If you’re a wine lover, you already know that keeping this liquid gold at the perfect temperature is key to fully appreciating its properties. The perfect temperature differs from wine to wine, so if you want to entertain guests and enjoy the nuances and subtle tastes of wine served at the perfect temperature every time, then a wine fridge will be the perfect addition to your home.
We designed the following guide to introduce you to the subtle intricacies of wine fridges, which are nothing more than fabulous fridges which keep the flavours and aromas of your wonderful wine in tip top condition. You’ll also learn about the different types of wine fridges, including models that feature different temperature zones for all your wine. Well, what are we waiting for? Grab a glass and let’s get started!
- 1 First things first
- 2 Ranking: The best wine fridges in the UK
- 2.1 No. 1: Russell Hobbs Digital Wine Fridge (8-Bottle, Energy Class A)
- 2.2 No. 2: Inventor Wine Cooler (24-Bottle, Energy Class A)
- 2.3 No. 3: Kalamera Wine Fridge (12-Bottle, Energy Class A)
- 2.4 No. 4: Russell Hobbs Wine Cooler (12-Bottle, Energy Class A+)
- 2.5 No. 5: Russell Hobbs Digital Wine Cooler (7-Bottle, Energy Class B)
- 3 Buying Guide: Everything you need to know about wine fridges
- 3.1 What exactly is a wine fridge?
- 3.2 What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a wine fridge in your home?
- 3.3 Is it necessary to store wine bottles horizontally?
- 3.4 What sizes and types of wine fridges are there on the market?
- 3.5 Which wine fridge is better: thermoelectric or compressor-based?
- 3.6 What is the ideal humidity level for a wine cellar?
- 3.7 Where should I place my wine fridge?
- 3.8 What is the best temperature for a single temperature wine fridge?
- 3.9 How do I keep my wine fridge in the best condition?
- 4 Buying criteria
- 5 Summary
First things first
- Wine fridges (sometimes known as wine coolers) are technologically advanced refrigerators designed to preserve wines at the ideal temperature.
- Various types of wine fridges are available on the market, with two main categories of products presenting very different characteristics: thermoelectric or compressor-based.
- You should always keep your wine bottles at a suitable temperature and with an atmospheric humidity appropriate for their preservation, which is exactly what wine coolers offer.
- There are number of key aspects to consider before buying a wine fridge. Amongst others, these include the bottle capacity and energy efficiency.
Ranking: The best wine fridges in the UK
The British market has a very wide range of wine fridges on offer with a fairly broad price range. While certain models are simply designed to preserve the wine you drink regularly, others can keep your wine at different temperatures. In the following ranking, you will discover our very own selection of the best wine coolers available, and they’re all great value for money!
No. 1: Russell Hobbs Digital Wine Fridge (8-Bottle, Energy Class A)
Russell Hobbs is a household name. Most of us have a Russell Hobbs appliance somewhere in our home and we all know that they’re always of good price and quality. This wine fridge is Amazon’s Choice and has a modern, slimline, black design. Standing at 45.6cm tall, being 25.2cm wide and 51.5cm deep, this wine fridge is the perfect size for a kitchen counter.
The LED display is easy to read and shows a temperature range of 8°C to 18°C, so you can store white or red wine on these stylish metal shelves, perfectly contoured to keep wine horizontally and stop your favourite bottles from rolling around. The internal light and glass door means you’ll be able to see what’s inside without even opening the door!
No. 2: Inventor Wine Cooler (24-Bottle, Energy Class A)
Inventor pride themselves on delivering appliances which are robust, stylish and innovative, and this wine cooler is no exception! With four shelves with room for five standard size wine bottles per shelf, there’s no reason not to invest in this luxury wine cooler, which has a desiccation filter to ensure that the wine remains unspoiled and a temperature range of 5°C to 18°C.
This super modern wine cooler is rated A for energy efficiency, so you don’t have to worry about your next electricity bill or the environment when you buy this appliance! The low noise level, with only 42dB, means that it’s perfect for any part of your home. What’s more, the UV glass door means that your precious bottles of wine will not suffer any damage from the sunlight! What more could you want?
No. 3: Kalamera Wine Fridge (12-Bottle, Energy Class A)
Next we have this extremely modern-looking, sleek black and silver wine cooler by Kalamera. This is the ultimate wine fridge if your home is fashionable and you love having the most up-to-date technologies in your home, since this fancy fridge features a digital, touchscreen temperature display!
What makes this wine fridge so special is that is has a zone for red and a zone for white wine, so it’s perfect for those who host dinner parties and have guests round as you are sure to have perfect wine for any taste! Additionally, the heavy duty glass door is insulated to help maintain the interior temperature, so there’s no ruining your delicious wine.
No. 4: Russell Hobbs Wine Cooler (12-Bottle, Energy Class A+)
There’s no stopping our household favourite brand, as this wine cooler is perfect for table tops and has an impressive 46 litre capacity, so it’s the perfect size for storing that wonderful wine you have! Additionally, for those of you who are environmentally aware, it has an energy efficiency rating of A+, making it one of the most energy efficient wine coolers on the market.
