower zone between 54 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if you have wines that need to be kept at different temperatures, this cooler will allow you to set the zones as you need them.
It has an LCD display that tells you the temperature, which you can change with the setting buttons next to the display. Along with shelves to hold bottles horizontality, there is also a vertical shelf for keeping opened bottles cool. The door has reinforced glass, and it’s airtight to prevent air from getting into the unit and ruining the wines you have in it.
The wine chiller also has an internal LED light to show off your collection when entertaining friends. The chiller is energy efficient as it doesn’t consume too much power. It can be run 24 hours a day without adding significantly to your energy bill. The chiller is available in black, stainless steel, or a 24-bottle model.
NutriChef 12 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Refrigerator
- PERFECT WINE STORAGE: With its 12 Bottle storage capacity, this wine cooler unit is perfect for chilling and storing 12...
- COMPACT & ELEGANT DESIGN: With its reinforced stainless steel glass door with air-tight seal, this 12-bottle electric...
- PERFECT IDEAL TEMPERATURE - Control the exact temperature of your electric wine cabinet for short & long term in a...
This 12-bottle wine chiller can hold your favorite red and white wines horizontally, or there is a vertical shelf for bottles that are already open. It has a reinforced glass door with an airtight seal. It also has a built-in fan and vent to allow the cool air to circulate.
The cooler has an LED light to highlight your wines when guests are visiting, and it has a switch to shut it off to save energy. The refrigerator has adjustable temperature controls that keep wine cool between 50 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit that displays on the LCD screen.
This unit keeps your wine at the right temperature and the proper humidity, so you don't have to worry about spoilage. Also, since it runs 24 hours a day, it operates quietly to prevent disruptions while you're sleeping. The cooler is available in black or stainless steel.
Koldfront TWR247ESS 24 Bottle Free Standing Dual Zone Wine Refrigerator
- Thermoelectric cooling; Control panel with LCD temperature display for both zones; Includes safety lock
- For a smaller version of this model please see model# TWR187ESS and larger TWR327ESS
- Free-standing installation only, not meant for built in use; Tempered glass door; Door swing of 180 degrees required to...
This Koldfront wine chiller isn't suitable for use in a built-in cabinet because it is a free-standing cooler. To remove the wood shelves, the door needs to swing open 180 degrees, so the cooler needs to go in an area with room to allow it to open.
It has dual zone temperature settings to keep wines at their optimal temperatures. The upper zone keeps wine between 54 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit, and the lower zone allows for temperatures of 46 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit. As you adjust the temperature using the buttons, the reading shows on the LCD display.
The door is tempered glass to keep the unit as airtight as possible, and it locks to keep your wine collection safe. The cooler has a black body with a stainless door frame and handle.
Ivation 12 Bottle Thermoelectric Counter Top Wine Cellar
The Ivation wine cellar allows wine drinkers a place to safely store their bottles until it is time to drink them. The LCD display shows the storage temperature, which they can quickly change with the up or down arrows. The temperature range is from 50 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
The doors of the cooler have tempered glass, and the walls of the unit have polyurethane foam insulation to keep the wines at constant humidity. The humidity levels keep the corks from drying out and letting in too much oxygen. Also, there is minimal light in the unit to protect the wine from too much light exposure.
A thermoelectric cooler does not have a compressor, so they operate silently and do not vibrate so that the wine can settle quietly, which helps it to taste its best. The cooler is available in black with wire shelves, in stainless steel with wood shelves or with a door lock at the bottom of the unit.
Westinghouse 12 Bottle Wine Cellar
- 12 bottle capacity, perfect for red or white wines
- Temperature range: 54 - 66 degrees Fahrenheit with ultra quiet thermal electric cooling: 38 dBA
- Touch panel adjustable thermostat control with digital read out for easy control over temperature
Westinghouse allows you to store 12 bottles of your favorite wine, whether it is red, wine or champagne, in a cool, dark environment until you’re ready to drink it. At only 26.9 pounds, this small, lightweight cooler can fit almost anywhere.
It doesn’t have a compressor because it is thermoelectric, so it operates quietly without vibrations to upset the wine. It maintains an ideal temperature between 54 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit, which helps to preserve your wine for months. The gray tint on the door allows you to see inside of the cooler and it has an interior light for showcasing your collection.
It also has adjustable leveling legs in case your floor has a slight slope to help the wine settle evenly. Along with the 12-bottle model, Westinghouse also offers 10-bottle, 8-bottle, and 6-bottle models to fit in most barrooms, family rooms or an appropriate dark corner of the kitchen.
Wine Enthusiast Silent 18 Bottle Refrigerator
- Dual Zone Wine Fridge - Slimline freestanding refrigerator, holds 18 Bordeaux bottles, provides two temperature levels...
- Digital Touch Screen - Top zone adjustable temperature range of 54-66 degrees F provides ideal storing conditions for...
- Silent and Energy Efficient - The Thermoelectric refrigerator is energy-efficient and CFC-free, providing virtually...
The Wine Enthusiast wine refrigerator has two zones to ensure your collection always stays at the right temperature. The top zone is perfect for red wines because it can adjust from 54 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit. The bottom zone adjusts from 46 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit, which is great for white wines.
The cooler has a touchscreen display to adjust the settings if necessary. The thermoelectric unit runs efficiently and quietly, so there is no noise or vibrations to upset the wines within the unit. The chrome wire shelves can adjust for both bottles that are resting on their sides or those that can be upright, such as those with screw tops.
This wine refrigerator is free-standing only, so it shouldn’t be part of a built-in cabinet. The unit doesn’t use CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons as a refrigerant).
Avanti 12 Bottle Thermoelectric Counter Top Wine Refrigerator 3.8 Stars
This Avanti 12-bottle cooler is small enough to fit on a countertop in the bar area or the dining room of your home. It needs to set in a cool, dark space to prevent exposure to the sun or any lights that give off UV rays. It only weighs 27 pounds and measures 20.2 X 10 X 25.2 inches.
It has a thermoelectric cooling system, which means it does not have a compressor that creates noise or vibrations. Without vibrations, the wine can settle without disruptions that can affect its taste. The temperature reading is available in Fahrenheit or Celsius on an LCD display. It is easy to adjust if it's not set correctly.
Although most of the bottles rest horizontality on the shelves, it also has an area for upright bottles with screw-on tops or that are open. It has an automatic defrost system to keep the bottles from getting too cold and an attractively curved door with a gray tint. The unit also has an interior light to showcase the wine display, with an on/off switch on the outside of the unit.
Buyer’s Guide For Wine Coolers
If you’re thinking of buying a wine cooler for your home, you should first decide the size of the unit you’ll need. If you’re an ardent collector, coolers are available sizes like that of a standard refrigerator. However, if you only need to keep a few bottles cool, then a small countertop unit may be all you need.
Consider where you’ll put the cooler to reduce its exposure to heat and light. Even though it keeps things cool, you don’t want to expose it to too much heat as it will cause the unit to work harder to keep the wine at the correct temperature.
The area where it’s kept will need to few disturbances, so you may not wish to put it near a stereo or other appliance that vibrate. Wines need to stay still to prevent disruptions to the sediment. Otherwise, the taste of the wine can change.
If you have small children, consider a door lock for the cooler to keep tiny hands out of your wine collection. The fewer disturbances a bottle of wine undergoes, the better it maintains its quality and taste.
Also, consider your budget. There are many models of small coolers under 100 dollars, but the prices depend on how many bottles you need to store and whether the wine cooler has one or two cooling zones.
The best model for you will be able to hold your favorite wines in a cool, dark environment, so you don't need to worry about serving bad wine to your guests.
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