The fine taste of wine originates, from the grapes used, the amount of time aged, temperature, how it is served, and even how it is consumed. Those and other factors affect the aroma. Wines taste best when served at an optimal temperature. The temperature can be wine specific, but here are some general rules to follow.
Non-vintage sparkling beverages should be cooled at the 47 degree Fahrenheit, while a vintage port will have a much higher cooling temperature of 64 degrees Fahrenheit. With precise temperature being a requirement of an avid wine drinker, the question is how is temperature maintained and monitored. The answer: the wine cooler. Invented for chilling wine at the exact temperature, the wine cooler provides the ideal environment; just as a humidor does for cigars.
How to Choose a Wine Cooler
When choosing a wine cooler, be sure to pick one that meets your specific needs. As with any type of appliance, they come in different sizes and with different features. Do you entertain often and require sufficient storage for numerous types of wine? Or are you an occasional aficionado who requires a smaller unit?
Some small, tabletop units quickly chill a single wine bottle. Other coolers can be sophisticated, large refrigeration units, holding a multitude of bottles at different temperatures. In between those two options, is a stand-alone unit that sits in the corner of the room. And, to be clear, a wine cooler can be as simple as a carrier or tote, used to transport wine to a social occasion. The construction of wine coolers typically utilizes vinyl, metal, plastic, double-walled glass, neoprene or some other insulation materials.
Technology is also playing a part in the wine cooler industry. As with a cell phone or conventional refrigerator, enhancements are always being introduced. The newest models feature controlled air circulation and exact temperature control. The high-end models have barcode readers. The barcodes on the bottle, tells the wine cooler what temperature it should be stored at. It then sets the temperature automatically.
For the affluent wine drinker, who entertains often, there are wine coolers possessing separate chambers, where several different wines can be stored at different temperatures. This is a space-saver and relatively provides costs savings, considering only one unit needs to be purchased.
As with most appliances, one size does NOT fit all. Be realistic in your requirements. Don’t overspend for a large, multi-feature cooler, if space and the amount of wine to be consumed is limited. Energy efficiency, capacity, and style should be kept in mind. With all the features and styles out there, the main reason to purchase a wine cooler is to maintain the correct temperature for a great tasting wine experience. Cheers!