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Wine Refrigerators - Five Questions To Ask Before Buying

Mar 8, 2008
With an ever growing interest in all things wine, wine lovers have a wide array of accessories and storage options to enhance their wine experience. New stylish wine accesssories are continually introduced as wine affecionados seek out the best ways to share and enjoy serving wine. Let's take a look at wine storage, a very important aspect of wine enjoyment.

Wine refrigerators are quickly becoming a must have accessory for those who enjoy wine as a part of their lives. These units are available in a wide variety of price ranges, from bargain priced models to others running well into the thousands of dollars. If you're considering a wine refrigerator, here's five questions to ask before making a purchase.

How Large?

The best advice we can give in terms of what size wine refrigerator to buy is this: when in doubt, go larger. Here's why ... if you're considering buying a wine refrigerator, let's face it, you're into wine. Many first time buyers quickly outgrow their wine storage capacity, so plan ahead. As you learn more about wine and try new styles, you'll tend to stock up more. That's exactly what happened to us as we discovered some fantastic finds on our U.S. wine trails excursions.

Should I Store Reds Or Whites?

There's absolutely no problem storing red and white wines together, as long as you're aware of temperature storage needs for each style. In general, reds should be stored at warmer temperatures than whites. So, if you enjoy red wine and white wine and plan to have both on hand, buy a wine refrigerator with dual or multiple zone temperature controls. Doing so allows you enjoy the very best flavor of all your wines.

What Storage Factors Should I Consider?

While we hadn't considered it before our purchase, we really appreciate our wine refrigerator's slide out shelving. Also, we've noticed that wineries are bottling in slightly different sized bottles more frequently in the past. A good question to ask is whether the unit you're considering can store magnum style (slightly larger) bottles.

What Should I Do About Temperature And Humidity?

Keeping your wine in proper temperature and humidity conditions is the primary reason to own a wine refrigerator. Ideal temperature for wine storage is 55 degrees, and humidity levels should range between 50 and 70 percent to prevent dried out corks. If you're planning to put your refrigerator in the garage, for example, be sure to choose a unit that's well insulated and won't be affected by fluctuating temperatures.

Any Other Tips?

Expect to pay about $100 for a small six bottle model, and well over $1000 for a unit holding 50+ bottles. If you're storing your refrigerator in a secluded place in your home, choose function over style. Conversely, if your wine refrigerator will occupy a more prominent place, make sure the unit is quiet enough to live with. Finally, remember that proper wine storage is crucial to enjoying your wine to its fullest potential. Storage at proper temperature keeps a wine fresh, and allows you to enjoy the full bouquet of flavor.
About the Author
Jim Hofman is an author specializing in wine and beer, and is the owner of several websites devoted to wine travel and enjoyment of wine. You're invited to visit Jim's wine resource site for more tips and recommendations about wine accessories, wine storage, and wine refrigerators.
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