Buying Guide

What to Look for in Your Wine Fridge

An optimized wine fridge is crucial to maintaining your wine's freshness and flavor. As you explore options, please use the information below to determine our essential features of available makes and models.

  • Proper Bottle Capacity¬†sufficient to hold your collection and allow it to grow
  • Temperature Range¬†appropriate to chilling all your favorite kinds of wine at the ideal serving temperature
  • Dual or Single Temperature Zones¬†provide temperature flexibility for your collection
  • Freestanding or Built-In Design Flexibility¬†to place your fridge exactly where you want it
  • Thermoelectric or Compressor Cooling The ability¬†to keep your wine at a constant temperature
  • Child Locks¬†for safety
  • Triple Pane Glass¬†or a well-insulated solid door to keep cool air in
  • LED Lighting¬†to save energy and keep UV rays to a minimum inside your cooler
  • Wine Rack Shelves¬†that allow bottles to be stored on their sides for proper long-term storage
  • Durable, Stylish Design¬†that blends with your decor and will stand the test of time
  • Outstanding Customer Service¬†to get answers to questions and prompt problem-solving for the lifetime of your appliance
  • Free Shipping¬†to keep your total cost to a minimum

Another reason to consider a wine fridge is to make sure that your wine tastes its best when you're ready to drink it. While the ideal temperature for wine storage is 55 degrees, the best temperature for serving wine is another story. Wines can be broken into three basic categories when it comes to serving temperatures:

 Red Wines: Traditionally, red wines are served at room temperature. Today's houses are kept much warmer than they were in the past, so this really means somewhere between 60 and 65 degrees.

White Wines: White wines typically taste better chilled, but not so cold that you can't distinguish the delicate flavors. These should be served between 50 and 60 degrees.

Sparkling Wines: Carbonated drinks are at their best when served as cold as possible. For Champagne and other sparklers, 40 degrees will do nicely.

The all-around best wine storage temperature is 55 degrees, which is about the same as the year-round temperatures found underground. Caves and actual cellars were the original wine storage facilities in the days before refrigeration, because they made it easy to keep wine at these temperatures. When wine is kept at 55 degrees, it slows that aging process significantly, so you don't have to worry about losing color, flavor, or aroma.

Maintaining a steady temperature is also important. When wine is subjected to dips and spikes in the temperature, it speeds the decaying process. It also leads to fluctuations in relative humidity, which can damage corks and break the seal on your wine bottles. Shrunken corks can cause wine to spoil in just a few days.

UV rays can damage wine the same way they damage your skin. Too much sunlight will cause the delicate compounds in your wine to break down, leaving you with wine that doesn't taste like it should. Experts describe this as a "cooked" flavor. Keeping wine in protective storage that minimizes exposure to sunlight and artificial light is key.

Wines have a small amount of sediment in each bottle. If your wine is moved too often, that sediment can become agitated and spread throughout the bottle, where it causes chemical reactions that change the flavor of your wine. If the sediment is present when you pour, it also ruins the mouth feel when you take a sip. Wine should be kept as still as possible and protected from excessive vibrations from appliances.

Keeping wine in your kitchen fridge will leave it too cold, since the standard temperature for food storage is 38 degrees, not 55. The interior is also much drier, which can shrink corks and break the seal on your wine. Large food refrigerators tend to have large compressors, which create excessive vibrations. If you keep wine bottles in the refrigerator door, they'll be moving all the time, and subjected to plenty of temperature changes as you ponder what you want for a snack. All things considered, this is not a good way to store your wine.

Storing wines at the proper temperature is important. To preserve them as long as possible wine should be stored at approximately 55¬į Fahrenheit. However, the chart below suggests the optimal drinking temperature for the different styles of wine.

Recommended Wine Serving Temperatures 

wine cellar
¬įC
¬įF
   Wine Style
19 66    Armagnac, Brandy, Cognac
18 64    Full Bodied Red Wines, Shiraz
17 62    Tawny Port
15 59    Medium Bodied Red Wines
14 57    Amontillado Sherry
13 55    Light Bodied Red Wines
12 54    Full Bodied White Wines
11 52    Medium Bodied White Wines
10 50    Rosé, Light Bodied White Wines
9 48    Vintage Sparkling
8 46    Fino Sherry
7 45    Non-Vintage Sparkling

 

This temperature guide should be used as a guideline only.