This wine fridge is available in red or black, so no matter if you’re a fan of colours or you like to keep it cool, this wine fridge is perfect for you. Additionally, the shelves are fully adjustable and you can store cans, so it’s a fab fridge for those who live in a household of wine and beer lovers!
No. 5: Russell Hobbs Digital Wine Cooler (7-Bottle, Energy Class B)
Last but not least, we have this Russell Hobbs wine cooler, which is black and made of stainless steel. This is slightly more expensive than the other wine fridges available, but the fact that it can be built in to your kitchen cabinet, and it has a reversible door and reversible feet so it can fit perfectly into any sized kitchen, means that it can truly become a part of your kitchen and your life.
This is one of the quietest coolers on the market, with only 39dB, so it’s suitable for any part of your home. Its height of 87.2cm, width of 14.8cm and depth of 52.5cm means it’s unlike most other wine coolers as is it tall and narrow. It really does look like the most modern and futuristic wine cooler around!
Buying Guide: Everything you need to know about wine fridges
If you’re a wine aficionado, you’ll probably want to know all there is to know about wine coolers, right? Well, until a few decades ago, this wine accessory was exclusively designed for the wealthiest. The emergence of the internet means that wine fridges are now a lot more accessible than they used to be, and now you can now find models for your home at very affordable prices. In the following section, we’ll have a look at the most frequently asked questions by past users to help you make the right decision and choose a wine fridge that will fit seamlessly into your life and your home.
What exactly is a wine fridge?
A wine fridge is a small, technologically advanced refrigerator designed to preserve wines at the ideal temperature. These little appliances also allow you to control humidity changes and isolate the wine from light sources in order to keep its properties intact.
Wine coolers also feature a thermostat to help you regulate the temperature. Certain models even integrate shelves with different temperature levels to welcome both white and red wines in the same device.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a wine fridge in your home?
They offer a series of advantages, but note that they also have a couple of weaknesses. In the table below, we’ve listed the main benefits of have your very own wine fridge at home, as well as its potential inconveniences:
Is it necessary to store wine bottles horizontally?
Yes! Your bottles should never be placed in an upright position, and there’s a very good reason for this. The cork of the wine must remain moist at all times to keep the properties of the drink intact. Placing them in this position also protects your bottles from other potential problems, such as vibrations, light or temperature.
What sizes and types of wine fridges are there on the market?
If what you’re looking for is a domestic wine fridge, you should generally opt for a small model, with a capacity ranging from 6 to 20 bottles. You need to consider not only the size, but other things too. In the table below, you’ll discover the different types of wine coolers by size, operation and design. This should help you choose the one most tailored to your needs.
|Size||Capacity ranging from 6 to 20 bottles||Capacity ranging from 24 to 50 bottles||Capacity of 50 bottles and up|
|They cool the wine via a chip placed on one side.||They use a coolant in a closed circuit.||They combine both systems but are more expensive. They are designed for professional use.|
|Domestic or counter-top wine fridges are small and ideal to preserve your bottles at the same temperature.||They are generally slotted into a space in your living room or kitchen to naturally blend in with your home decor. They can be compressor-based or thermoelectric, but their ventilation needs to be located in the front end.||These models are like cabinets used to exhibit your wines. They take up a lot of space and are commonly found in places designed for wine tasting.|
|By temperature||Single temperature||Multi-temperature||–|
|Single temperature wine cabinets keep all bottles at the same temperature.||These models features different zones for each temperature, ideal for preserving both red and white wine.||–|
Which wine fridge is better: thermoelectric or compressor-based?
Thermoelectric wine fridges are your best option if you want to keep your red wines at an even temperature. This is because these appliances tend to have set temperatures. That being said, there are other factors to take into account when choosing a wine cooler for your home. You can find out the main advantages and disadvantages of each option in the following table:
|Thermoelectric wine fridges||They are generally small and affordable.||They are more specifically tailored for red wines, since they improve the quality of the wine. They may overheat if they don’t have a space to ventilate at the back. They are silent.||The temperature ranges from 12°C to 18°C. They do not require refrigerant gas.|
|Compressor-based wine fridges||They are more expensive as they require more power and feature a larger storage capacity.||They maintain and preserve all types of wines due to their greater range of temperatures. Their refrigerant gas circulates in a closed circuit. They can make noise and produce vibrations like traditional fridges.||They are precise and usually feature a thermostat. Unlike thermoelectric models, the external temperature has no influence as there is no direct dependence.|
What is the ideal humidity level for a wine cellar?
You should try and maintain the relative humidity between 65% and 70%. A lower humidity level may lead to the corks of the bottles drying out and the liquid deteriorating. If the humidity level is too high, on the other hand, mould may appear and the labels will dry out.
