Well it's the last day of May, summer is nigh at the door, which means all those bottles of wine you've been collecting and storing in your pantry are about to get cooked. Everyone's situation is different, but for most folks storing their wine treasures in the appropriate environment is the key to aging wine. So don't be left out, if you've been considering purchasing a stand alone unit or a built-in to beat the coming summer heat, then I have a timely article written by guest contributor; Matthew Delaney of the Wine'd Up.
Today we've been asked to share with you the top five features you should pay attention to when purchasing a wine cooler. We've been avid fans of Cuvee Corner for a while and were honored to write this article for Bill.
So, what type is the best? That depends! [You knew I was going to say that, right?) Where are you going to put it? Do you plan on building it into cabinetry or letting it stand alone? What are the most important characteristics for you? Can you handle a little noise or does it need to be absolutely silent? Do you want multiple temperature zones? [See below]
Compressor based coolers still have their place in many homes because they can vent their heat through the front and be built in to cabinets, bars, kitchens, etc. They are a little bit noisier since their cooling system runs in cycles and they do vibrate a bit, which many experts say can lower the quality of the wine over time. But they are a must for built-in installations.
In my experience building a thermoelectric wine coolers into any cabinets, isn’t a good idea. Why, because it needs ample space on all sides to vent the heat. Block that space and you've created a nifty fire hazard which could create unpleasant special effects and pyrotechnics. But thermoelectric wine coolers come with a host of other great features that make them preferable as stand alone units. They run in virtual silence, do not vibrate, are energy-efficient, and more environmentally friendly than their compressor based competition. You're also more likely to find multiple temperature zone models with thermoelectric coolers.
If you live in a home constantly invaded by ninjas, clepto's, and kitty soft paws, you know the importance of keeping precious goods under lock and key. Wine isn't an exception, it's the rule! Not all wine fridge doors have locks. Sure, you can hire Hawkeye to protect your wine from afar with his trusty bow and arrow, but considering the Avengers just made $1,000,000,000 in 19 days, that could be a bit pricey. Built-in locks aren't a prevalent feature, but they do exist- If you need one, make sure the fridge's features list specifically states it has one.
2) Is your wine protected from gamma rays? Unlike the Incredible Hulk, exposure to various rays doesn’t make your wine better. Luckily, wine cooler manufacturers are nearly always using upgraded doors compared to older models. Dual-paned glass is just a start in today's wine storage environment. Standard dual-paned glass adds to the insulation and begins to protect your wine, while thermal treated and tinted dual-paned glass is even better. UV rays and heat are the enemies of good wine and your wine storage's door should rival Captain
3) Wow, look at the size of that... Yes, size matters. Especially when choosing wine storage. You don't want to grow out of your wine storage like an angry hulk grows out of his shirt (...you won't like me when I'm angry!). Go a bit bigger than you think you need (if you have the funds) to avoid needing to buy more space later. You will save money in the long run investing in the correct size up front rather than having to buy a second unit later on.
4) How many zones does it take to satisfy The Avengers?
I know what you are thinking, "Thor always wants chardonnay, Tony demands
5) Compressor, thermoelectric, or arch reactor?
Okay, so you might have a tough time finding an actual arch reactor (except those of you who have Tony Stark on speed dial). For the rest of us, the decision of cooling technology in wine fridges comes down to two choices, 1) compressor based technology or 2) thermoelectric systems. Yes, there are hybrid models, but let's not go there for sanity's sake.