It is recommended to always choose 75% over 60% if you have to. Finally, you are encouraged to purchase a hygrometer to assess the relative humidity in the event that your wine fridge doesn’t come with a humidity sensor. This will facilitate your use of your new appliance.
Where should I place my wine fridge?
You should strategically pick the place where you’ll set your wine cooler so that temperature changes do not affect your bottles. Remember to follow the basic rules in order for your wine to remain intact. We’ve listed below the different measures that you should bear in mind:
- Avoid direct exposure to sunlight: It is essential to keep your bottles away from sunlight and high temperatures. This would irreversibly affect the wine’s properties.
- Do not place it next to other appliances: In particularly those that produce vibrations, like refrigerators. This could generate overheating and waste lots of energy.
- Avoid placing it in bedrooms: While the manufacturer may promise that your wine cooler doesn’t make any noise, there is always a little bit, so it’s best to keep your wine fridge away from places where people are trying to sleep.
- Place it in a well ventilated room away from the heat: Wine fridges are best placed in ventilated rooms, which should never exceed 30°C.
What is the best temperature for a single temperature wine fridge?
Bottles placed in single temperature wine coolers should be kept within a range of 12°C to 15ºC. If you have unexpected guests and need to get a white wine ready, you can always place it in the fridge or in a bucket of ice. Multi-temperature wine fridges are ideal to accommodate white, rosé and red wine.
How do I keep my wine fridge in the best condition?
You need to regularly clean your wine cooler, but there are also essential maintenance rules to observe if you want to keep your wine bottles in optimal condition. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some key things that you can do to prolong the life of your new appliance.
- Clean: Don’t forget to clean it at least once a year.
- Ventilation space: Make sure to give a space of at least 20cm between the wine fridge and the wall, so there’s enough ventilation space.
- Location: This is detailed above, but we cannot emphasise enough the importance of the location of the wine fridge.
- Filter: If your appliance has a carbon filter, it needs to be regularly checked and changed once a year. If it is greasy, you can clean it with water, mild soap and a couple of tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda.
- Unplugging for cleaning: Make sure to disconnect your wine fridge and remove the shelves before cleaning.
- Water, mild soap and bicarbonate of soda for the interior: In a container, mix water, mild soap and two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda per litre of water. Use this to clean the interior of your wine fridge.
- Water and detergent for the exterior: When cleaning the shelves and exterior of your wine cooler, use a blend of water and mild detergent to wipe with a damp cloth. Dry with a well-wrung cloth.
- Removing the water from the evaporation tray: Compressor-based wine fridges feature a tray that collects defrosted water. Wipe and clean with a damp cloth, before drying with a wrung cloth.
You should already know a great deal about the key aspects of wine fridges by now. That being said, there’s still essential criteria that you’ll need to consider when the time comes to buy the perfect model for your home. In the following section, we have a look at these factors to help you make an informed decision:
- Type of wine
- Energy efficiency
- Thermoelectric or compressor-based
- Reviews and ratings
Type of wine
Remember that single temperature wine fridges will do just fine if you only plan on keeping red wine bottles. However, you will need a multi-temperature model if you also want to have a product tailored to white wine, as it’s more sensitive to temperature changes. While these wine coolers may be slightly less affordable, you’ll be thankful for your decision in the long run as they tend to last for a long time.
Think about how many bottles you want to fit in your wine fridge before choosing a specific model. If you simply want one to store a selection of wines to entertain your guests, a small wine cooler should be more than enough. On the other hand, you’ll want to buy a larger model if you’re a true oenophile and want to build a solid wine collection.
Your wine fridge will be constantly using energy, and its impact on your budget will depend a lot on the model you choose. Make sure that your wine cooler has an energy efficiency between A and B. Otherwise, you’ll be exposing yourself to a very unpleasant surprise when your next electricity bill comes in the post.
Thermoelectric or compressor-based
We have already analysed the main differences between these two types of wine fridges. Caterers generally use the latter models, as they are suitable for all types of wine and are efficient even in the hottest of places. These wine coolers are slightly more expensive, although you can now find some with more affordable prices. We encourage you to opt for a quality product, since it will last longer!
Reviews and ratings
With the boom of online shopping, it is always recommended to have a look at customer ratings of the products that interest you. Reading customer comments may also come in handy to help you make your decision since they may discuss interesting technical aspects that you were not aware of regarding the model you want to buy.
Wine fridges are ideal to preserve wine in optimal condition, both in terms of temperature and relative humidity. If you are truly passionate about wine and have never had the chance of having your very own wine cooler at home, now is the time! You can find very affordable models and will surprise your guests with your knowledge and expertise, and perfect wine, of course!
Until very recently, few could afford the luxury of drinking their wine in just the right conditions. The digital age has changed the game, and you no longer need to be a great wine producer or go to a specific place to taste the “Drink of the Gods”. All you need is the right space in your home to set your very own wine fridge, and you’ll always have your favourite wines on hand.
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(Source of featured image: Belchonock: 92271543/ 123rf.com)